There is no one-size-fits-all curriculum. I know this. Even my chosen curriculum provider, Sonlight, recognizes this and offers multiple choice in several subjects, including math. And they have this cool list in the back of the catalogue, explaining twenty-seven reasons why you might not like Sonlight for your own homeschooling experience.
So I don’t know why I get so defensive when someone chooses not to go with Sonlight. My sister is using Sonlight for the first time this year, and she doesn’t know if she will use it again. She’s a little overwhelmed by the idea of teaching two separate CORE’s, among other reasons. My first instinct is to talk her out of changing, to shoot down her reservations.
I have another friend who is planning to homeschool next year. She’s asking about curricula and I’ve spoken my piece. But I think she’s going to choose a different program…and it bugs me. Even though I know that the time required to teach Sonlight wouldn’t really work with her lifestyle and priorities.
What I really want is not to see them getting what they need out of a homeschool program, but to validate MY choice to use Sonlight. Because won’t it make me feel good to know that my program is the best program? (tell me where my human nature is located so I can kick it!)
Human nature aside, what I really think about curriculum is that it’s important to find one and stick with it. There are enough programs out there that you switch every year of your child’s school life, and not one of them will ever fit you perfectly. I love Sonlight for a host of reasons – I am comfortable with making it fit our family, and omitting what doesn’t. I love the mission-friendly focus on world cultures and history, and I’ve heard wonderful things about the Bible program.
My sister has a great teacher to guide her, and she will find a curriculum that works for her family and gives her kids a good education. After all, if you are dissatisfied with a program, you won’t be able give your children what they most need in their education – a love of learning that lasts a lifetime.