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The curriculum you should be using

Newsletter · Feb 9, 2021


After sharing parts of our children’s school exemption applications last week (which I’m working on adding to my blog as downloads, so stay tuned for that) a lot of you replied asking about the specific curriculum we swear by.

If that was you, you’re far from alone – it’s probably the question I’ve been asked more than any other since I started sharing our home education journey.

What curriculum have we chosen to use, and why? How much did it cost? Have we tried any others?

And, of course…do we recommend it?

Today I’m going to tell you what the best curriculum is. The one we passionately recommend above all the others out there. The only one you’ll ever need. And that’s:

The one that most naturally fits your child.

Now, I understand reading that might be a slightly deflating experience. I mean, it’s not much help is it? But trust me, it’s actually everything. Stay with me.

See, too often we set a curriculum at the heart of everything. We try and make the child fit it, just like a school does. And, inevitably, we end up measuring the performance of the child against the curriculum rather than measuring the ability of the curriculum to help the child thrive.

We ask children to learn things they may or may not be interested in, in a way that may or may not come naturally to them. And that’s why we often find ourselves cycling through so many different curriculum options, feeling like we’re all just banging our heads against a wall.

If you only ever take one thing away from my writing, let it be this: there is no ‘right’ or ‘best’ curriculum.

An individualised, tailored approach is one of the main benefits of home education, so don’t sacrifice that. If you’re going to use a boxed curriculum, make sure it fits with who your child is first, take the parts of it that do and mash in other stuff, or even just define your own.

You might find a pre-packaged curriculum that works well for your child, and that’s great. But just remember to keep your critical lens firmly on whether the curriculum fits – and continues to fit – your child, rather than the other way around.

Put your child at the heart of everything, building out guiding layers to life that will support who they are and how they most naturally interact with the world.

Start there, and I promise you can’t go wrong.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. if you’re struggling to work out what the best ‘curriculum’ might be for your child, and how you might go about designing it for them, drop me a line – I’ve just gone through this process again for my own children, and I’d be more than happy to give you my thoughts.

Issy Butson, aka Stark Raving Dad. Author of The Grandparent's Guide to Home Schooling

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