Teaching Curriculum vs. Teaching Children

teaching_curriuculum_vs_teaching_childrenWhy isn’t she moving faster? Doesn’t she understand I want her to get through the material in the next half hour! I really want to get through this part of our day so we can move on to other things. It really shouldn’t take this long. Then, the Lord hits me full on… Am I teaching the curriculum or teaching my child? Oops; guilty as charged!

I think, sometimes, we homeschool parents can get caught up in the wonderful resources we have available to us. We ooh and aah over new-found books, get excited about special projects, and store up on awesome resources. In all our enthusiasm, I wonder if we have completely forgotten why we do what we do.

Are we getting caught up in buying resources which seem wonderful, and pushing our children through the motions, without bothering to ask ourselves if this is helping our children actually learn or – though learning is taking place – they are enjoying the learning process?

Heaven forbid I force my children through hours of lessons every single day just so I can say I finished a book we purchased. Lord help me if I am pushing my kids to finish material in a certain amount of time simply because I have other plans for the day.

Now, don’t get me wrong. In our learning, we most certainly have a wide arrangement of resources available to us and I highly recommend using them to the fullest. However, I need to be careful the resources are being used as a help and not as the driving force behind my children’s education.

Ultimately, I don’t want my children to simply learn how to finish a book (although that is a good skill to be learned). I want my children to love learning! I need my children to fully understand the world in which they live and the impact the Lord wants them to make in their own sphere of His creation.

The books, games, projects, and field trips we have before us can be used wonderfully in each of our learning endeavors. However, I want to be careful of how I am putting them to use. At the end of the day, if the only thing my kids did was push through a stack of paperwork so I can say we were productive, I have failed in my job. Getting through the books isn’t the goal! The goal is to teach my children, to reach their hearts, to minister to their souls, and to encourage a love of learning.

I need to make sure I am teaching my children and not merely the curriculum!

“All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.”

~ Isaiah 54:13

📢 Chime In!: Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a lesson and suddenly realized this is not working? How did you redirect your learning to be more productive for your children?

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16 thoughts on “Teaching Curriculum vs. Teaching Children

  1. So many times, I have suddenly realized our focus was on getting done rather than learning. Sometimes we take a break and go for a walk or bike ride, other times we just find another way to recenter. For us, that often meant clearing our schedule so that learning was the focus and not whatever was happening after school.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had this problem with Shakespeare LOL Particularly my boys. I just kept thinking, these kids are never going to get into this. They think its total rubbish, boring, etc … I prayed about it and I went into Barnes and Noble and there it was … a book of Lego Shakespeare with pictures. On sale even LOL My sons both went through it quickly and now have a working knowledge of Shakespeare LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I so needed to read this today. Many people tell me that I have a “one up” because I was a public school teacher before homeschooling. I have to say, I think coming from a public school background actually works against me. The primary focus of public school is to “get through the curriculum”, no matter whether the child is understanding or interested. You just plug along because you are expected to get through a certain amount of the curriculum by a certain date. I don’t want this at home, yet that paradigm is so ingrained in me that it is sometimes very difficult to move past it without feeling like a total failure! When I do find myself in the plug-and-chug mentality, we just stop and have some fun. It gives me a chance to reevaluate what we are doing and why. Then we go back to learning later that day or the next.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I, too, must admit that I am guilty of such. Sometimes I just get so caught up in the curriculum lessons of that particular week that I push too hard to just get it done. It’s a very difficult tightrope we walk & sometimes we’re going to fall. The important thing is to forgive ourselves & get right back on the tightrope again 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Teaching was supposed to guide a person in his/her initial years to form a life philosophy. This is like a process which gets aligned to life goal which the person chooses at different point of time. Teaching now a days is focused on confining person’s thought and imagination . instead of focusing on competition based teaching, it should be for the development of self and society.
    thoughtful post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We classroom teachers face the same struggle also, with teaching to a test instead of teaching children to love learning. I have given up projects in the middle because they just weren’t working for my class. But some material is important to get through. The subject of math comes up where its not always exciting but necessary to move up to the next level. The goal is to find balance and teach our kids that sometimes work is boring, but necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Unfortunately, it’s the same in many other countries as well. It’s not always administration’s fault, but they are pressured to finish a curriculum so that the institution as a whole feels they are able to “keep up” with more developed countries. As you can imagine, all that gets is teachers who, like you’ve said, fail at their jobs and students who just go along and not really learn much.

    Liked by 2 people

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