Yesterday we talked about the value of breaks but today we want to talk about the heart of homeschooling- Curriculum. It's the one thing that can excite me and bring out dread all at the same time. When I see moms posting in late July about choosing new curriculum I giggle because, I admit it, I started planning a year ago. About two weeks after I have just begun the current year. Yes, I am one of those people.
I love curriculum. And I have a lot to prove it! 19 years worth and counting to be exact!
Unfortunately things I loved way back then are not always the best choices for the kids I am schooling now, and some things just get techno'ed out. (yes, I made that word up!) But you get the point, I have disks that won't even run on newer computers and math instruction alone has changed a lot in the past 19 years!
We have to keep up in some ways!
How do I do it?
Appreciate what you have!
There are just some things that will never grow old. I am saving my teddy bear counters and tangrams for my grand-kids someday. Seriously! Those manipulatives are worth their weight in gold and still teach just the same. There are reading programs that have worked for us with all four kids and there are books that we will continue to read even if the cover has been taped back on for the umpteenth time. Sometimes new and shiny just doesn't matter. If you have something tried and true, keep it, use it, and appreciate it.
Keep an open mind!
Yes, some things are just easier to use because we have before and there is no learning curve involved. BUT... in this day and time technology can be helpful. While my first instinct is to run from all kinds of technology, I have to remember that is MY instinct, not that of my children. In addition, I would be doing them a disservice if I did not at least expose them to new things.
Think outside the box!
There was a day in time where taking college classes before you were in college was unheard of. Or doing an internship at age 16. Or CLEPing college classes for credit or even taking a GAP year. But nowadays, those ideas and many more are a normal thing for students, homeschooled and public alike. There is no one set way to teach or to learn. Find what works for your family and pave the way to your child's success!
Re-evaluate each year!
We pray about our decision to homeschool every year. We do not take this decision for granted or lightly. I expect you do not either. We also do not take lightly our curriculum choices. Yes, I am blessed because my job is now working under The Old Schoolhouse Magazine with their Homeschool Review Crew, and because of that I see a lot of curriculum go across my desk. But there are other ways for you to do the same. Attend a conference, browse homechool magazines, or find veteran homeschoolers like me who love to have the opportunity to share what we have! If you see something works better than others don't be afraid to change. Even if it is in the middle of the year. Don't waste your time on what doesn't work- it's not worth it. Re-evaluate your needs and move on.
There is no shortage of curriculum and resources out there for homeschoolers. When you keep an open mind, think outside the box and re-evaluate each year, you are bound to find the perfect fit for your family! Got questions? Ask! If I haven't used it, I bet I know someone who has! ;)