Mid-course corrections are inevitable.
Every year I see things that stand out and don’t make me overly happy.We have homeschooled long enough to know that one curriculum isn’t the be-all, end-all, and that nothing is one size FITS all, either.
Buying and selling curriculum is the way that this homeschool world goes around.
I’ll buy something that looks like a good fit. If it doesn’t work I recycle that money back into what will work for us. Used curriculum sale season is here and if it doesn’t work out, I will sell it. There are always areas which need to be tweaked.
First, is grammar. The boys aren’t enjoying Shurley Grammar. Okay, they don’t like it. At all. I actually bought it after I had purchased Easy Grammar 5 for D1. Then I SOLD the Easy Grammar. Don’t ask me why. I should have waited to see how the Shurley was going to work out. Now I’m wishing I hadn’t sold it!
I just re-ordered EG3 for D2 and I am looking for EG5 (AGAIN). After all this I can see that the boys do better with their own assignments, in their own books, rather than using the white board with me making their quiz worksheets on the computer. (Update 2015: We ended up using Easy Grammar for several years and loved it.)
Second is history. As much as I LOVE Diana Waring— her excitement, to hear her talk about history and all that, I am not enjoying her curriculum and neither are my sons. They enjoy our reading, some titles of which are from her book list, and some aren’t. I adore her history CDs and I can convince force my sons to listen with me, but only in the car. Having a captive audience may play into that. I have pulled out the Teacher’s Manual a few times but don’t find it all that user-friendly.
My friend Kris told me about a program that they are using by Pandia Press called History Odyssey, so I decided to take a look. I downloaded the sampler (first nine lessons) and printed it out. It looks really great! I am going to gather some of the resource books to use with it. Others, we already own.
We probably won’t get through the entire program since we are nearly 1/3 of the way through our school year, but we will definitely get a good chunk of the Middle Ages studied. The plan has not changed direction. Our destination is set. The curriculum we use is just the way I’m choosing to take us there. I am looking forward to a little more structure a and a nice variety of assignments.
Be open to tweaking or removing something which isn’t working for you.
Homeschoolers stress over curriculum too much! There is no one size fits all curriculum. Just pick one that will work. If something isn’t working, find a way to tweak it, or drop it. (You can sell it at a used curriculum sale.) You haven’t failed. This is called adjusting to your child’s needs.
Ask yourself a few questions:
What is my plan?
Am I sticking with my plan?
Does this current program fit my plan AND work with my kids?
I know that I am still following what I set out to cover because I did not base our history plans on a particular program. I know that changing this course midway through will not cause a major disruption.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Curriculum is a tool that helps us get to where we are planning to go. It isn’t what GETS us there.” quote=”Curriculum is a tool that helps us get to where we are planning to go. It isn’t what GETS us there.”]
Curriculum is a tool that helps us get to where we are planning to go.
It isn’t what GETS us there… it’s more like a road map. If the map has tiny print and you can’t read it, then it won’t work for you. It doesn’t matter how much it cost or who published it.
Get the one that works for you, and no matter what, keep your destination and your route in mind when you do it. That way, you won’t wander off and end up somewhere else.