The other day, I saw someone ask on a certain homeschooling forum for help finding a curriculum to teach her kids how to do their chores and learn home economics. If I recall, the kids were in early elementary school. I bit my tongue (or held my fingers?) and didn’t respond with something snarky like, “Good grief, just print out a chore chart and be done with it!”
I feel perfectly confident that there will be gaps in my kids’ learning. However, there’s going to be gaps whether I buy a curriculum or not. There’s going to be gaps whether they’re homeschooled or schooled. Everyone has things they really ought to have learned but didn’t. Conversely, everyone has things they learned that they really didn’t need to unless they happen to be on Jeopardy.
The other day, Through the Wardrobe posted about how you just don’t need a creative writing curriculum. Here, here! However, that got me thinking. All my life, I’ve written and read books for pleasure. The world of words is a comfortable one for me. In my former life, I taught humanities. I feel no intimidation about needing a curriculum for humanities. We have books, like Story of the World, to use as guidelines for history, but I don’t feel married to them. We don’t even have guidebooks for reading writing, unless you count the handwriting practice books. Nor can I imagine getting any.
On the other hand, we have two math curricula we’re drawing from and I probably overplanned science in my zeal to make it a bit more organized this year. I wonder how much of that reflects my level of comfort with those subjects. I don’t worry about English or history because those are things I know the best. Math and science are interesting and fun to me, but they’re not the subjects that I excelled at in school. I haven’t taken a formal math class since high school (I do not count the odd, if inspiring, math seminar I took at Mount Holyoke as “formal”) and I’ve never in my life studied physics formally, which is essentially our science topic for the year.