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Choosing Homeschool Curricula With Your Goals in Mind: Day 2 of 5 Days of Choosing Homeschool Curricula

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Yesterday was the first day of the Five Days Of... Blog Hop over at the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog. If you tuned in here, you saw my first post about Choosing Homeschool Curricula.

Today I'm going to talk about one of the most important things to consider when looking at the vast array of curricula available for your homeschooling.

Considering your goals when choosing hoemschool curriculum

What is the purpose of your homeschooling? What are your goals? So often I hear homeschoolers talking about homeschooling, and there is a definite vagueness about what they are doing. They are not intentional. They know they want to homeschool, but they aren't really sure why they are doing what they are doing.

In order to truly be focused and know what to teach your children, you must be intentional. Start by having a vision/purpose statement for your family. This doesn't have to be elaborate, but it does need to be specific. Decide what God's purpose for you as a family is and what your vision is for your family.

Once you have a vision, think about how homeschooling fits into that vision. "If it is God's desire that our family do...., then our homeschooling should include..."

Once you have something to aim for, a vision, then choosing curricula can be easier.

If you are homeschooling because you desire academic excellence, because you want your children to achieve in a highly academic field, then the curricula you choose should be rigorous.

If working together as a family fits in with your vision and your goals, then you will probably choose unit studies and other curricula that you can use with multiple ages.

If you are strongly focused on having your children develop a Christian worldview, then you will choose curricula that is distinctly Christian, from a Christian publisher.

If you are very mission minded as a family, your curricula choice should allow you and your children to learn about needs in other parts of the world.

If your vision and goals include eventually having your children attend a traditional school, your curricula should prepare them for the setting of a regular school.

Once you have a focus, you can evaluate any curricula you choose in light of that focus. Read about publishers of the curricula you are considering. Don't just choose it because it works great for a friend and her family. Evaluate how it fits into your family's vision and goals.

Here is how it works for us practically.

* Our general purpose statement is the first catechism- "Man's chief end is to glorify God and love Him forever." Our vision is to live life as a family in such a way that our children develop a Christian worldview and constantly desire to seek God's will for their lives. We long for a strong family bond that encourages our children to be open and communicative so that we can reach their hearts in our discipline and instruction.

* To that end our goals include helping our children develop a strong Christian worldview, deliberately choosing activities that allow our family to have strong bonds, serving and giving with our children so that they have a desire to further God's work in the world, and educating our children in such a way that they have lots of academic and extracurricular activities that give them options to be able to fit into whatever God has for them as they grow.

* Because of this, any curricula we choose:

1. Has a strong Christian worldview focus.
2. Emphasizes the needs of all people to have a relationship with Christ.
3. Is somewhat rigorous in an academic sense so that they have the option of college or further schooling if that is God's will.
3. Provides as many opportunities as possible for us to do things together as a family.

* This helps to narrow the field of curricula choices for me. If it doesn't fit this vision and these goals, I don't need to consider it further, no matter who loves it and how wonderful it seems.

Tomorrow, I'll post about how to narrow the scope of your search for the perfect curricula even further as you consider your teaching style and your children's learning styles.

Don't forget to go check out what other Review Crew members are blogging about this week:





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