Choosing a homeschool curriculum that mimics real life is important for helping your child(ren) develop skills to use as adults. I love finding a curriculum that supports critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, real-life examples, and teaching practical skills for adulthood.
This article is sponsored by Common Sense Press.
Any time you sit down with your child and a textbook, you should feel very confident that the content is providing useful information and not just “busy work” or worksheets that fill up time in order to satisfy a timeslot in your homeschool schedule. Is the content relevant to real life, real experiences, real situations in the present or future of your child?
A Curriculum that Mimics Real Life Encourages Application
Using a curriculum that introduces and illustrates real-life scenarios – or encourages them to actually do something besides fill in the blanks – gives your child an opportunity to apply what they are being taught. This is the difference between simply reading the instruction manual for your vehicle and actually using the instruction manual to fix a problem within your vehicle.
Real-life application, putting it into practice, and hands-on experience is really the best way to learn a skill. Academics really can be taught through living life, but a textbook can act as a guide or a manual.
There are simply some things you do not know until you are told. However, you may not fully understand those concepts until you experience them yourself.
This is how I think of textbooks/workbooks:
They are tools to be used at our disposal as homeschool teachers and to be used by our children as a way to walk through what they are being taught.
A curriculum that mimics real life is the best kind of curriculum. When academic subjects such as math and language arts are taught using examples of real-life application and encourage the student to apply what they are being taught to their own lives, you have landed on a great curriculum company that understands the hope & goal of raising children into adulthood with skills they will use.
An Example in our Homeschool:
I do not use textbooks to teach grammar until about grade five. Once I start teaching my 5th-grade child grammar, I like to use a program that requires my child to immediately start applying what they are being taught.
I am currently using The Great Editing Adventure Vol. I with my 5th-grader (for 4th through 6th grade) and it is exactly the type of curriculum I love. The fun and practical editing exercises teach and review grammar, writing mechanics, spelling, vocabulary, finding synonyms with a thesaurus, and dictionary use.
My daughter is in charge of correcting the mistakes she notices. As the teacher, I can immediately see what she needs to learn or be reminded of.
This is a gentle yet thorough way to teach grammar skills and takes just minutes per lesson (most of the time). The best part is that she is learning skills that will last her a lifetime, while she is learning how to write properly right now!
Volume II includes three brand new adventure stories with a total of 90 lessons. They work well as a supplement to Learning Language Arts Through Literature, also available from Common Sense Press.
Great Explorations in Editing is editing practice for 7th through 9th. Perfect for continuing grammar/editing skills into middle school.
Common Sense Press creates many resources that are meant to be used by busy homeschool moms. Their material encourages real-life skills and applications – like Grocery Cart Math.
I hope I have encouraged you to switch to a curriculum that mimics real life. It is one way we can raise up lifelong learners with skills they will use in adulthood!