How to Choose a Curriculum for Young Learners

 

If you’re dabbling with the idea of homeschooling your little one this fall, you may be wondering about WHICH curriculum to use, and whether you even NEED a curriculum as you begin your homeschool journey.

And If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a parent who values play, creativity and nurturing your child’s wonder about the world.

You're likely the kind of parent who believes in a slow, gentle and natural approach to learning, and don’t like the idea of pushing hard academics, prolonged periods of seatwork, and countless worksheets and flashcards.

These ARE the good old days, and you know childhood’s too short and precious to sit at a desk for five hours a day.

 Truth be told, you don’t NEED a curriculum for the early years.

Learning in the early years should be play-based, experiential, capturing our children’s wonder and delight in their curiosity.  It should be free of pressure, gentle and slow.

In fact, formal schooling is not even mandatory until the age of 7 for most parts of the world.

In the schools of Reggio Emilia, there is virtually no curriculum.  Emergent curriculum is what they call it - and learning is co-constructed based on the wonderings and curiosities of children. 

No pre-determined plans, activities or lessons. Totally child-led and unprescribed.

But maybe part of YOU wants a bit of a plan. Some structure and rhythm. Perhaps you just want some guidance, direction and inspiration. 

Part of you feels called to provide some kind of an educational framework: a gentle roadmap to ensure you’re not missing anything. A roadmap that is delightful and creative, not prescriptive and robotic. PLAYFUL with a PLAN. 

A framework to help you feel competent and confident you’re giving your child the best possible start to lifelong learning.

The truth is, parents who are equipped with research-based tools, and proven strategies to set a solid foundation, feel competent, equipped and confident that they can take this homeschool journey a long way. 

They second-guess themselves a lot less (although there is still some of that for everyone!) and they are less likely to get into power-struggles with their kids - which ultimately SQUASH learning and strains relationships - because they know about what is developmentally appropriate, and they are closely aligned with their child’s learning style and interests.  

Regardless of what curriculum you choose, and what STYLE speaks to you - there are countless! - remember that teaching is both an ART and SCIENCE, and homeschooling is not something that is figured out over night. What works for one family may not work for another.

Schedules, routines, rhythms and flows vary from family to family. 

YOU are ultimately in charge. The beauty of a home education is that you have freedom and flexibility to do what is right for YOU and your child. You may find yourself blending a mix of different styles - maybe a play-based approach, supplemented with workbooks or nature-study supplemented with educational apps... the permutations are endless! 

The beauty of a home education is that YOU get to decide what works for you, your child and your family context.

Nearly two years ago, I wrote a curriculum framework that was based in years of teaching as a Reggio-inspired public school educator, graduate research, and finally creating my own private home education enrichment program, Brillante Beginnings.

The curriculum is rooted in a gentle, experiential, creative way of learning, tapping into our children’s HUNDRED LANGUAGES, and giving them opportunity to show what they know in many, many ways.

Kids who are movement-based, kinesthetic learners  - love it, because of all the active learning; kids who are more artistic will love the invitations to create, and kids who are more mathematical/logical love it for all of the hands-on number sense learning.  

It’s a hybrid mix of child-led Reggio-inspired learning with teacher-guided academics.

It’s play-based learning with a plan. This creative curriculum has helped hundreds of modern homeschool families give their children a beautiful start to a lifelong learning. 

If you’re interested in learning more or joining our waitlist for the upcoming Spring Cohort, sign up here.

Inside you’ll be able to test drive a lesson to see if it’s a good fit for you!

It's the only all-in one, year-long K-1 curriculum that teaches all academics through the perfect blend of ART, PLAY and your child’s WONDER.

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