Originally Posted by Phoebe
It is possilble to rely soley on the library and a few workbooks? I have hsed my son until he started kinder half day this year (we still hs him anyway though!) and I'm hoping to have him home 100% next year. We use the library very heavily and have been very successful with it. He is very far ahead in pretty much all subjects.
Can I continue this method?
What are the advantages of having a set cirriculum?
To a large extent, this is what we're doing. I have a ton of workbooks I picked up cheap at a garage sale (though we have a ton only because I got a "fill a box for $5" deal. In reality, we could easily get by with one for math and one for phonics, or one big "complete" one). We use Story Of The World as the basis for history, and Ambleside Online
guides our reading to some extent, but we use random books from the library heavily too, plus free internet resources.
Benefits: It's cheap, flexible, and readily available.
Drawbacks: Most workbooks are generally intended as enrichment, not an actual curriculum, and may not provide the level of teaching and practice you need. For math, something like Singapore Math isn't really much more expensive, and provides a bit more structure and direction.
You can't keep library books. This seems obvious, but I've found it more limiting than I anticipated. For most books this isn't an issue, but if you'd like to use something for longer than a few weeks (a history spine or phonics program, for instance), you're probably better off looking for your own copy.
You can have a set curriculum and still primarily utilize the library, by the way. Ambleside Online, for example, is free, and is basically just a scheduled reading list. Similarly, The Well-Trained Mind costs about $30 for preschool-12, and you can obtain the specific books used for each year however you desire. So it doesn't have to be a matter of buying an all-inclusive box set vs. totally making up your own, though you can do the latter if you desire, of course