There are many things I have learned while homeschooling for the past twenty plus years. (Yikes!! Has it really been that long??!!) The main thing is you have to learn to be flexible. Why keep doing what isn’t working?
Let’s talk curriculum.
You’ve probably already read many articles on types of learning. And you’ve probably already spent too much money on the “right” curriculum. But what if the year is now half over and you have finally admitted that your dream curriculum just isn’t working for your family? It’s okay, I give you permission to change it.
There are many reasons why you might not want to change curriculum. Finances is the top reason. However, you can recover some of the money you spent on purchases by selling the used curriculum. And you can also save money by purchasing used curriculum. If you are lucky, perhaps someone in a local homeschool group has what you are looking for and you can try it out first or even borrow it. If you have younger children, you might want to hold onto the current curriculum and try it again with another child. After graduating three, I hate to admit how much curriculum I am still holding onto “just in case…”.
Perhaps your student doesn’t respond to the curriculum? Could it be that you have a highly auditory learner, yet you purchased curriculum geared to a visual learner? I admit that I’ve made that mistake. If you can’t get your hands on what you are considering for your next curriculum, look online for reviews. Most reviewers take plenty of pictures and give a very accurate description of the material. If you have specific questions, who better to ask than someone that is already using that product?
The beauty of homeschooling is you have access to tons of curriculum and the freedom to find what works perfect for your family. Don’t feel like you are committed to sticking with a program when it isn’t working. That’s not to say that you should change every month. Give it an honest try. Make sure your student isn’t just trying to get out of doing the schoolwork. Let your student have a say in picking out what appeals to them. I try to take my kids with me to curriculum fairs. Going in, they know they have to decide on a science curriculum and learn Life Science and then I will give them options. They can browse over all of the options and then help make the decision. This helps give them ownership of their education and they tend to try harder and take more pride in their work.
Sometimes situations arise that can really create obstacles in your homeschooling. Personally, I had to return to working part-time and had to let go of some curriculum that we all really loved for the sake of time commitments. I simply no longer have the time to plan, teach and grade as much as I did previously. For this season, our only option was to do some subjects online. I let the boys choose what they wanted to change and what online course to use. It has worked beautifully. I do hope this is temporary but at least some of the stress has been removed from me – they are learning and my focus and time are spent on the more important subjects.
Have you struggled with changing curriculum mid-stream? Are you flexible each year or do you only use one boxed curriculum no matter what? Always remember, the right way to homeschool is the way that works for your family.
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