Friday, May 20, 2011

To Curriculum or Not Curriculum

This coming school year is the first official year we are homeschooling.  We are more interest led than anything else.  However, with the impending dark cloud hovering above us, that is the public school system, I feel like I need to purchase a curriculum.  I am feeling like there are certain things my kid will miss out on by not attending school - like silly songs, for one.  We don't listen to "kid" music really.  From birth, our kids have listened to the band Clutch
They request the songs, they sing them while playing with their army men.  My almost two-year-old requests the album to be played.  If I turn on the radio he yells, "Mama! Clutch! Louder! Pleeeeaaassssse?!" 
Only recently have my children been interested in typical kid-geared music.  They LOVE The Wiggles.  They love The Imagination Movers.  I just borrowed Snack Time by The Barenaked Ladies.  My boys are absolutely in love with "789" and "The Ninjas".  It's like BNL are speaking directly to them. 
I digress...
We don't use a preschool curriculum.  We don't do circle time.  We don't sit around and sing songs accompanied by finger play. 
Okay, so "This Little Piggy" and "Pat-a-cake" don't really count...
I checked out Enki.  This is a very holistic way of educating your child.  I love what they have to offer:

"Enki Education offers a unique and innovative classroom & homeschool curriculum. Ours is a Global Cultures Curriculum in which ALL academic learning is introduced through the arts.

Our Classroom & Homeschool curriculum weave together many diverse elements in order to support our fundamental premise: the central task of education, whether in the classroom or homeschool, is the integration of body, heart, and mind within each child. The result is the cultivation of educational excellence, confidence & competence.
This individual wellbeing is inseparable from the wellbeing of the communities of our lives – families, neighbors, the global community. For this reason, we have developed a Classroom and Homeschool curriculum in which the children can see their own strengths & struggles reflected in all peoples, and can experience human greatness in all, regardless of nationality, race, or religion."

Unfortunately, our budget could not expand enough to let Enki play a part in our lives.  I sought my local homeschooling group's help and found an alternative to Enki:  Earthschooling.
I'm not going to deny it...I'm a hippie and I love the name Earthschooling.  Shut up, okay?
Earthschooling is brought to you by the lovely people of the Waldorf school. 
Here is a brief synopsis of what Earthschooling is:

"The new generation of eclectic schoolers considers the entire earth their school. We don't stay at home. Some travel the USA or the world or have a classroom outdoors. We may "homeschool" part-time or full-time or we may be involved in after-school or weekend enrichment activities. What we all have in common is that we base our schooling on the needs of our family & we create our own "ideal school" from the many varied resources available."

Earthschooling is affordable.  I mean, really affordable.
You can try it for a month for $35. 
The Kindergarten Curriculum is $85
Granted, there are also the supplies you need/should/might want to buy. 
The site sells them for just under $100.  I'm quite sure you could piece meal it all together for much less than that if you're savvy and frugal. 

Now, I just have to figure out if I should buy the Kindergarten curriculum or the First Grade one.  I know, my son would be entering Kindergarten next year.  He just seems so much older than Kindergarten.  I'm now going to hash this out in my blog:
1.  If I get the Kindergarten curriculum, I can supplement with other things if I needed to.
2.  Kindergarten curriculum could also be used simultaneously with my four-year-old, and then later on, for my youngest.
3.  We'll get to sing silly songs.
4.  Why rush him...I would love to keep him little forever, so what's another year?

Okay, Kindergarten Curriculum it is.  Now, off to tell the husband I need $85 for silly songs...



Jennifer Fink said...

So what did you decide?

I used to worry that my boys wouldn't learn Christmas songs if they're not in school. I mean, after all, I learned all my Christmas songs by singing in my schools' annual Christmas concerts. Then I realized that driving around in the car with the Christmas station on has the same exact educational effect with far less pain.

bugsboysandbooboos said...

I am still deciding...I don't want to be "trapped" in a curriculum because while my son may lack in the area of finger play songs, he's mastered adding and subtracting single-digits plus some easy division. Fortunately, Earthschooling offers a try-it-out month, so I may do that and see where it takes us. I honestly just think I'm freaking out...
And thanks for the comment, Jennifer!