Sunday, September 20, 2009

Not all curricula are created equal.

Holy moly did I get a shock this week. My very sweet (and very christian) neighbor and I were talking homeschooling, and she was telling me about her favorite computer based curriculum: Switched on Schoolhouse. She had 3rd grade, and I asked to borrow it, thinking that it would break up the possible tedium of Pablo always doing workbooks. We got it, we loaded it only our ancient computer, and I started to look it over. Let the horror begin.

I mean, I knew when I loaded it that it had a christian bias, since we opted NOT to load the bible disk. What I didn't know was how pervasive it would be. Science started out with, no kidding, "Just as Adam and Eve did blah blah blah..." I was amazed at how completely inundated with biblical stuff it was. ***Now, to each their own, so don't get offended that I am not bursting with excitement at my child being exposed to christianity. I just want him to have a healthy dose of exposure when he is mature enough to understand this religion (along with others) in its context and not just blindly drink the koolaid. Religion should be a thoughtful choice, made with ALL the information.

Far and away the bigger shock was the fact that this "3rd grade" curriculum was about 2 years behind anything else I had seen. Step one for Language Arts was identifying missing letters from the alphabet, and hey, did we know that the missing ones are vowels etc. Science was stuff like "these are called plants." No kidding. I was shocked at just how behind (my concept of) grade level it was. It brought back my childhood memories of my same age niece and nephew being homeschooled, and how they were always doing these workbooks that were 2 and 3 years behind what I was doing in school. It was really strange to me that they always seemed so behind.
To me the greatest advantage of homeschooling is going at the child's pace. Artificially making it easier just doesn't make sense. Just let the child go at their pace and move through the grades as they are able, without calling 1st grade 3rd grade!

Oh well, back to workbooks for now.

1 comment:

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