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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: A{nother} Change in our Homeschool Plan

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A{nother} Change in our Homeschool Plan

Being a "mouse trap" with felt cheese
In my review of this past school year, I mentioned several places that I would share more later.  Well, here is one time I'm actually going to follow through with one of those promises!

The five of us were all loaded in the car one day in February.  Well, six of us if you include Belle, who was sharing my seat belt... and my body for that matter.  We run our errands together.  The whole family.  And this was one such outing.

"You know," My Beloved started as we turned passed the house that always counts down Christmas, "it's probably almost time for you to get a curriculum for Tornado."

I went hot.  He continued.

Toilet Paper Roll Pilgrims and Indian Craft at Thanksgiving
"You're not going to be able to be consistent enough on your own."  

We'd had conversations about curriculum half a dozen times or more over the last couple years.  But this was the first time he'd said that last part.  The first time he'd had some solid evidence.  The first time I knew he was right.

I wanted to argue.  Like every other time he'd mentioned curriculum.  I don't like curriculum.  We don't need curriculum,  I wanted to say.  I was tempted to dive into my heated explanation about how "homeschooling doesn't have to be just like a classroom."  To explain that I could come up with my own plans.  But I didn't.

I've been realizing that communication is always something that needs to be worked on...even in a happy marriage.  Out of no where it occurred to me that I should make sure I knew what he meant by "curriculum" before I got offended and upset at the notion.  When he said curriculum, I imagined he meant some all inclusive every subject and everything spelled out for me kind of curriculum.  He didn't.  I'm so glad I asked.

Planting flower seedlings

My initial burning was forced out as I started cautiously, measuring my words for calm.  "What do you mean by curriculum?"  There.  That was a normal conversational question.  Not an attack.  Not defensive.  Not as defensive as I was feeling anyway.

And I'm so glad I did.

Turns out, he didn't mean an all inclusive, take away my flexibility and creativity in educating the children kind of curriculum.  He didn't mean structuring our home school day like a classroom.  He meant math.  And handwriting.

That's all.

Math and handwriting.

"Oh," I said, shocked.  Is it possible that this is what he's always meant when mentioning curriculum in the past?  I have no idea.  I try not to think about it too much.  "I can do that."

So there you have it.  My Beloved, the leader of our marriage, head of our home, and official "buck stops here" guy of all things children, thought it was about time to start Tornado on an official math and handwriting program.  Now that wasn't so hard after all.  I didn't completely disagree.  More than that?  It was such a relief to have "permission" to "cop out" of designing the whole program from scratch.  And I can still do what I've been planning for the other stuff.

Next Week:  What came of this decision.

An aside:  There are a lot of great curriculums.  I don't mean this post to be an attack on curriculum, or on those of you who use it.  I know it is a great tool.  I simply mean that I've never wanted to use it and have always pictured myself coming up with my own stuff.  I hope I haven't offended anyone.  If you love pre-made curriculum... go for it!

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At July 6, 2012 at 10:55 PM , Blogger Kristin said...

You know, I hadn't really thought about it before, but those are the two subjects we use a "curriculum" for-- math and handwriting (well, English, in general). Otherwise, we just wing it with stuff I've pulled together. Starting this year, though, we're also going to use a book for history.

At July 7, 2012 at 10:37 AM , Blogger ~Babychaser~ said...

I do a lot of pulling together myself. :)


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