For most of us spring and summer equates to planning time for the upcoming homeschool year. We take time to carefully consider the homeschool curriculum that we will use with our children. We might think about our child’s temperament and personality before splurging on the winning curriculum for the year, but once we get into using that winning homeschool curriculum—we quickly learn that it’s not the curriculum for our learning environment.
Written by Latonya Moore of Joy in the Ordinary
What do you do when the homeschool curriculum you wanted to love isn’t working?
I’ve experienced this before. Just last school year, my daughters and I tried out new to us math and language arts curriculum. The language arts curriculum was beautifully written, including more than basic grammar. It appeared to be a good change for us. We started off strong and followed the suggested directions for making it run smoothly, and it worked until it didn’t. In math, we put away traditional style text to try out more online and worksheet type math curriculum. Well, this method simply didn’t work well at all. I wanted it to work, and the girls were good sports willing to give it both programs a try.
The curriculum I chose for our core subjects flopped for us so we quit them. Yes, we did. Right in the middle the of the school year. We switched to another new math program, and we went back to using a language arts approach that worked well for us.
Should we start from the beginning when switching homeschool curriculum midyear?
When switching homeschool curriculum, there is no need to start at lesson one day one. Remember your child has completed work in the previous curriculum, and if he has mastered it then making him start over at the beginning could be a bit frustrating. When we switched to our new math program, we skipped many lessons. Remember completing an entire textbook isn’t necessary to prove mastery or understanding. Our children can have some skills mastered before even cracking open the current year’s curriculum.
But, what if we don’t finish the curriculum since we switched?
Can I be honest? There are some subject materials that we rarely complete even if we don’t switch during the midyear. We often find ourselves taking our time so that my daughters will have the opportunity to fully engage and understand the lessons and projects that we are working through. Not only that, but subjects such as math and language arts often repeat many topics up until high school.
If you are worried about not completing the new curriculum, I would suggest going through the text and giving yourself and child permission to not worry about lessons that he has already mastered and lessons that will be taught in the upcoming grade level. This will give you wiggle room and reduce stress. Now if you believe your child should complete the entire text, then you could possibly extend lessons into summer break or continue using the same text in the upcoming school year. In our earlier homeschool years, we would start new curriculum at random times of the school year, and my daughters would continue using the new curriculum in new grade levels.
Switching homeschool curriculum during the middle of the school year can be a great change. It could shift your homeschool’s atmosphere from stressful to engaging from a chore to exciting. Don’t be afraid to make a switch if necessary. One of the greatest gifts in homeschooling is flexibility, and that includes flexibility in curriculum.
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Have you switched curriculum during the middle of the school year? Share your tips in the comments.
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Latonya is a wife and homeschool mom of two. She enjoys encouraging other moms on their motherhood journey. When she isn’t writing or teaching her daughters, you can find her teaching art classes on Outschool or creating jewelry for her site, www.authenticallymade.com.