The perfect homeschool curriculum is music to our ears or at least we think so. Well, it was “perfect” homeschool curriculum at the time.
However times change. And having two homeschooled graduates, you think I would learn from my quest for the perfect homeschool curriculum.
Admittedly, I can be hard-headed, but I learned a few things as I knocked my head on the wall. (ouch, don’t do that)
Sharing 10 tips to know when to walk away from the “perfect” homeschool curriculum hopefully you’ll not do some of these same things.
1. When your child out grows the curriculum.
You may think well duh, my children are getting older and they will outgrow it. No, I am not talking about that.
What I mean is that whatever made you decide to use the curriculum at that time and then suddenly the circumstance is not there, curriculum can turn from sweet to sour.
I have one son that went from wanting the full picture each day in his curriculum to a checklist.
The curriculum outgrew its usefulness and now becomes a burden. Time to move on.
2. When your child’s learning style changed.
Most kids are wiggly willies (meaning girls too) until about the age of 6 or 7 years old.
Along about 8 to 10 years of age, a child’s true learning style emerges. Normally, this learning style will be the one that will be with them longer or maybe even their whole life.
This happens at anytime and kids don’t wait to the first day of school to present their new learning style. But, you can start seeing frustration now in a curriculum that seemed to have worked before.
This happened to me with another one of my son and it was in the middle of a school year.
The textbook method to math no longer worked because his auditory learning style started to be dominant.
So in the middle of the year, I was on the prowl for a math curriculum that suited his auditory learning style.
3. When you have to change your homeschool approach.
Saying that you’ll use the same homeschool approach your whole journey is a rookie mistake. I know, I did it.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to stick to a homeschool approach because it works for your family, but the problem is that life gets in the way.
Changing my homeschool approach because either I was pregnant, sick, or had to take care of aging parents are all things I’ve had to focus on.
Curriculum then becomes a burden when I don’t have time to plan it. Switching to a boxed curriculum was a welcomed relief.
It was easier to see this coming unlike some of the other signs.
Check out my tips at my article, Taking a Hit Doesn’t Mean to Quit– Homeschooling Through Crisis.
4. When most of your days are filled with tears. (yours and your kids)
I thought this would be another one of those duh things that you think that most homeschool educators know, but I have tell you about helping a homeschooler one year.
I won’t forget her because no matter what her boys said about not understanding the method and curriculum she chose, it was going to be her way. They were going to use it.
She had great kids and their tears flowed because the curriculum just didn’t click with the kids.
However, because the curriculum fit her learning style, she wasn’t giving it up at any cost.
It was a pretty ugly standoff and ambitious homeschooling has a way of biting back.
Look at my article, Homeschooling for the Love of Learning – Does It Really Work?
5. When your curriculum makes you feel like you’re behind.
Pitch it. That is all there is to it.
When a curriculum takes over your life, your day, and your kids because it no longer is a tool but a taskmaster it’s time to walk away from it.
It really is very simple and uncomplicated though you may read a lot of curriculum tips that try to make you feel like its you or your kid’s fault. It is not.
Unless your child has learning disabilities, he is just where he should be.
Let me say that again. He is where he is suppose to be and not where the boxed curriculum touts that he should be.
Also, check out the tips in 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.
6. When you didn’t ask specific questions before you bought it.
It’s okay for one of your homeschooling friends to be over the moon excited about a curriculum. However, that doesn’t mean it will work for you because she has tremendous success.
Your kids are different and unique and so are you.
I have purchased curriculum based on suggestions before asking specific questions.
Questions like how long does it take you to get through the curriculum, how much teacher prep does it require, do you have to buy anything supplemental and can I use it with multiple ages are some very specific questions to initiate conversation.
7. When your curriculum doesn’t reflect your family’s values or goals.
When you start to homeschool, it seems like there are lot of things you are just suppose to know right from the beginning.
And knowing exactly the goals and values for your family is one of those things you need to know, but I also learned that goals and visions change and grow.
Do You Need to Unlearn these Homeschool Curriculum Habits?
Whether you want to move toward more faith-based homeschooling or want to move toward a more secular approach, don’t wait to switch curriculum.
When a curriculum is not working, it sets your homeschool back.
Move forward by letting go of the weight of a curriculum that is not working.
8. When your teaching style has changed.
As you grow in your homeschool experience, there will be some subjects that you feel more comfortable teaching than others.
Some curriculum gives more detailed back ground information about a subjects than others do or they may not give enough background information. Your teaching needs changed and may be different than the present curriculum you are using.
What was a homeschool help at one time can become a hindrance.
Your teaching style will change, so don’t delay switching curriculum to breathe life into your teaching journey.
Also, I love trying out curriculum for free on a limited bases because it gives me a chance to see if it will work for me. You’ll love being able to do that with the Homeschool Buyers Coop. Although they have a lot of free curriculum during the summer to try out, they have many freebies throughout the year.
9. When you over buy one type and now need separate curriculum.
You are not alone. I think we all over buy at one time or the other.
But, what I am honing in on is that you may want to buy curriculum from different approaches.
For example, I have one son that likes textbooks and another son that wilts when one is pulled out.
Instead of buying or using the same curriculum across the board for all my children, I bought separate products that use a variety of homeschool approaches for each of my boys.
10. When you seem to be leaving more out than you’re covering.
This was the final straw for me when I left more curriculum out than I was actually using.
I knew that I had to change my curriculum. Becoming weighed down with curriculum caused stress instead of easing it.
There may be a lot of things you regret by the time you finish homeschooling, but switching to a homeschool curriculum that better suits your present needs won’t be one of them.
Also, you’ll love these tips:
- Why Buying Curriculum Won’t Make You a Homeschooler (But What Will)
- 7 Budget-Friendly Language Arts Curriculum to Pair with Unit Studies (with printable)
- You’ve Pitched the Homeschool Curriculum – Now What?
Hugs and love ya,