I'm going on a cruise people! No not that kind of cruise, I get motion sick. This week I'm participating in a blog cruise with other members of the TOS Crew. Our question of the week is "How do you know what to teach?"
The short answer is, "I don't and I don't care." The long answer follows.
I've never concerned myself with scopes and sequences or what everyone is supposed to learn in the 3rd grade. At the time of this writing the boys and I have been homeschooling for 7 years. We have always purchased math curriculum, but other than that we've done lots of unit studies and lapbooks, read wonderful books, and taken interesting field trips. If the boys had a subject or time period in which they had a special interest, we studied it. At ages 11 and 13, the boys are well-spoken and articulate. They are well-versed on any number of subjects, have a firm grasp of history, both American and world history, and are knowledgable in many areas of science and the arts. And we're not finished yet!!!
So, if this is a question you have about homeschooling, "how do you know what to teach?" Here's my answer: RELAX! I had a girlfriend tell me recently that she was talking with a vendor at our local homeschool fair about how she worried about completing a unit study when her children were small. Her concern was that they may not retain all the information. The vendor said to her, "Don't worry about it. You'll come back to that subject again. It's not like this is the only time you're going to cover that subject."
Your child will learn what he or she needs to learn. It happens. Sometimes it happens just by having in-depth conversations around the supper table. Sometimes it happens with a great read-aloud. Sometimes it's a movie or a field trip. The bottom line...it happens!!
If this is a question that plagues you, then by all means, buy a total package curriculum. You can go to any of the major companies, Abeka, Bob Jones, etc...and get packages that will decide for you what to teach when. But, the journey is the reward, and I wouldn't have missed the journey for the world!!!