Should I Homeschool with a Complete Curriculum or Subject Specific Curriculum?

If you are asking this question there is no question that you should consider using a subject specific curriculum. A complete curriculum is by far the easiest way to begin homeschooling as I wrote about in a recent post. In addition complete curriculum sometimes coordinate learning between subjects, but complete curriculum is not always the best option. Often parents who select a complete curriculum soon find that large portions of it just don't work for their family.

Kids may be grade levels ahead in one subject while behind in another. To learn effectively a child must be challenged at his/her level. It is pointless to work through pages of addition problems when the child has a math brain and has been working problems in his head for years. Why not move onto the next level? Likewise, if a child is a struggling 16 year old reader it makes no sense for that child to be given grade level reading books. How could that child be expected to read and understand a history text book when the reading skills are grade levels behind? That child would benefit so much more by working on his/her reading skills, watching a World War II documentary and sewing a colonial style dress. Purchasing subject specific curriculum allows parents to fulfill these individual needs by tailoring a curriculum specific to each child.

Complete curriculum may work well for some subjects while others may be less suited for your children. For example, you may select a complete Charlotte Mason style curriculum only to find that your child thrives when listening to the stories, but can't stand the way the curriculum uses copywork to teach grammar and spelling. Expanding on this idea, if a curriculum is textbook based, the child would learn about plants by reading a biology textbook. Some children would find this method boring and prefer to learn about plants by watching a nature documentary, sprouting seeds, visiting a nature center, observing nature and researching what they observe in books or on the internet, drawing artistic pictures of the plants and trees they see, or by making a leaf collection. The child may be extremely interested in plants and want to do everything listed above, or they might be interested in one activity much more than another. Choosing a subject specific curriculum that is geared towards your child's interests and learning style can greatly enhance their education.

Does it really matter if children study astronomy or geology in seventh grade? It does if the child has been filling his/her pockets with rock since PreK and hasn't yet stopped. That child may really like researching those rocks on the internet and be so inspired to learn that you don't even need the curriculum. Geology would be a much better subject specific choice for that child. Selecting subject specific curriculum takes more research time for the parent who is responsible for the education, but can really pay off. The better the curriculum works for the child the less effort required by the parent who is teaching the topic. Subject specific curriculum greatly increases education options by offering both grade level and interest options.

Finally, companies who specialize in one subject tend to be successful because they have developed a unique style of teaching that subject which appeals to many homeschooling families. By teaching with subject specific curriculum you can take advantage of these innovations and learn with the best quality materials that appeal to your child.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...