Choosing the right curriculum for you and your child is no easy task. It takes time, research, and money to make the right choice for your family. Sometimes the pressure to pick the perfect curriculum can be overwhelming. Not only are there tons of varying styles of homeschooling, but there’s thousands of publishers to go with each style!
It can be discouraging to finally pick something only to find it isn’t a good fit for you or your child. When you’re curriculum isn’t working, where do you turn?
There could be several reasons your current curriculum isn’t a good fit. Perhaps the lessons aren’t organized in a way that fits your needs? Maybe the lessons are too long? Not challenging enough? Whatever the case may be, it’s important to recognize when something isn’t working, and be confident in your ability to make change! After all, you are the teacher AND parent.
I know that making a curriculum change is intimidating. It can make you feel like your “off” of your schedule or not accomplishing the goals you set out to achieve at the beginning of the year. But often, we are our own worst enemies. Who says we have to keep doing something that isn’t working? Nobody!
As a homeschool mom who has switched things up mid year on more than one occasion, I have a few tips to help you determine if a change in curriculum is necessary and how to find something new.
1. Monitor your child’s comprehension, not their attitude. Sometimes our children have a tendency to act out when they’re frustrated. It can be hard to determine if they are actually struggling with a subject or if they just don’t really like it. They key here is comprehension! If they’re mastering the lesson or tests, they’re getting it. If they are completely lost and fumbling than something is off and needs to be evaluated. In my experience, a child that is frustrated by not understanding a lesson will act out during the lesson work. A child that just doesn’t like math will voice their complaints before they ever pick up a pencil!
2. Figure out our child’s learning style. What makes your child tick when it comes to learning? What kind of lessons or activities make your child smile, get excited, and ask lots of questions? Take note of the things they do enjoy about the school day, and begin looking for methods or curriculum that compliment their learning style. Familiarize yourself with different learning styles and figure out which styles fit your child.
3. Does your curriculum compliment or constrict? Now that you have been able to determine that your child is or isn’t struggling, and you have a better understanding of their learning style, you will be able to better evaluate the curriculum you’re using and make some changes where needed.
4. Start small. Sure change can be a good thing, but we all know it can be pretty stressful too. I’m not suggesting you toss all of your homeschool stuff to the curb and start over. Don’t do it all at once! Start with one subject at a time. Focus on getting your child’s confidence built back up with a new spin on ONE subject. Then take that momentum and let it trickle down naturally throughout your homeschool plan.
5. Don’t jump on the bandwagon. When we begin to learn of other curriculum choices and homeschooling methods, we tend to get super excited and jump on the band wagon, buying up every book store in town. Always remember that what works for one family may not work for yours. Keep a clear head about the individual needs of your child. You know your child best. Take your time and only make changes that matter.
One of the joys of homeschool is being able to make changes our children need whenever the heck we want to. Why stick with something that causes both you and your child stress? Don’t be afraid to try something different. Whether you’re switching curriculum or learning a fresh way to teach the same old stuff, enjoy it! Life is too short for bad school days.