I am sure you have seen the study demonstrating that homeschooled children with a structured curriculum outperformed their peers in public schools, and those who use an unstructured homeschool experience. The basis for the results was standardized testing.
It is easy to assume from these findings that a structured homeschooling curriculum is better than an unstructured experience. Closed book. Settled science. But there is a huge assumption here. This assumes that you value standardized tests. But what if you don’t? Then what?
It is safe to say that IF your child is academic and is going to follow a more traditional collegiate path toward his chosen profession, then you value performance on standardized tests…because that’s a better predictor of that particular child’s future success. In that case, a structured curriculum is best for your child.
Isn’t is also true, however, that IF your child possesses the natural gifts, talents, passion and temperament to pursue a non-traditional path (well, 21st century non-traditional, but relevant for the first several thousand years of history!), then you most likely DO NOT and should not value performance on standardized tests…because they are a poor predictor of your child’s future success? You may have a child who wants to be an entrepreneur, an artisan, a creative writer, a mechanic, a skilled tradesman, a plumber, a freelance technology guru and a thousand other vocations that don’t require a college degree. In that case, an unstructured curriculum may be best for your child.
The point? There is no right way to homeschool your child…except the way that best supports your particular child’s natural wiring and destiny. You may have two children and educate them in different ways. Remember, an education is only partly about academics. A small part. So know your children and homeschool them the way that’s best for THEM.
Do you agree or disagree? Would love to hear your perspective. Would love to hear from parents who use either or both of these approaches.