I gotta say it. Being the person 100% responsible to educate my children gets to be a little stressful sometimes. Of course, when we get down to it, all parents are 100% responsible for their child's education, but I digress. That's a topic for someone else's blog or maybe I'll get inspired to tackle it some day. Today I'm feeling overwhelmed and stressed about being the primary educator in the lives of my sweet cherubs. I'm not going to spend my time worrying about what other's view their responsibility to be with their own children (and wouldn't it be nice if more people had that philosophy so they would worry less about my little homeschooled students?).
Goodness. Digression is going to cause this blog to be about nothing if I don't get back to my topic. As I said, I am stressed and overwhelmed. Part of this stems from the fact that it is a little challenging to plan for a school year when you don't actually have half of our curriculum, you know? The other part of this stress stems from everything else that's out there with which we could be educating our children.By that I mean, there is so much great curriculum out there, and everyone has an opinion about what you should use, what works or doesn't, what is the best, easiest, most important, etc.... It. Is. STRESSFUL.
We have found that Charlotte Mason's philosophies work well for our family. It's relaxed. It doesn't push kids to do things they aren't developmentally ready to do. A friend of mine recently shared with me that while she thought she was a Charlotte Mason buff, she has found that she and her oldest child need a more concrete approach to language arts. I respect that. I was starting to be swayed by it even. I have spent a lot of time today researching writing curricula, comparing myself to other homeschooling moms, wondering if I was ruining my children and creating a lot of unnecessary anxiety for myself on top of the "how in the world are we going to buy the curriculum we have chosen for our kids in time for school" anxiety that I'm already struggling to give to the Lord.
Then came Eric. He sailed in and reminded me that you don't need to fix what isn't broken. He told me this last night, and I agreed. I decided to stick with our chosen language arts curriculum, but I was still not sold on whether or not we should purchase an actual writing curriculum. We have used Primary Language Lessons over the past two years with Lukas for the majority of his language arts, and he has developed exceptional writing and language arts skills through this program. His spelling, grammar usage and sentence structure have progressed so well. I have to admit, I didn't buy into it completely until I saw the results. The Charlotte Mason method seemed almost too easy for me at first, but after watching it in action these past two years (and really, we were doing it before we knew what the Charlotte Mason method was), I'm convinced that it's the way to go because it works so well.
This year, our plan is to move onto Intermediate Language Lessons, which will carry Lukas through the next three years of language arts unless we decide he needs something different. I just researched it a little, and, after glancing at the table of contents, I realized that all this time spent researching writing curricula was wasted time that just caused me unnecessary stress. It's all there. It really is. Why make things more complex than they need to be, right?
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
A motto by which we all should live.