Saturday, July 17, 2010

My "Go To" Book

I've been asked many times recently how I've picked curriculum for home school. I purchased my own copy of The Well Trained Mind by Jesse Wise and her daughter, Susan Wise Bauer, several months ago. I have been so impressed with the Classical Education model and had skimmed a library copy but the time had come to have my own! Not only do they give the reasoning behind this method, they give the outline for every year and their top curriculum suggestions. It saved me many hours of research and aggravation. 
My recommendation is that you get as many free samples as you can from the different publishers and see what you like and what you don't. Most importantly, monitor the response of your little students. No matter how well it works for everyone else, it may not work for your child and don't assume that it will or will not work for all of your children. After all, one of the major advantages of home schooling is that you can tailor the learning experience and method to each child. 
I have always said that "one size fits all" education is really "one size fits no one" so don't think that I'm opposed to other methods. Far from it. It just happens that this particular educational model is one that my son and I have both responded to and enjoyed. On the other hand, this may not be the best approach for Anna Marie. She has Down Syndrome and her educational path will most likely need to be very different from Baker's. She will be starting at a developmental preschool in a few weeks so I have a couple of years to research what might work best for her. (I'm open to suggestions, by the way, so feel free to comment.) 
I will admit that this has been the hardest part of homeschooling for me - the curriculum selection. I have been overwhelmed with the choices and the self-imposed pressure of choosing the "perfect" mix. Ultimately, my child will learn and anything that isn't working well can be adapted or switched out with something else. Nothing is irreversible. I will do the best job I can and rest in my GOD that has us in His grip. I would encourage you to do the same. Enjoy the journey and adventure of learning!
Search for The Well Trained Mind 2009

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