“How do you know what to teach your child?” I have had this question quite a few times since we told people we were going to homeschool our children. My answer is usually, “There are some great online resources available.”
But, sometimes a feeling of insecurity comes over me and I ask myself the question: Do I know what I need to teach my child? Am I doing the right thing? I’m not a teacher by trade. Maybe I would do something wrong.
In January my husband and I went to a curriculum fair. We talked to a nice lady of a Christian publisher, and she had a nice offer for a unit study to try. It came with three posters, the activities weren’t too scholastic, and it had also hands-on and outdoor activities. With my insecurity about teaching the right way, and all the hours I spend to create my own unit studies every month in the back of my head, we decided to buy that unit study.
At home I opened the book, and I was astonished. What stood out most were the pages and pages with learning goals. It contained 20 pages of learning goals, followed by 24 activities for three- to six-year-olds.
Observing my preschooler on 12 points while reading a short story?!? Did I miss something? Did I do something wrong? Do I need to set up an activity to teach my kids to set the table? No! We set the table three times a day. They learn how to do that. But, that is not “doing school.” Or, is it?!
Working with this curriculum made me realize I don’t have to feel uncertain about teaching my preschoolers. I know what’s important to our family. I know what I want to teach my children. We are homeschoolers, so we don’t have to teach how, what, and when the schools teach.
Buying this set curriculum had some pros and cons.
- low prep time,
- meets the goals set up by the state, and
- the children liked it.
- some activities geared towards a group, so my family with two children couldn’t do those, and
- therefore, I was still tweaking the unit study to our own needs.
Is buying a curriculum wrong? No. You have to do what works for you in your current circumstances. It may fit your family, but in our case the cons won this time.
Did we waste money by buying the unit study? No. My children had fun and learned, and mom learned as well. Starting some kind of homeschooling so early is partly for me as a mom to learn — to learn what homeschooling is, to learn what and how to teach, to get some confidence.
I hope to encourage you with what I have learned so far:
- You can’t do anything wrong if you love your child(ren).
- Tell them about God and His love.
- Keep an eye on building good, Christian character.
- Lead by example.
- Go outside, get some fresh air, and enjoy nature.
- Nourish their curiosity by answering their questions.
- Play together. Have fun!