As Home Schooling/Home Education/Unschooling increases in popularity, questions about which curriculum to use often props up. It is naturally straight forward for families who are homeschooling in their home country but families not living in their passport country, this is an issue. There is a growing number of families in developed and developing countries who are also choosing to home school due to discontentment with the public school system.
Having wrestled with this question myself personally at the Learning Lab, I have found that there are no easy answers. There are so many factors at play from the learning style of the child, to my teaching/learning style to the issue of costs and time. Just a few to begin with. Here are two factors which I think are significant when considering which curriculum to use:
- Where will the child is most likely to go to for pre-university and tertiary education. This somewhat determines the of language medium of instruction. Even if it is English, there are different spelling rules and literary styles practiced in different English speaking countries.
- What is the approach behind a particular curriculum. I am most familiar with the UK and Singapore curriculum. Books are published in line with the National Curriculum of both countries. Being able to read the standards set and basis with which books are based upon helps in seeing where the direction with which the building blocks of daily exercises area heading to.
Having explored different options through the years I have come to the conclusion that really there is no perfect curriculum, just as there is no perfect school. A curriculum is a tool and like any tool; its use is dependent on the skill of the one who uses it.
As in any skill, it take time and commitment to develop the skill. I have learned over the years to lower my expectations of myself and my children. Education after all is a journey, an adventure of discovery. A home school curriculum is just a tool. I have adapted, adhered to and occasionally even abandoned some exercises for a variety of reasons. The curriculum is after all; not the Captain of the ship.