Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Map and Compass

A friend asked me if I had a math or science curriculum I followed or if I...ah...made it up. I think I scandalized her by telling her I made it up (she follows a school model for her kindergartener), and, after some thought, that's not true, really.

I know where my kids are (except maybe Leena). I know where they need to be at the end of high school. This is a trip I've taken myself. And I use a variety of maps to see how others make the journey (and to make sure I don't miss any interesting stops on the way). I would call looking at the "What your ____ Grader Should Know" series, looking at state standards, seeing what my friends are doing in their home schools, looking at CM, having a basic skills workbook on hand, etc. all kinds of maps. Lastly, I have a God given internal compass: a sense for what is right for each child on their journey, and when I need to try a new direction.

Do we ever get lost? I've found a few dead ends, sure, but most of our off the map wanderings have taken us to new and interesting places. I respect anyone's right to home school their kids as they see fit, of course, but I don't personally believe the school model is the best way to learn.

That's why I'll use plenty of maps, but, in the end, I'll chart my own way.

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