After my last entry, I feel the need to clarify my feelings about curriculum. I'm very thankful that there is a lot of good curriculum out there. It is great for classroom teachers, especially when they are new to their grade level. There are always way more good ideas than anyone could ever use. It is great that a teacher, unexperienced in education, can pick up a curriculum and teach the necessary concepts. The dangers with curriculum are many. They can easily turn the learning process into a dry, rote method of completing work. I have also seen them do the same for the teaching process. They often have great enrichment ideas that are never even explored by teachers who get into the rut of daily lesson plans. Teachers who are in a rut are not inspiring to learners. In the education world, teachers are too highly trained to depend so much on curriculum. I believe it does a disservice to our children, our teachers, and our education systems when we adhere too strictly to them. In homeschool, we have the luxury of being able to go at our own pace, do what we are interested in, and spend large amounts of time on a project that we can delve into deeply. I know what my child needs to know, in large part because of my education background. Also because I know my child. A lot of homeschooling parents haven't been trained in how to build a foundation of understanding in each subject area. And for that, I'm thankful for curriculum.
In our case, my son just completed the Peabody Assessment which was administered by a woman locally in her home while I observed. It took a little over an hour. It took a little longer than average for us because William likes to take his time. And also because he is well above grade level in all subjects and in this test they need to get a certain number of questions wrong before each section of the test will stop. After a while, I was rooting for him to get questions wrong so he could be done - especially in the reading comprehension section. I'm assuming if we do this test again next year it will take less time since she knows where he was at this year. But my point is that the last thing my son needs is a second grade curriculum or even a third grade curriculum, thank you very much :)
My son needs real life experiences. He needs to take his hard earned money and go to Target. He needs to play the piano. He needs to run outside and ride his bike. He needs to play with his friends. He needs to train his new puppy. He needs to learn to behave appropriately in a variety of situations. He needs to learn to greet people. He needs to learn to take turns when talking. He needs to eat well. And sleep well. He needs to be loved and cherished. He needs to realize his talents. And accept his faults. He needs to learn to persevere through frustration. And know when and how to ask for help. These types of goals are ones that we believe we can work on best at home and it's going great!