I love this time of year as a homeschooler. It is when curriculum catalogs start arriving and planning for the next year can start to happen. It is a time to reflect on the current year as well.
What is working?
What is not?
I will be honest, as much as I love curriculum I have never been big at switching curriculum very often. I really tried to take the wisdom from homeschool moms before me that I heard speak at conventions and read about.
The ones who said, ‘choose wisely, prayer about it (God DOES care even about the curriculum we use) and seek our husbands advice”.
- Your husband may not know as much as you do about the different styles and curriculum out there but you can show him the different options and briefly discuss your concerns with him. Like it or not your husband knows you better than anyone and often he will be able to see a curriculum that may not be right for you by how it is set up, so make sure you get his advice if he will give it.
- When you are cleaning off those shelves and thinking about future years write a list of your needs and your wants, that way your budget will pick up the needs first. I may want a big timeline book but it is not a true need, however a phonetics program for my 1st grader may truly be needed. If there is money left for the want great but if not at least your needs will be met.
- Know that it is NOT always greener on the other side. It may look like if you just had that perfect Math curriculum that your friend does or had the handwriting that caused no tears you would be set, it isn’t always so. What works for my family may not work for yours. You have to keep in mind that we all have different children with different personalities and different needs. We also have different family dynamics, some homeschool moms are single, and some have to work inside or outside the home. You need to keep all of this in mind to factor into what will work for YOUR family. Too many times homeschool mom’s curriculum swap only to find what they already had was really best, no curriculum will be perfect no matter what the catalog tells you!
- All of that said however, sometimes a specific curriculum isn’t working. It is causing the mom and/or student great frustration and is a great struggle. Sometimes we just need to change and when that happens do it with grace and move on. Don’t spent too much time trying to figure out why it didn’t work beating yourself up as teacher because it didn’t. We all make curriculum mistakes, sometimes it wasn’t even a mistake when you started but because of needs in your family, it has just changed. It is okay! Do your research, ask friends for advice, and pray that God shows you the better choice. HE will!
Have fun this spring cleaning off your bookshelves for your new or borrowed curriculum. Enjoy planning the new school year and celebrating with your kids a good year accomplished. However keep in mind no matter what a great planner you are you can’t for see the future. Make sure you consult the ONE who can! HE will lead you to the best choices!