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March 20, 2022

In carrying on with the theme of last month, we will be exploring curriculum as the company your child keeps. It is easiest to think about company in terms of people, friends or family, but we tried to convey the idea that any other input is also company – what you read and learn and study.

In this ezine I would therefore like to explore the topic further and ask the following questions specifically about curriculum choices:

WHO are the teachers of our children? and

WHAT are they teaching?

If you think you are the teacher as a homeschool mom, think again.

• What curriculum/books are you using?
• Who are the authors and what message does it convey about values, principles and worldviews?

In reading a variety of books, I am constantly amazed at how one can gather from the book what type of person the author is and what he/she believes.

The principle of choosing well applies to curriculum choices we make for our children. Not just any curriculum can do, especially if you want your children to develop a specific worldview or value system. Not all curriculums are the same. For example: we all know different science or history books convey surprisingly different messages and perspectives, depending on which side wrote the book.

The perspective depends on:
• Who wrote it?
• From what world perspective?
• With what agenda or intention?
• Based on what evidence?
• What was the purpose behind the curriculum?

As homeschool parents we should not be afraid to question curriculum, sometimes disagree, and help our children see they do not have to and cannot necessarily believe everything they read - especially in today’s media information overloaded environment. Since you will most likely not find a curriculum that you agree with 100% about everything, rather learn to ‘draw the line’ in the symbolic or literal sense.

Take a stance.

Have a standpoint.

and know what content your child is studying.

Don’t be afraid to draw a line through statements you don’t agree with. You are allowed to have an opinion. In todays’ media saturated world, especially in the past 2 years, everybody learned that media is not the truth. It is also mostly just somebody’s opinion. Therefore you can have one too, especially in the best interest of your family.

I’ve drawn lines in many books I’ve used since my children were still very young. We always discussed why we were doing this. And now that they are older it becomes even more obvious how many topics, issues and worldviews are incorporated in what children learn – especially in ‘school type’ textbooks. It is important to know that:

No education is neutral.,

Therefore it is important to choose well. This does not mean your children cannot read widely....they should! But don’t be afraid to question things and disagree with some things. It is an important skill to develop information discernment as children mature, to help them navigate through the information they are surrounded with. Today’s information may be a lot of misinformation, teach your children to take care on what they read, see and believe.

Young people today are required to have an astounding level of discernment. They should know that not all written words are true, and be able to distinguish between facts and opinions especially. Just because it is called a science (or history or geography etc.) book does not necessarily imply everything it shares is practical science (or history or geography etc.). So when the foundation of knowledge is laid, be mindful about what content you choose to use as curriculum. Make sure you know what the content of curriculum includes before ‘believing everything you read’.

As homeschool parents we have the opportunity to be involved in our children’s education, especially on a curriculum level. Choose well.

Until next time, Willemien

PS: In the photo, the older Impala in the background is taking a stand against a young cheetah in the foreground. As we saw them in the Kruger National Park in 2016, we were amazed at the angry sounds the impala made to scare the cheetah away. It worked as the cheetah eventually gave up his need to hunt and walked away.

“Only the truly blind man relies on his eyes to see”

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