Your year is in full swing, maybe even closing in on the halfway mark. You’ve been diligently keeping up with your benchmarks and processing through evaluations. But you’ve encountered a major problem. You chose what you thought was the perfect homeschool curriculum, but nothing has worked out as planned. Perhaps it worked for a while, then something changed. Or maybe it worked for the first child but not for the second. Or it’s entirely possible that it never worked at all. But a change means “wasting” all of that curriculum.
Does this describe you? If so, what do you do?
3 Tips for Handling Curriculum Issues
Believe it or not, almost all homeschool parents struggle with a curriculum issue at least once in their homeschool career simply because there is no such thing as a one-size fits-all curriculum. But, that doesn’t mean that you have failed. It simply means that a little bit of tweaking is in order.
Sometimes the best option is a little adaptation. Make a list of all of the ways your curriculum does and does not work for you or your child and why. Next, work to modify assignments, head to the library to find an alternate book, or skip certain sections altogether. Instead of letting yourself and your student feel enslaved to the curriculum, make the necessary changes to your benchmarks to help your curriculum work for you. It’s amazing how even small tweaks can sometimes make everything click into place! It will take more effort on your part, but you will know better what to look for next year.
It could be that the problem lies less in the curriculum and more in a feeling of burnout. So, spruce it up a bit! Supplement with hands-on activities such as cooking, historical crafts, unique experiments, or art projects. Turn your current topic into a unit study. Plan a fun field trip that brings your studies to life. Trying a different approach to the material can breathe new life into even problematic curricula.
Set it Aside
If you’ve taken the above steps and it’s still not working, don’t be afraid to set aside your curriculum. Save it for a younger child, give it away, loan it out, or sell it, but don’t keep using it just because you’re afraid of being wasteful. It is okay to walk away.
But this leads to a new problem. What do you do now? Very few of us have the expendable budget to purchase an entire new curriculum mid-year. Here are some alternatives to help you get through the year:
Take the topics listed for the remainder of the year and pursue unit studies related to those topics.
Check with a friend to see if you can join forces for some classes or if you can borrow curriculum she is not using.
Take a look at book lists from established lesson plans and spend the rest of the year reading whatever you can check out of the library.
Head to the dollar store for inexpensive workbooks that can provide supplements and keep your student practicing foundational skills.
Remember that you are in charge of your child’s education. Give yourself the freedom to do what works!
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