It is easy to understand why, and that is because the overwhelming majority of us were educated in the American public school system, and we came out all right, didn't we? The truth is, the system has changed since we all went through it, and learners arrive at graduation day less prepared for the real world, careers or college. More students than ever who do go on to college are taking remedial reading, writing and math courses, and middle to lower range high school graduates are, in ever increasing numbers, unable to read and write proficiently.
And yet, we feel the need to copy that system, or we will somehow fail our children and are "doing it wrong".
Oh, how hard it can be to let go! But as the lovely quote above reminds us, when we let go we create space for something better, and in this case, something more customized for your specific learners.
Now, if you plan to re-enter your children into the public school system someday, it might be wise to more carefully follow your local public school's "scope and sequence", which is what skills and classes are taught in what grades. But if you are fully committed to homeschooling all the way through? Throw scope and sequence away!!! Better yet, tuck it aside and glance at it from time to time, if that makes you feel better ;-)
So, how exactly do you go about all of this? Well, first of all, with subjects like math and reading, if you find a program that works for your child, buy it and work your way through all the levels. Easy, right? If it takes longer to understand Algebra 1 and you are working on it for 2 years, who cares? Master it, then move on! Read easier books, then gradually harder ones, or find a textbook series that works for you and do each grade level, reading it until you are finished. Easy peasy! This isn't rocket science, folks, and we don't have to kill ourselves figuring it out. Do you do Algebra 1 and 2 THEN Geometry? Who really cares?? Do what works for your kid!! Oh, the agonizing hours we spend so concerned that some specific grammar skill wasn't taught in the second half of fourth grade!! As if that really matters in the grand scheme of things.
And speaking of grand scheme, create one! I wrote a bit about this in another post but not specifically about how you do this. Start with an end goal in mind, then work your way back. Is it really important to you that your children learn American History? Do you think one year in high school is too little? then teach two! We did two and a half years, one time through, very solidly, and I discarded the idea of bits and pieces along the way in earlier years. I wanted it learned in time order, connected and thoroughly, and we did it exactly that way and it worked really well for us. We are spending three years on World History, one era at a time. We prefer deep and wide, not shallow and narrow. We don't check boxes to say we covered something. Most public schools don't teach life skills in any meaningful way, but you sure can! If sciences are where you feel more emphasis should be based on your kids' interests and skills, who says you can't do a LOT more science than public school does? There is no real "Sequence" that sciences must be taught in, other than considering where a teens math skills are for some subjects, so teach it in whatever order makes sense for your family!
But, oh, dear moms, let go...
Let go of the need to match a system that wasn't what you wanted in the first place!
Let go of beating yourself up by comparing your homeschool to "public school" ...they are not the same and not intended to be.
Let go of the fear that you will fail!
You love your kids with all your heart. Be diligent, work hard, take it seriously, but whatever you do...
Let go so the richness of the customized homeschool experience can seep into the marrow of your bones.
Don't miss out on the flexibility.
Don't miss out on the ability to adapt as needed.
Don't miss out on the fact that learning comes in all kinds of ways that have nothing to do with textbooks, classrooms, or test scores!
Don't miss out on the joy of your own growth and learning as you gain skills right alongside your kids!
Don't miss out on the fact that maybe...just maybe...you are creating something different and better!
Homeschooling can be anything you want it to be. Teach the core subjects with consistency and care, throw in interest led learning, and recognize that you are the best teacher they will ever have.