Curriculum Has a Time and Place

by Hope Mucklow, Author Blogger, Coach, and Teacher

Anyone who follows my writing and/or presence know that I am an advocate for people, young and old, rich or poor, educated and non, little and big, black, white or somewhere in between. This means there is a major anti-bullying theme that runs through my work. This is why I view endorsed or state approved curriculum as one of the tools that the ruling elite uses to bully those they subdue.

Curriculum in the modern school setting has become the main means to reign in the classroom teacher from creatively implementing their gifts to motivate, encourage, and led their students to learn. Ask any good caring teacher. There’s no time for them to incorporate an engaging lesson they or their colleagues designed. Rather their calendar is overruled by the micro managing administration that is more concerned about raising standardized test scores to give the school better ratings for funding.

Shifting to homeschool, it’s the main question that homeschooling moms hurl at each other at church, the park, and co-op, “What curriculum do you use?” They have even taught the kids to ask this of each other. Then they judge each other and make their alliances based on the answers.

So what is curriculum and why is it important? Curriculum is like a road map or a guide with content that should include resources and means to achieve certain learning objectives. A world view or rather predominate philosophy on the approach to the content will run through its contents and resources. This is where culture and religion (which are very much entwined) comes in. This came up in dialog on social media yesterday.

A teacher had posted about the importance of getting together with other people to do anything and everything. I agreed to point, but went on to admonish her to encourage her lonely students that not all is lost when they are socially isolated.

I asked her to consider pointing her lonely pupils to a great historical figure, St. Patrick, in how he used his isolation as a kidnapped Britton teen taken to work as a slave in Ireland to develop his personal character. Her reply was, “I cannot bring religion into the classroom.” My heart sank because this woman is supposed to be a Bible believing Christian who is actively involved in holding the county school board accountable for their politically correct decisions at the cost of students/parents personal liberties.

But, looking back at myself at her age and situation, I didn’t know any differently either. For the 1958 Communist Agenda for the United States of America goals (see link below) were accomplished many years ago. I was born and educated into much of it as well.

Goal #17 states, “Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in text-books.”

Clearly atheism is the religion and humanism is the philosophy behind all public and unfortunately much of the modern private schooling systems, even the religious ones. This too was one of the goals. # 27 states, “Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with ‘social religion.’ Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a ‘religious crutch.'”

I too was that well intended public school teacher in the early 1990’s and then again in the early 2000’s who thought I would be an awesome teacher if students didn’t know where I stood on evolution even though the statistics I ran for a whole semester at WVU proved that it is as impossible if not more so than believing in creation by a higher being. After all, that professor gave quite a lecture at the last class that we dare not question evolution even in light of the statistics. But let’s get back to the point about curriculum and its purposes.

Viewing curriculum as a maps can be very helpful and useful. Just keep in mind that there are those who pave the way and those who follow.

Now keep in mind it is an awful lot of work to be the first person to plow through a wild forest to clear a path. For any who hike or cross-country ski there is much to be enjoyed following the tracks of someone who did the hard work to trudge through first. Then there are are also those who need help finding the way if they don’t know the terrain. Lastly, the path can be over trodden, ruined from erosion, or just not be the destination anymore. All of these metaphorically transfer to my points about academic curriculum.

If you choose to homeschool your child/children you need to honestly asses what you know and that which you do not. You also need to account for what you can and cannot afford with your time and money.

A comprehensive curriculum will sure make your life easier at first, but give it time and a smart child will bore with it and sometimes rebel from it. This is why some have found the option of unschooling to be of help to them. They ditch curriculum and release their child/children to explore and learn for themselves. I have found that this too has a time and place, but agree with C.S.Lewis’s point in The Abolition of Man that children need to be guided and taught what to think early on. The toddler will not share his/her toys with another without being taught to take turns.

Circling back, viewing curriculum as a tool, utensils have a time and place. Some are better than others. The master of any art never uses just one. They assess the situation and choose the best instrument needed to accomplish the goal. That is why I never purchased any one curriculum in a box for my daughter to learn from as a homeschooled student or completely unschooled her.

Instead, I paid a little bit more to buy certain parts of curriculums from Abeka, Apologia, and Bob Jones. Then I gave thanks for a friend giving me Saxon Math 5/6 and another for giving me the Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra courses. I then purchased at full price The Complete Algebra and The Complete Geometry Courses written by Tom Clark who has since become a major part of our homeschool experience. Some courses especially in high school work better with an established curriculum.

Lastly beware that some teachers, schools, and administrations whether they be average, not well educated themselves, tired, lazy, or underfunded rely too heavily on their chosen curriculum. The curriculum dictates and overrides inquisitive thoughtful children who are able to think beyond a prescribed lesson. This is why I pulled my daughter from a well respected private Christian school and resumed homeschooling when she was in 6th grade while we lived in Alabama.

So in summary, don’t allow anyone to academically bully you or your child with curriculum. It should serve you and your child not the other way around. Have a good school year. Sincerely, hopetheparentteacher.

*No advertising or promotional fees were received from any company, person, or product mentioned in the blog.

**Here’s a blog on wildflowers that exemplifies what teachers are no longer allowed to do and what students are missing out on because of it.

#Homeschool #Curriculum #blendedlearning #edpolicy #parentpower #learning #schoolreform #unschooling #microschool

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