What a gift homeschooling is. Over my years as a educational consultant, I have had the privilege of seeing many students who struggle. I have also had the privilege of seeing many homeschool parents who are grateful for the opportunity to homeschool and willing to do what it takes to help their children. Gifted children, challenged children, perfectionists, and those who are disabled—all can find success with homeschooling.
The heart of their parents has been inspirational. They will read, learn, listen, discuss, and pray for wisdom. Often the world's counsel has been discouraging, so they often come with a hope, but not much in the way of tangible encouragement. My pleasure is to help them customize their homeschooling program to meet their child's particular needs. That is one of the wonders of homeschooling. There is no limit to the innovation and adaptation that can take place, fitting curricula to needs, teachers to students, schedules to stamina, interests to motivation.
While all children need a program that fits them particularly, there are those children who desperately need this chance for success. Ruth Beechick has often reminded us not to be afraid to blaze your own trail and make the most of what works. Don't worry about what your homeschooling friends do or use. Remember, you are God's perfect provision for your child. Don't be apologetic, be proactive. Don't hold back, go forward in confidence. Your calling to homeschool your precious children will carry you.
Let your curriculum choices flow from your own relationship with your children and with God. There is a wealth of information on the Internet or at your local curriculum fair that helps you figure out what’s available. Here are some practical ideas that we hope will help.
Use your own sense of what is best and don’t rely too much on the advice of others. I know moms who relied on others and later regretted it. I have done this too. For guidance on general expectations, you can use information in Dr. Ruth Beechick’s books for a “spine,” as some people like to call it. But do not follow this, or any spine, slavishly. Choose what you think is best, and make changes when they seem needed. God will guide you.
Good curriculum offers flexibility, so you can use it the way that best fits your children. Keep it as your servant, not your master. If the curriculum demands total adherence for success, you can ignore that demand. Or even choose another curriculum if that seems easier.
A curriculum may come to you highly recommended¸ but you must have God’s peace in using it. If you feel stressed when you use a curriculum, it is easy to transfer the stress to your children. God has a perfect plan for your family. Seek that plan rather than just follow the path of those around you. When you strive too hard to keep up with schoolwork, or constantly pressure children to finish their work, you may want to rethink your choices.
You want both good fruit and peace when using curriculum. So begin by choosing the best you can, but remember that you can make changes at any time.