When I homeschooled my daughters, I did not buy any preset curriculum. In fact I hardly spent any money at all. I was able to spot a good book, in an old cover, from a mile. I knew what the CAPS requirements were for the Department of Education to deem a learner as competent for the grade. I simply found content that would ensure I met those requirements. One could say that I had an eclectic approach to homeschooling.
However, that being said, there were two areas that I did not follow this method. With theses two subjects I felt it were necessary to have a good learning pathway. One that was predetermined. One in which all concepts would be covered. One in which content built on previous knowledge and then extended with new knowledge. This I did for Mathematics and English.
This approach was very successful.
Another freedom I adopted was to not test my daughters in all subjects. Most of the time we did things because they were fun to learn. Due to this they never valued the learning process by virtue of the mark. How I hate the question “Is this for marks?” I have found that a “yes” elicits stress. A “no” devalues the content to- unnecessary.
I follow the same approach now at the coding and robotics center. All our beginner courses are not tested. Certificates are not issued. We do have a passport which is a record of classes attended and content covered. Our learners need 80% attendance for the course to be deemed as completed. This is indicated with Albert’s Stamp of Completion.
Learning for the sake of learning. And enjoying it along they way. Not every 9 year old will become a coder but every 9 year old can learn that programming is not some mystical process. They can learn that it is logical and fun.
And I advise parents to select the course that their children are drawn to next. If they want to do it. Let them. Follow the pathway rules and enjoy where you are given freedom of choice. Go read up on the ARCS motivational theory in my post, “Why programming and Robotics” if you are not yet convinced.
Once a learner has showed staying power and natural flare, they have the opportunity to start with assessments and putting together of coding portfolios. This comes later with the Python language. And due to the courses done before they enter the Python program, they are ready to face coding at a more abstract level.