Often the question has been asked, “Is there more that I should be teaching in Weaver? The lessons sometimes seem so short.”
I used to wonder about this also some 12 years ago, when I first started using Weaver with my young children. The lessons seemed very short. Was I missing something? Thankfully I ran across some Charlotte Mason philosophy at the same time. That philosophy reinforced for me a great benefit of Weaver. CM philosophy encourages short interesting lessons, which Weaver provides. I had to get out of my head the idea of the 50 minute classroom, teacher-controlled lesson. We all need to unlearn some things when we start home-schooling like unlearning all that we thought was true education, modeled by the public or private school. If you begin to fret and think you have to add extra information and go beyond what the Weaver unit covers it can lead to overload and burnout. Follow some rabbit trails, if you want, but remember that you don’t have to do so in order to make the curriculum complete. You will repeat many of the subjects year after year, although the objectives will not always cover the same information, so you don’t have to worry and ask, “Are my kids getting enough?”.
Now, if you go beyond what Weaver presents for a particular unit you may run the risk of burning out on a topic and when you hit it again your children may rebel. Volume one is a volume for setting the hooks in place for further building. Why does Weaver do that? Weaver prefers hitting many topics yearly in increments and building on them rather than teaching a subject every four or five years.
Also once you introduce a topic your children will become more aware of that subject and you will find them adding their own information to it as well. You don’t have to think you have to supply all of the learning situations. Life is not segmented and compartmentalized, like most curriculums are set up. Weaver plans on the fact that as you introduce subjects your children will begin to take responsibility for their own learning. Their interests will be piqued and they will begin to make their own connections.
Some lessons are short and some are not, as you will see. I would encourage you to trust the curriculum. Yes, you can follow tangents but know that you don’t need to. Your kids will fall in love with a curriculum that does not require fill-in-the-blanks, long sitting, teacher directed and text driven lessons. With Weaver you are invited to learn with your children, in short interesting lessons, so you can spend the rest of your day living and enjoying life, not tied to a school desk! Do I hear a hallelujah?
Even though the lessons are short and there are hands-on activities I still always ask the Lord to help me find ways to make the new lessons applicable and memorable for our family. When you come to a new unit, or are in the middle of one, there is also the wonderful group of home educators on the Weaver loop who has lots of ideas also. There is always a game or nifty introduction which will create an element of delight, surprise and spice things up a bit.