24/09/2014 11:06 BST | Updated 23/11/2014 05:59 GMT

The Pressure of Choosing a Homeschool Curriculum

In three short months my son starts home-schooling. In my head that statement reads slightly differently; it reads more along the lines of "holy shit we're about to become responsible for the entire future well-being of our child!!"

You could say that is a point of stress for me.


My husband is his usual nonchalant self: "we'll un-school" he shrugs, "just take every day as it comes".

To a highly organised person like me, that's a shrug away from a nervous breakdown.

I'm the sort of person who has lists, and maps and itineraries, preferably colour coded and available in the cloud in case I need them when I'm half way round the world.

I need plans people, PLANS. I need to be able to measure and record and tick shit off.

We all play to our strengths I suppose, and it's not that I hate the meandering organic approach to life; it's more that I also love being organised.

Being organised frees my mind to allow me to enjoy the meandering you could say.

A lifetime ago, my husband and I went on a ten day tour of Ireland on our bikes and after we had come up with the general idea, I told him to "leave it with me".

A week later I presented him with a map showing our route, rooms booked at suitable intervals at local pubs, and "must-see" attractions marked along the way. It was a masterpiece of organisation.

My cosmic punishment?

One of the bikes broke down before we had even left, one of the places I had booked was in a village so small they had forgotten to signpost it, the EU funding had run out for road building so half the ride was on dirt tracks, one of our Guinness posters came flying out of our luggage on a stretch of motorway and we nearly crashed going to see a local celebrity dolphin.

All in all, it was the best holiday of my life.

None of this has any bearing on home-schooling of course, but it should go some way to explaining how I roll and why, at the moment, my brain is consumed with home-schooling nightmares.

I might not be worried, were it not for the fact that someone in the family (i.e. me) has to fill in some very official forms that need to convince the government we have some small idea of what we are doing.

And I don't think they go bundles on "take every day as it comes" as an answer.

So I went on-line and searched for "Home-school Curriculum" which led to the internet delivering me 1,430,000 head fucks in 0.29 seconds.

According to the internet, approaches to educating your child, include (but are not limited to) Traditional, Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Lap booking, Note booking, Unit Learning, Un-schooling and for the indecisive amongst us, Eclectic.

How do you choose?

Well you pick a style that suits both you as a teacher and your child as a learner.


Or if you are me you spend days looking for sites that offer free resources, read them until you never want to see another piece of free clip art and then try and work out which ones you will be able to convince your family to use while also being able to convince the government you aren't making it up as you go along.

Dear future well adjusted children, I hope it now becomes clear why your father was the one who stayed at home with you.

Also why we never had any money for holidays; we spent it all on laminators and field trips, that shit doesn't come cheap.