Not all homeschool methods use curricula

Oregon’s Statemans Journal had an article about homeschooling, and included some information from a Bloomington support group leader.
Not all home school methods use curricula
Choices abound for parents who teach kids themselves

“We support one another,” said Shelly Nelson of the Crossroads Areas Home School Association of Bloomington, Ill. When people inquire about curriculum, Nelson said, she asks about their teaching style and their child’s learning style. “There are different ways to educate your children,” she said. “When you get to the junior high and high school level, I believe there is a great need for some books.”That doesn’t necessarily mean going to one curriculum company for all subjects, she said. “You choose the best curricula for each subject level.” But buying curricula and textbooks can be costly, especially if it means purchasing several until you find one you like. To help parents, the association’s National Home-School

Holding a Madagascar CockroachHonor Society chapter created a curriculum closet filled with material collected from publishers and home-school families. Some of the 400 or so volumes are religion-based; others are secular.

There were other suggestions about finding the best educational opportunities
for your child that keeps their interest and joy in learning.

Janice Hedin’s son was into model rockets, so she used that as a starting point for his home-school curriculum. Her daughter loved horses, and that became a focal point for her education.
“She owned it,” said Hedin, of Maple Valley, Wash. “It was hers. I didn’t have to force anything because she loved every minute of it.” Some home-school parents create their own curriculum for their kids. “There should never be a set curriculum,” Hedin said. “Every child is so unique. Our goal as parents is to custom design the education that fits our children.”

Follow the child’s passion, and there are endless opportunities to fill up the brain.  Helen Hegener provides more details about unit studies:

One popular form of home schooling is unit studies.
“Basically, take something like trains, say, and it’s amazing what you can learn,” Hegener said.

From an Illinois homeschool advocacy aspect, the reason why we need to keep pushing back against the IL State Board of Education and the Regional Offices of Education is to keep them from limiting us with Registration Forms asking to “provide the name of the curriculum to be used”. We are not required to provide the name of our curriculum -if we use curriculum – let alone fill out a Registration Form.  (The ISBE website link where the form is posted will not be linked here.   There is concern that ISBE gets  far too many hits and moves up a google search page with their “Home School” site as is. )

ISBE’s over-compliance requests for registration forms attempts to limit our autonomy and freedoms with too many questions about our children. The joys of homeschooling are that we can move at our children’s pace keeping track of their educational needs without worrying about filling out forms, or changing information on those forms.  Worse yet, we don’t need or want to be answering questions from a bureaucrat who knows nothing about our child. Some of us use curriculum.  Some of us mix up various curriculums.  Some of us don’t use curriculum.  (Our family got by fine without any science textbooks.) Homeschoolers have better ways to spend our time than filling out invasive, confusing forms.


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