Buying a curriculum is a big decision. And it can be a costly one to make. When that curriculum doesn’t turn out quite the way you planned it can be devasting and seemingly impossible to move on from, and you possibly can’t afford to replace that curriculum this year. So let’s talk about how to make any homeschool curriculum work for your homeschool.
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How to Make Any Homeschool Curriculum Work
I know that if I invest in a curriculum it needs to be gold and I need to be able to use it for all three of my kids, as they move on to those grades. The curriculum choice you make is a big commitment. And when you get it, and start using it, and it just isn’t working, what do you do?
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So, how do you make homeschool curriculum work for you?
Use What Works and Toss What Doesn’t
What elements of the curriculum you have, are working? What isn’t? Put aside, or skip over the parts that you don’t like. Then you can concentrate on the parts that you really like.
Use Curriculum as a Spine or Guide
You have gone through the curriculum but it’s not what you want. You have put aside what you don’t like but you aren’t left with a lot, not what you would expect to be a year worth of lessons. That’s ok, you now have a guide for what you want to cover.
I often find knowing where to start can be hard to figure out when planning our year. Using a curriculum as a guide then you have something to follow. Then you can fill in the blanks with materials that fit your teaching style, your child’s learning style, and your homeschool.
Don’t Do Every Bit of Every Assignment
You’re the teaching parent. You get to decide what constitutes an assignment. Nothing says that your child has to do every single problem or fill in every single blank on a page.
When using RightStart Math we often did this. We worked on what fit our needs and then moved on to the next lesson. Their lessons are for mastery, making sure that your child knows the material, which is what we loved about using RightStart.
Sometimes all the written work in RightStart Math was too much for the child that hated writing. This is why we turned to Teaching Textbooks, typing the answer in on the computer is much more her style of learning than writing by hand.
Modify the Curriculum to Meet Your Child’s Learning Needs
Do you like everything about a particular curriculum except that it has so much written work it overwhelms your child? Remove those assignments or turn them into a different medium. A slide show, poster board presentation. Whatever speaks to your child.
It might also be that your child hates writing answers out by hand. I have one of these, but let her use the computer to type out of her lessons and it is a completely different story.
Make It More Interactive
I’m a big fan of hands-on projects and it’s easy to add activities to most homeschool curriculum. You can:
- add in a baking project
- make an edible model
- complete a craft
- create a presentation for Dad or grandparents or siblings
- write the answers to the math worksheet on a sheet of paper. Cut the paper with the answers and the page with problems into squares and let your child match them up
- turn the assignment into a bingo or board game
You are the teacher. You are their parent. You know your child better than the curriculum creator and what is going to work for them.
Turn that curriculum into something that really works for you. You can make any homeschool curriculum work for you using these tips. It might end up being your best homeschool year yet.