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Teaching to a Goal

 

How do you know what to teach?  Kristen over at the TOS Blog Cruise asked us this question.  My instinctive response was

 

I don’t really know what to teach or when.  We just kind of learn….  It seems to work for us, although I keep trying to be more organized about learning.

 

Then, one night when I woke up at midnight, I realized that we do have a fairly defined way of homeschooling, so I decided to come out of hibernation to share it.

 

It begins with our homeschool goal, which is

 

to equip our children to love the Lord their God

with all their hearts,

all their souls and

all their minds

and to love their neighbor as themselves.

 

With those goals, it’s fairly obvious what to teach: 

 

1. the Bible (including Bible history, Bible memory, Psalms and hymns, Christian living including character issues, and worldview),

2. communication (reading, writing, art, literature, music, computer applications, typing, languages), 

3. mathematics and other studies of how God created and runs the world (nature studies, science, logic, geography, history, and current events issues),

4. practical living (time management, cooking, health, gardening, animal care, driving, home and yard maintenance, finances, and more). 

 

This year, we’re also concentrating on using Homeschool Crew products so that I can review them for you, but so far all of the products have fit into the above categories. 

 

When do we teach these different things?  Bible begins at a very young age, obviously.  So do languages, art and music appreciation, and practical living.  Following Raymond and Dorothy Moore’s research, we do not value early formal learning in the skill areas of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Once the children are older, though, we push them, encouraging rigorous learning and striving for excellence.  We aim to meet high standards in all traditional subject areas, since our children all seem capable of this. 

 

Once our children are in high school we also use provincial guidelines for the main subject areas, but again, the work falls into our broad goals as outlined above.  We also look at university and college requirements that seem to suit their interests, and this helps determine what topics they emphasize in high school. Their interests also determine what jobs and other opportunities we encourage them to pursue…and of course, we also encourage activities they currently have no interest in, just to broaden their horizons.   

 

For more answers to the question, "How do you know what to teach?" see the TOS Blog Cruise . 

And now I’ll go back to puzzling and having fun with my company.    See you again later this week.

 

Annie Kate

 

2 Comments

  1. jenn4him says:

    Once I grasped the understanding that there is no one scared body of knowledge, I was able to relax and not worry so much about all the details in learning, but focus on the basics. They can add to their own knowledge things that interest them. I give the basics, they go deeper into areas they are drawn. That works for us.

    Jenn

  2. AnnieKate says:

    Yes, I think that is a key point, Jenn. Focus on the basics and let the children dig deeper. And, boy, do they ever dig deep!

    Annie Kate

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