How to Go Curriculum Free in Your Homeschool
Have you ever wondered, "How do people go curriculum free in their homeschool? What does that look like?"
Let me tell you my story.
I remember meeting a woman (we’ll call her June) before we began home educating, who was homeschooling her five children. She was an authentic pioneer, being one of the very first to openly home educate in B.C.
As I experienced and observed her children, I was struck at how well-rounded they were, how articulate, how confident and engaged, and how well educated. When I conversed with them, it was evident that they were doing very well as learners.
As I was interested in homeschooling, I wanted to know how she did it. I asked where she got her curriculum. She was so casual in her response, it surprised me, “I don’t use curriculum, Therese. It isn’t necessary in family life.”
Boom! That rocked my preconceptions! When you come through the system like me, you assume that the model for teaching and learning must come out of a professionally, organized, and proper textbook, workbook, or package.
It doesn't have to, though. Let's take a look at how you can go curriculum free in your homeschool.
As my conversation went on with June, I was even more surprised as she frame worked her children’s learning that day around collecting eggs, reading stories together and talking about them, cooking together, making a pop bottle rocket, and playing Clue.
I was skeptical. It wasn’t that long before I realized that it was activities just like those she mentioned, that produced the most enthusiasm, participation, and good fruits in my own children.
Our early Shakespeare play-acting, our nature walks and sketching time, the excursion out to the creek to watch the salmon make their way upstream, and the many, many readaloud gatherings were our best educational times. Natural learning became our model.
It didn’t mean I was unstructured or flying by the seat of my pants. It did mean that my number one criteria for a lesson was centered around meaning and purpose. If you are going to learn something, it should make you more alive, reveal goodness and truth, and have you actively thinking and engaged.
I did use a math program as it is a sequential and exacting kind of learning. Other than that, the world was truly our curriculum. I say this in my e-book on 10 Ways to be Curriculum Free:
A good test of homeschooling success can be found by asking a few good questions:
Are my children happy as learners?
Are they engaged and cooperative?
Do my children talk about what they are learning and ask more questions about their experience?
Doing a quick and honest assessment of our own thoughts is also important.
Am I enjoying my role as parenthomeschooler?
Is my teaching meaningful and growing closer relationship with my children?
Am I holding back from a more natural way of educating because of fear or lack of know-how?
Perhaps today is the day to look at even some small changes. Homeschooling without curriculum does not have to be this overwhelming leap into the unknown. It can be the simple unfolding of your daily life, following curiosity with intention and meaning.
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10 ways to be curriculum free is hands down the quickest way to free up your homeschooling and to create a fun and engaging environment for learning.
Ready to see delighted learners?
Set aside the worksheets and get ready for adventurous learning with curious questions.