Can We Talk About Our Unhealthy Obsession with Curriculum?

I’ve come to the realization that we parents – homeschool parents, to be precise – have an unhealthy obsession with curriculum.

Have you noticed that there seems to be a curriculum for EVERYTHING nowadays?? Your homeschool mom brain might think that’s a good thing, but is it?

Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

6 thoughts on “Can We Talk About Our Unhealthy Obsession with Curriculum?”

  1. Spot-on as usual, Shelly. I know from the homeschoolers I counsel and the database of homeschool resources I own that you are right. My goal with The Homeschool Resource Roadmap is to list and categorize everything homeschoolers can use – so they can go to one place and see all the options – and I still think that’s a good goal. But when I started (2013), I remember thinking, “There’s a lot more out there than I know of so I bet I’ll have to query 300 or more companies.” Well, guess what? Sticking only with what homeschoolers ask about and what is marketed to us in one way or another, there are now OVER 4,400 companies (not products but unique providers!) on The Roadmap – and more added almost every week. Some are very small outfits and “unconventional” but all of them are “curriculum” options in one way or another – and now I keep asking myself, “When will the market be saturated?!”

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  2. I have to laugh….I am totally the mom who bought the scissors workbook. The way I looked at it was this: Mama accountability. My youngest is lagging significantly in fine motor skills (among other things) and I figured I would pull out a page and pop it in his workbox for the day and BAM! skills practiced. It would be interesting to come back to this conversation once I have a few more years of homeschooling under my belt. I am only in my first year of homeschooling.

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    1. I’ve been homeschooling a decade, we aren’t rigid about curriculum, but I bought the scissor workbook too😂. 100% for fun! It’s one thing to give them paper to cut at will, but another to have fun things to cut out and do. It’s just a fun and different thing to do 🙂

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  3. In addition to a curriculum for everything, there is now a subscription kit for everything, too – art, woodworking, science projects, cooking, book clubs, geography, the list goes on and on. I am all for inspiration but I fear some of these things take away the initiative and creativity away for both parent and child as well as reduce the need to research and compile info on interests independently. I also am suspicious of everything needing to be packaged and pretty – a lot of life is messy and crazy and that’s not only OK but a lot of serendipitous beauty can come out of things that are not pre-packaged and ready-to-go. Thanks for another thought-provoking video!

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    1. Nothing wrong with some of the subscriptions out there. I was trying to teach my daughter middle school chemistry this year from a “free” curriculum but it was so dry and boring! After trying desperately to find something I came across the Mel Chemistry monthly subscription. Personally, I’m a cheap skate and don’t want to pay monthly fees for stuff but I figure if we do it from January-May it’s not that bad. EVERYTHING is in the kit for learning, it’s a win win in my book.

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  4. And remember with the curriculum do not let the curriculum rule you! It is not always necessary to finish every single page of a workbook, etc. etc.

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