I grew up thinking that the term "junkie" was a bad thing. To be labelled a junkie implied a life spent aimlessly courting danger and illegal substances. It meant disconnect from reality. It meant an addiction that overshadowed relationships and productivity.
Today, in homeschool culture, it's a good thing to be called a junkie. Or at least, a perfectly acceptable thing. You know what I'm talking about: the curriculum junkie.
I admit that I've used the term in reference to myself on occasion. What I meant by it was that I enjoy perusing new stuff. I like to glean new ideas. And I get excited when I see the market's needs being met in such original and creative ways.
What I didn't mean is that I have shelves groaning under the weight of programs I had tried on for size for a month or two, then pushed aside in favor of the hot new thing. I didn't mean that something new caught my eye each and every year and distracted me from the success I was already enjoying with what I was already using. I didn't mean that I plan and buy and plan and buy, but tire of those plans and purchases by the time I actually getting around to the implementation phase.
I didn't mean that I wanted a sample of every single flavor on display at the buffet table of homeschooling.
But this is what I see, increasingly, around me: people who are unable or unwilling to self-discipline themselves enough to give their children stability and consistency in their homeschooling experience.
I'm not talking about people who change things in the name of meeting a learning style, igniting a love of learning in their children, or adapting to a new season of life. Personally, we've switched programs when the needs of our kids changed. That's the beauty of homeschooling, and that's not what I mean here. I'm talking about the real junkie among us: the folks who have stuck their finger in every homeschooling pie in a search for the one perfect thing that's going to make or break their year.
As if such a thing exists.
Luke from Sonlight started a discussion on this topic on his blog yesterday, cueing me into the fact that I'm not the only one noticing this trend. So what gives? Why are we being swayed and tossed like the wind? Are there simply too many options? Are we becoming gluttons? Are we buying into the lie that there's a "right" or "best" way?
What do you think?