Ah! Wasn't that a great post by her? I struggle with curriculum in a box, too...need the easier planning, yet, I like putting together my own "stuff", and using resources I have...anyhoo...great article!
I was so tempted to get a "box" this year, but a veteran homeschooling mom cautioned against it when I told her a bit about what I liked to do with the kids and what I hoped to accomplish next year. I am going to buy a set for math, though. It seems to be the best fit for us...though I'll know more once we start to use it!
Yes! I toyed with Math for awhile, but finally decided I needed something set--since each "box" does things differently, I chose a Math curriculum to stick to, hopefully for all the kids. We'll see, as my kids all grow--for now, we're using MathUSee and my two older kids do well with it. :) I love the freedom of planning my "own" lessons, in other subjects, but I struggle with "am I doing enough/right things..." as the kids progress further. I find such articles, as this one, reassuring!
I looked at MathUSee, but am leaning toward something else. I haven't ordered yet, though, so there's still time for me to change my mind.I'm not too worried about the content in kindergarten, because I think the danger early on is doing too much rather than too little. I have considered buying a syllabi from Mother of Divine Grace (Catholic classical curriculum) for later years and then just substituting as I think necessary. I feel like that way I'm less likely to miss something important but still can be flexible for our family....but that's at least a year down the road.
I totally agree, the danger of doing "too much" early on--and then it's amazing how much the younger ones soak up as the older ones grow. I am challenged, also, to keep education interesting and fun for my older children...to keep learning a lifestyle, not a set of lesson plans. It will be interesting to hear more of your plans, as time passes and homeschooling "officially" begins. I love reading what other homeschooling Moms do, gleaning book ideas, and creativity, and encouragement. :) This last year, I used My Father's World, which had definite strengths, but I still found myself "tweaking" it, skipping this, wanting that, etc, etc...some materials were "required" and I purchased them, but they weren't a good fit for us. I am still deciding whether or not to keep using it, as more of a "spine" and a fall-back for times when I can't do planning. I could return to piecing my own plan, but it often needed more time than I could give to it. When we pick up lessons again in July, we will be using MFW until we've run through the manual I purchased, but I expect to "toy" with it a lot, and determine if I want to purchase it again. It can be used as a "box" but does offer flexibility built-in, too. I still stretch it further!
I enjoyed reading this dialogue. I'm not a homeschool mom, but find the process very interesting. I cannot imagine finding the time in the day to prepare and teach lessons. I do the bulk of my "work" outside of the home, but find that the days that I am home, I'm more tired and worn out at the end of the day. I cannot imagine having my at home work increased by lessons. Impressive! Please continue to share your ideas, though. Because even though I don't hold "formal" school at home, I am interested in creating a positive learning environment at home. Appreciate it!
Kristin, our homeschool is going to be very minimal, even next year. We'll be doing a lot of reading (First Son to me and me to everyone) and playing. I'll have formal lessons for math and handwriting, but other than that you'd probably recognize it as just being an involved mom. In fact, Tiffany's summer plans (http://ourthreeb.blogspot.com/2009/06/trees-and-fruit-week-one.html) might even be more elaborate than what I was planning. (Isn't she amazing?)Of course, as First Son gets older we'll have to plan more, but I haven't committed to more than one year at a time.
Comments make me happy; thanks for speaking up!