Little do people know that when they are on the search for homeschool curriculum, what they are looking for isn’t the best book or superior materials — they are searching for themselves. When they find that perfect curriculum, and that perfect set of activities, projects, approaches to education, they have found what was already inside them. They have found themselves, and they have found their children.
When we know ourselves, and we know our kids, the search for curriculum stops, and it becomes a process of endless discovery.
When we search outside of ourselves for the answer, we will look forever, until we find the thing that mirrors back onto ourselves. When we get that mirror, we can give the outside thing the credit, or we can admit that, in fact, that thing is what we are looking for because it showed us who we are. Everything we need is inside us already. It just sometimes takes things on the outside to show that to us. Then the question is, can we be honest about it?
Searching for the right curriculum for our kids at home is a worthy search, so long as we realize it’s a search for discovering our children, not a search for a way to make our children be the ideal person we want them to be. If we have an ideal of who our children are supposed to be, we’ll be searching for the right curriculum until our children leave home.
I propose that we change our search for curriculum into a frame of mind of discovery. When we see it as a window into our children’s world, and into our own hearts, it will become an entirely different process. And the best thing? It creates less grief. Because instead of being frustrated that a curriculum doesn’t work, instead, we can be glad because it has taught us something about ourselves and our children. Every trial and error we make adds to the equation, and no effort is worthless, no time is wasted, and probably the most important, no money is wasted.
Curriculum is not the enemy. It’s not any more an enemy as the proverbial hammer is to a new carpenter. How and why we use any kind of non-experiential curriculum (i.e. workbooks and textbooks) is far more important than whether or not we are using it in the first place.