Margaret brought up a couple points in her comments that I thought I would comment on in a post. I think mainly there is this tension that all home school moms have of if we are doing enough, doing the right thing, focusing on the right things etc. There are a lot of voices clamoring for attention in the home school world and many of them have their own agendas too. From curriculum they want to sell, to just having the desire to want to be the "advice givers" to the homeschooling community. Or just really enthusiastic about what they are doing and want to share the enthusiasm. Sometimes even that can send one home examining what they are doing at home and whether or not they should change things around and do what so-and-so is doing.
Are there some core things all home schooling kids should cover?
Well, I have a short list of things I really want all my kids to know, so I will put them forward here and they can be taken or left as one sees fit.
Bible. Backward, forward, inside out, upside down. Grand scope of sweeping through the history of Israel to the little details of symbols and (in our church this comes naturally) chiastic structures.
Church History. Have you ever pondered why history is read through political eyes? The rise and fall of governments and kingdoms? But our children have citizenship in a kingdom that has been since the beginning of time and has a future that will never end. Thus I would put forth that church history is the most important history they can study. I feel it's more important that they know the stories of the saints, martyrs, theologians, reformers and missionaries than it is to know kings and presidents. We do all history, of course, but I do try to cover this one as a priority.
Work. Not my strongest because it is usually painful for both me and them, but I'm trying to do better.
Math facts. Math was miserable for me simply because I didn't know my facts by heart. I really try to make sure these are drilled in.
Now the next two are ones that I wish I had done better when my older ones were younger but I want to make sure it gets into my younger ones. One is a positive attitude. I have been known to be a bit of an Eeyore. But when I started hearing it echoed by my children I decided that wasn't such a good thing. I am seeing how limiting the negative attitude and negative self image are and I'm really working on how I self talk and how I talk to them. After all, it really doesn't matter what a wonder kid you may have if they don't believe they can do anything they won't try. I want to work on instilling in my kids that they can do anything God is calling them to do and they can learn anything they need to learn. I wish I had done better at this for my older ones.
The other is Speech. Elisa has been attending a speech group connected with this national group. I can't tell you how impressive these kids are. They know what they believe, but not only that, they know how to say it. This is where tomorrows leaders are being made.We put Forrest off graduating for another year just so he can at least take one year of it, and I plan to make all my kids go through it. We are using the Jeff Meyers book "Secrets of Great Communicators" as our home study and Elisa is working on a speech for a competition on Sadhu Sundar Singh. Next year Irene will start.
Jeff Meyers makes the point that if you will over come your fear of public speaking and will learn to do it well, you are already ahead of 90% of the people because most people won't speak. It's exciting that there is one subject that can put your kid that far ahead in the game.
Of course we do do science, math, literature, art, but all my kids have varied experiences in these areas. For example my son hates to read fiction so the only lit he's really had is what I've read aloud. Shayleen on the other hand reads everything. Forrest does a lot of music. Elisa won't touch an instrument, but she does more science... I just figure we all have our place in God's world....