Curriculum Cleanse

I’m kinda nervous to write this post. I like each of you that read my blog and I don’t want to make any of you think I’m making a bad decision here, but, well, that’s something I’m working on; performing for others and not my own family and what God has called me, uniquely, to.

Let it be noted that Sally Clarkson (although a homeschooler) doesn’t endorse any one way to educate your children, although I think we’d both agree that education is every parent’s responsibility-weather you are outsourcing it or not.

She talked a lot at the conference about the beauty of reading to your children. Reading and reading and reading. I am the type that needs boxes to check off-and there is no boxed curriculum that offers one box that says “read to kids a lot”. If there was that would be silly to pay for that, right? This means you kinda have to choose between a curriculum set or reading a lot to your kids.

For me, I just can’t do both. I get so caught up in getting the boxes checked that we end up all frustrated with each other and never have time to read. And I mean like “cuddle up with a blanket, grab a cup o’ hot chocolate and listen for 30 min. or more” of  delightful reading. I’ve also been known to make playdough or get out the legos or open a new puzzle and read!

Weather it’s reading to the girls, the girls reading to me, reading on our own. It just gets lost in math worksheets, dishes, other chores, sibling rivalry, hormone explosions (ugh, that would be both mine and one of my other daughters, to remain unnamed, to protect the sinful yet innocent). So I decided to do a cleanse over the next couple/few weeks. We stopped all paper: math, phonics, copy work, spelling tests. We are just reading. Now, I now we can’t keep this up; it’s really like a cleanse. You can’t keep downing that lemonade/molasses/cayenne pepper mixture for your entire life-but sometimes it’s nice to “get it all out” and star a new, right? That’s my plan.

So over the next few weeks, I thought I’d blog about what we are reading. Both to give you an idea of what on earth I’m up to over here and to make myself feel better, as I am a bit scared my kids will be really dumb in the end. Even as I write that I see how silly that last thought is, but it’s real, so I kept it there.

Next post: what we have read over the last two days.

La Gringa


6 thoughts on “Curriculum Cleanse

  1. So I really wanted to go to the conference but then life at the church kinda blew up so it didn’t happen. I read her blog and would love, at some point, to be filled with her wisdom. I think this sounds like an awesome idea! What a nice break from boxes to check off (I do the same thing!). I decided to just read to them for a while before we started school today (before I read your blog). It went ok. Jack and Kale are so different because of their ages that it didn’t go as smoothly as I’d like but I think it’s good to just stop and snuggle and read! Can’t wait to hear how it goes!


  2. Love it!!! We’ve been doing a very similar thing. I purged all workbooks and worksheets this semester because I was so sick of them and it was so hard for me to keep up with what they were doing, grading them, etc. I read fiction to my kids for 30 minutes a day while they draw. We read non-fiction and scriptural stuff during other parts of the day too. I’ve committed myself to spend more time with my children teaching them during the day with verbal communication, games, puzzles, etc. We’ve been having so much fun and it seems they’ve been learning so much more that way. My 5 year knows the geography of South America because he simply hangs out with us while I teach the older ones. It’s kind of tricky to teach the older and younger ones together because I don’t want my older ones to fall behind, but it’s good review for them and I feel it solidifies things they have already learned. My kids spend a lot of time on music. 1 1/2 to 2 hours per day. So, no, I don’t think you are awful for what you are doing! I I think it’s awesome. I love reading to my kids and talking about vocabulary words and history, which usually sparks further conversation and us looking up other things that they question. So much fun! I like reading books that have a movie so we can watch that too. We just finished Mr. Popper’s Penguins. It was an easy read and it can be combined with studying the Antarctic and penguins. Enjoy your time reading. The only downside I find to spending more time with my kids, is that my house seems a little messier. But I’d rather have happy and smart kids that love me, than a clean house 🙂 I know Thomas Jefferson Education emphasizes reading a lot. We loosely base our curriculum on Thomas Jefferson Education. They have a good list of classic books to read with kids. Here’s a link in case you would like a list to check off. I like checklists too! 🙂 http://www.tjed.org/resources/classics/family-reading/ That was a really long comment. Haha! But I love the topic and strongly agree with everything you said!


  3. We use Sonlight Curriculum which is a TON of reading (and you get to check it off), but there are big parts that I just don’t do. I spend about an hour doing storytime with my 4 & 6 year old in the morning, and then about an hour in the afternoon with my 6 & 9 year old, but then I never get any of the OTHER stuff done because there is so much storytime! I think if our storytime is more PURPOSEFUL the quality will be better. Hmmmm…. I guess I’ll be happy I read so much instead of grouching about it…..


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