It’s that time of year again. You know, when the weather’s warmer, the days are longer, the school year is winding down, and Mom starts spending hours at a time on the computer researching next year’s curriculum. Ah yes, the joys of homeschooling.
Last summer, I spent about two months trying to decide on the books I would use with the kids. The summer before that, it was the same. This summer, I’ll be lucky if I finish before the new year starts in September, which doesn’t bode well for my future as the mom of at least five little homeschoolers. It seems, the older the Scientist gets, the harder it is to choose just the right books and programs, and he’s only finishing the first grade. What the hell am I going to do when he gets to high school?!
Right about now, I’m seriously searching out a science program because, as you may have guessed from his nickname, the Scientist is seriously obssessed with at least the idea of science. He wants to learn everything RIGHT NOW. He wants to study the planets, the vascular system, water, animals, why people yawn, and just about any- and everything that might possibly be construed as “sciencey”. Thank God he’s a good learner (at least when it comes to stuff he likes, that is).
My stumbling block when it comes to this part of our curriculum is not an uncommon one. Talk to almost any Catholic homeschoolers, whether they use a pre-packaged program or build their own, and they will tell you that there is no Catholic science program intended for use in the elementary grades of a homeschool. Not. A. Single. One. For reals. There are Catholic handwriting programs, and Catholic math programs. There are even Catholic phys ed. programs. However, no school or curriculum developer has seen fit to take it upon itself to write a Catholic science program. This just seems so wrong to me (and to a lot of other homeschooling moms and dads, too). We need a solidly Catholic approach to so much of what we deal with in a typical science course that it seems silly that no one has bothered yet. And it makes it demmed difficult to educate one’s children in a well-rounded way when it’s so hard to add in science without breaking one’s back with all the work involved.
This leads me to the main point of this post. At this point, I’m beginning to look at certain secular and Christian programs that I have heard good things about. My problem is that most of the good things I’ve heard are things like, “There’s nothing against Church teaching in it,” and, “It’s pretty good, for a Protestant book.” I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll have to settle for a book or program that is, in fact, “Catholic enough,” instead of Catholic, and that’s a pretty sad state for someone who homeschools mainly to keep it all Catholic.