Our Goal is Freedom

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It has never been our desire at OH to create curriculum dependent mothers. That is the overwhelming result of the the target marketing of curriculum to homeschoolers that has occurred over the past twenty years. Why should “what curriculum do you use?” be a primary question when meeting other homeschoolers? Too often content becomes the emphasis, not method. It is the method of discipleship that yields amazing results in homeschooling, not specific curriculum or content. (Here I resist the temptation to go off on a rant about the wrong-thinking in the classical education crowd, the development of co-ops, and explosion of on-line classes.)

Organic Homeschool as a method is simple, some say too simple, for a specific purpose.

Discipling children (which is Christian education) is not easy, but can and should be simple, something any Christian parent regardless of background, education, socio-economic situation, and location can accomplish. 

Organic Homeschooling isn’t about buying new books every month. It’s about studying the Bible with your children, memorizing Scripture and beautifully written poems. It includes studying the best (true, noble, pure, lovely, right, praiseworthy) literature, art, and music our culture produces. It’s snuggling with our children, not being stressed out, having fun together as a family, enjoying God’s creation, being encouraged in our calling, and living joyfully each day. Natural methods are simple, low-cost, accessible, and easy to incorporate. (Do you know how much money I save each year on workbooks and teacher’s guides by using real books, narration, copying and dictation?)

Daily lesson plans give confidence and direction to new homeschooling moms, but the day a mother e-mails us and says she doesn’t need this much hand-holding is a day in which we rejoice that we accomplished our goal. (This is a terrible business model, by the way!) Just as we rear our children for independence (or more accurately, responsible dependence on the Lord), the goal of OH is freedom—freedom from slavery to curriculum and content, freedom from fear of “missing something” and that we’re not “doing enough,” and freedom from the belief that education is a complicated, difficult endeavor best left to experts.

Homeschoolers reject the notion that experts are necessary to teach children, but too often we turn around and depend on the same experts to tell us what to teach, what is important, and what to do each day. (Think: What Your First Grader Needs to Know.)

This is part of the the goal in shifting to monthly overviews instead of daily lesson plans. Our new Monthly Overviews give direction without dictating your day-to-day choices. They reassure you and condense information and ideas for each month without create a false guilt of not “following the plan to the letter.”

I (Kara) enjoy sharing my wealth of knowledge of children’s literature, particularly the often overlooked genre of picture books. I see my role as an advisor, an older women (biblically speaking) who has spent too much time scouring libraries and book lists to find interesting, well-written and beautifully illustrated books to use as tools of discipleship. We want OH to be a blessing to the families that use it. We want to free you to focus on your child.

2 Responses to Our Goal is Freedom
  1. Thank you for these thoughts! Once again, I am so encouraged. This is what I believe, but I sometimes become discouraged, because no one else seems to feel this way! I praise God for your family!

  2. Susanna D says:

    I was going to respond to the new format yesterday but never had a chance but I thought you may want to hear what I am going to share. First off, we have always considered OH a huge blessing and have been with you all since you launched. It was my first year of homeschooling, I was completely overwhelmed with curricula and the one thing I knew I wanted to utilize was Homeschooling Today magazine. It was in the magazine that I saw the ad for OH and I received the free sample, your first month. We fell in love with this way of schooling and have been so blessed over the years by it. I cannot imagine what our day would be like without OH and the discipleship methods you encourage.
    So, as a happy patron, I have found it difficult to seperate myself from OH. However, this past year, I felt the LORD leading me to become more of a leader in the school and I gained the confidence to venture on my own a little bit and prayed and prayed about whether to continue using OH. Your knowledge of great books is something we value so much but as you suggest, I feel it is time for me to take the reins of the planning. You have given me the lessons I needed as a mom and formats to use to plan. I have so enjoyed planning for our year and I found the answer to my prayers in the time I have spent reflecting and looking to the future. And I believe God has given me the best of both worlds. Because of the change in your format, I will contine to use OH for the book recommendations, but I will not likely use all the books each month. I have planned for some on my own, yeah! I look forward to the year and the new format of OH to use in cooperation with my own homeschooling. Thank you for your ministry, again and again. You are certainly a Titus 2 woman!
    Many Blessings,
    Susanna