Which is more important to you: that your children finish all of their assignments each and every day? Do you plan each day obsessively, and become upset when your children don’t finish everything that you expect them to do in a day, or do you prefer to create a loose schedule, completing lessons in the time that it takes to complete them and willingly going off on a tangent when your children are particularly engaged in a given assignment? Are you focused on making learning interesting, so that your children are as engaged as possible, or are you more worried about working through the standards for the year as quickly as possible so that your children aren’t left behind in anything?
What if you did a little bit of both?
What if you had lesson plans scheduled for a week or a month at a time—enough that you know what you need to have done by the end of that time, but not so rigid that there isn’t room for a bit of exploration?
What if you were willing to take an entire day and spend it exploring the wonders of ancient Egypt, or take a week and focus on preparing and planting a garden?
What if you worked your children’s interests into the lessons, and used them as incentive for the lessons they don’t enjoy as much?
And what if you were more focused on teaching your children to love learning than you were on making sure that they knew all of the fundamentals of algebra before anyone else their age?
Children have a natural love of learning that is, unfortunately, stifled over years in a traditional brick and mortar classroom. As they are forced to complete worksheets and do activities in which they have no interest over and over again, that natural love of learning dies a slow death. On the other hand, children who are allowed to explore and encouraged to continue lessons in which they do have interest tend to flourish.
That doesn’t mean that the fundamentals can be neglected. Even a homeschooling student should cover most of the standards for a given grade each year. However, a mix of the two might be a much more valuable opportunity—because then you will not only be teaching your child what they need to know, but how to enjoy discovering it.