In some education circles, it is almost social suicide to admit to using workbooks. How did they get such a bad rap?
Ten years ago in Australia, there was little choice if you wanted to homeschool legally, without being a registered teacher. So it was with some grouching that I began using this program, after having read all the literature about suiting your curriculum to your child’s learning style, unit studies, classical education, natural learning, delight directed learning, and living books education!
Today, I have a deep and abiding respect for the program.
People have the impression that parents utilizing this program sit their students at a desk for a few hours, then lock them in an intellectual cupboard for the rest of the day. It is difficult to comprehend how fellow home educators can so conveniently lose the perspective of holistic learning!
How can it be that a child involved in natural learning will gain from his learning opportunities, but a child who has used a workbook in the morning, is unable to benefit from the activities engaged in during the afternoon?
Or a child being educated with a living books approach can gain much from his reading, but a child who has completed workbooks in the morning, does not gather the same from his reading in the afternoon?
At heart, perhaps it comes down to intellectual snobbery? Whatever it is, it’s not pretty folks.
The same frustration a parent of a natural learner feels at people questioning how your child will ever learn anything without a program, is felt by those of us who use a program while being accused of taking the easy option.
On that point – it is easy! In fact, it is so easy, that despite longterm illness, family dramas and new babies, my children have been able to maintain a consistent study program throughout.
The beauty of this curriculum is that while life is doing unpredictable things to you, the basics of education are very adequately covered with children working independently in workbooks. At other times, there is much that can be added to enrich the material being covered, and you can borrow the best from other teaching methods to implement as you desire.
Every method and approach to education has advantages and disadvantages. It is your commitment, and how you choose to use a program, that makes it a successful tool in your educational endeavour.