My outline

June 7, 2008 at 9:46 pm | Posted in Curriculum, Self-schooling | Leave a comment

Here’s what I came up with so far for the curriculum. It looks a bit spotty and random, but that’s because I’m trying to cover gaps in my learning* that public school didn’t cover, and things I’m just plain curious about.

World history and culture
-Ancient history outside of Greece and Rome
-The Middle East, past and present
-Russian revolution and WWI
-Native American culture (including Central and South American natives)
Religion and philosophy
-Review of philosophy (I took a class in 2006, loved it, then promptly forgot everything)
-Native/aboriginal/tribal religions
-Unitarian-Universalism (my own religion, to which I am relatively new)

-Botany and zoology

-Climate change and sustainability

-Physics (literally the only thing I know about physics is red shift, which is kind of not very useful by

-Classic novels and poetry (I have taken multiple college literature classes, all of which focused almost exclusively on short stories. I have never read, for example, The Catcher in the Rye, Homer’s Odyssey, Macbeth, or most of the other works that people are usually [supposed to be] exposed to in high school.)
-Review of geometry, algebra, logic and statistics, all of which I’ve almost entirely forgotten
-Teaching math (I will have to take a “real” class on this later, which I will almost certainly not understand unless I’ve been
over it before)
Music and art
-Art history and review of music history
-Art techniques, with a focus on painting
-Music performance (mostly clarinet and piano, *possibly* introductory guitar)
-World music
Practical life
-Home and auto maintenance
-I would love to get into hiking and swimming, but I am not sure if I have the resources (read: money, and friends who are willing to be dragged along to public pools and hiking trails) to do so

Now that I’ve written it all down, what I thought was going to be a spotty curriculum now looks huge! I probably won’t get to all of it over the summer, but I’ll have a lot of free time in the fall to work on this as well. I see a lot of overlap across different subjects, and I think what I am going to do is try and do a lot of cross-curricular projects (an extremely useful approach which I think mainstream education tends to fail miserably at, particularly at the secondary and post-secondary levels). One thing that’s jumping out at me is all the stuff about the Middle East and Native Americans, so I will probably do entire units on those. It’s pretty easy to do cross-curricular stuff when studying an entire culture: you can work in history, geography, religion, art and music, even cooking and sewing. I’m excited about the prospects here.

* A good example of this came last night, when I told Khan I wanted to learn about the Russian Revolution, because “all I know about it is that Stalin was a jerk”. He was like *facepalm* and explained to me that Stalin had nothing to do with the revolution and I needed to learn about Lenin. This is a prime illustration of why I’m doing this whole schooling thing.


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