Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Is there a market...

So, many of you know that I'm finishing up my PhD in Education. Right now I teach at a nearby university and mostly enjoy my job. My previous gig was with a big company writing curriculum for schools, and I enjoyed that as well; however, I am always dreaming of doing new things (am I the only one like that?). Lately I've been pondering how to combine my love of education with my passion for homesteading. To make a long story short, I'm thinking of writing curriculum specifically for homeschooling homesteaders!

In my mind, the curriculum is divided by homesteading seasons (i.e. spring & garden tending, harvesting & canning, fall crops, putting the garden to bed for the winter, etc.) and incorporates all the chores we'd normally be doing. I'd like to highlight various teaching techniques to incorporate traditional subjects into daily work. I'm thinking the books would be sold as PDF downloads so I don't have to pursue a publisher and all that jazz...this also keeps cost lower. They could also be used for hybrid families like ours who do traditional school during the school year and homeschooling in the summers, weekends, and anytime we get the chance. I don't even know it this is a viable idea, but I think I would really enjoy it. What do you guys think?


All Natural Mama said...

I think it's a good idea to check into. Many (if not most) homesteaders do homeschool their kiddos. It was too much for me to handle with my 3 little boys, though, when I tried! I was at the doctor with heart palpatations, no lie. Those boys need a break from each other so they're not killing one another all day. Lol :-)
Seriously, though, you should drop Angie at Maple Valley an email and ask her opinion. She probably knows the most homesteading homeschoolers.

The Hills said...

I'm just now checking in, but I would definitely be interested! I try to do that type of thing...we have sit down school for traditional subjects, but I also try to incorporate some sort of learning/information into just about everything else we do too. I would buy an e-book that focused on homesteading/gardening as school lesson!

Melinda Foster said...

What a fine idea! My own children are grown and I have no experience with homeschooling, but it seems to me that such a curriculum would be invaluable to the many families that need to combine education with real life on the farm.

How clever of you to think of it! I hope you'll do it.

Jodi said...

I am a homeschooling mom who wants to be more of a homesteader and would love that sort of thing! Do you or did you homeschool your children? We use workbooks for English and Math and use life and the library for everything else!

Granola Girl said...

I am a homesteading homeschooler (one son, 6 yo)and our life is so wrapped up in homesteading that we don't use curriculum. Part of this is because both his father and I are/were teachers (dad, English; me, math and science) so we have our bases a bit covered. The other end being that our son is quite advanced and is totally insane trying to parent.

I think if you could incorporate the subjects so that you have a holistic curriculum plan (not Unit Studies, but full integration) then you might have something parents could use in the mix of all the homesteading insanity.

We honestly could not keep up with curriculum if we wanted to. Our urban homestead keeps me going with far too much to think about. From filtering our rain water for use, to growing and u-pick, to making our clothes, firewood, researching solar panels, etc we are tapped out. If the curriculum was integrated it would mean far less along the lines of negotiation.

Seasonal integration might backfire a bit. We can all year around, grow all year around, sew all year around, manage rainwater all year around, etc. I don't know if this is normal to everywhere (it is here in the Pacific Northwest), but if we didn't there is no way it would get done.

It's a good idea, though. I haven't seen much by way of secular curriculum which covers the subject and home economics is now canceled in schools. You could check the idea over with some of the CafeMom forums. There are quite a few of homesteading, homeschooling moms over there.