Woah! Did Tasha just say what I think she just said? Tasha doesn’t love Christian homeschool curriculum? Ho, hum. Well, no. Yes. Kind of. Here’s the thing. I do. But I don’t. Clear enough for you?
Why I Don’t Love Christian Homeschool Curriculum
by Tasha Hackett
Without diving too deeply into all the arguments, the main reason is because I love reading the Bible with my kids. That’s it. I want to pick up the Bible and read it. I want to gather my four kids around and snuggle together on the couch and read. We also gather around the table and copy verses. Often I am stopped every few verses with ideas, opinions, connections, and questions. Either from one of the kids or myself.
In a nutshell, I’m too selfish to give up my own family Bible reading habits to make room for the other Bible reading required by Christian homeschool curriculum. Does that make sense? I tried a first grade curriculum a few years ago that included Bible stories for the reading lessons, Bible verses for handwriting, Bible text for ancient history… and by the time we added in Sunday and Wednesdays, I didn’t feel like adding extra devotionals for the family and I sorely missed that time. The time is precious when we just read the Bible with no expectations or questions to answer or papers to write. Just listening to God speak.
I do love curriculum written with a Christian worldview!
Last August I started the Early American History collection with my kids and we loved it. The course provided a good amount of books that were interesting to all three of my listeners (currently 9, 6, and 4). The baby didn’t care. This isn’t a “complete” curriculum. I still added a reading course for the Kindergartener, I needed Math and Language for the 3rd Grader, Handwriting for both, but our focus was American History guided by the books and characters provided in the kit. Currently, the 9-year-old is studying and memorizing the Declaration of Independence. Yes, you heard me right. We are memorizing it. He and I can practically recite the first two paragraphs already by memory and boy do we feel smart! We plan to have it ready to recite confidently by July 4th. (Even if it’s not memorized, reading it well is a challenge!)
Okay, so I do like Christian curriculum.
But I don’t prefer curriculum that uses the Bible as its main history text because my kids already read it with me, and they will continue to read it for the remainder of their lives. Therefore, I’d like to study other things for our school time. Laura has mentioned a few times that we do school, but we don’t “do Bible” and I agree. She’s emphasized the importance of Bible and God being more than school. Reading the Bible isn’t something I want my kids to forget about once they check it off their school to-do list and think that it doesn’t carry through the summer and adulthood.
That being said, if you love curriculum with the Bible stories included, go for it! But it’s not for me.
I’m already itching for NEW BOOKS.
Does this happen to anyone else? We’ve barely finished and I’m looking for what we’re going to read next. Ha! So I have to share with you the news. We’ve decided to study world history with Around the World with Picture Books I and II from Beautiful Feet Books to guide us. I’ll use that and supplement with either the History of Science or History of the Horse for my 4th grader. We’re charging forward with Saxon Math for 4th grade, and we’re trying out Writer’s in Residence for him. Curriculum can break the budget, but I’ve been saving and I’m ready for it. There are many more affordable options—namely the library and free books online. Did you know you can print math worksheets for free and watch YouTube videos on just about anything… #truth. But for me, I do prefer to own the books and then I don’t feel rushed.
What about you? How do you integrate the Bible into the school day?
Tasha Hackett is Laura’s friend, fellow homeschooling mom, and author of Bluebird on the Prairie. She eats a good amount of homemade chocolate and all agree that she dances too much on Instagram (@hackettacademy), but she spends most of her time with four chatty children and an incredibly supportive husband. Learn more about her at www.TashaHackett.com.