Elijah is officially reading now, well enough that he can sing along in the Psalter, for instance, or read most any children's book. He still does quite a bit of bouncing off the walls (literally) and building with Lego, but now he also spends large blocks of time reading to himself--standing on his head, as often as not; right now he's sort of rolling around on an end table while reading "The Sleepy Story."
He's obviously learning quite a lot on his own, but lately I've started to think that perhaps I should be directing his education a bit, via some proper schooling. I started looking at homeschooling curricula, and boy, talk about system overload! There is so much to choose from, it's overwhelming. Plus, there are many radically different opinions about how children ought to learn--so far, "unschooling" has worked pretty well for us, but recently I read this article:
Homeschooling With Textbooks
Mrs. Maxwell makes some good points about textbooks, I think. I don't think she quite understands the motivation behind things like unit studies, and Mom-selected learning materials--she assumes that it's all about making learning fun, but I always thought it was more about going straight to the original sources for info, rather than getting things filtered through a textbook author's lens. I like the idea of reading "real books" a la Charlotte Mason.
But she makes a good point about textbook learning being much easier on Mom. As a single mom, I do have to work a bit, though so far I've been blessed to be able to work from home. Still, I don't have the freedom to devote all of my time to educating my children, so if textbooks would make it easier for them to learn on their own, I need to consider them. Also, I do feel strongly that my children need to have the self-discipline to work and learn independently, even on topics that aren't their favorites, and perhaps some textbook work could help them to learn self-discipline.
But which textbooks? That decision alone is enough to make me learn towards unschooling--besides, textbooks cost money, and the library is free. :)
If you have an opinion to share, feel free!