When is it okay to switch curriculum?

switch-curriculum

A few weeks ago I addressed the issue of homeschool burnout, and ever since then I’ve been receiving notes from many homeschooling moms that it’s been helpful to them.  The video on homeschool burnout was my plea to homeschooling moms everywhere to please stop comparing your homeschool and your life season to someone else’s.  This is definitely one choice in your life that is extremely unique and personal to you and your family alone.  Do what you need to do in order to please the Lord…and that doesn’t always entail homeschooling.

*gasp!* Yes, I said it.  Homeschooling is not for everybody.  Please don’t get me wrong: I enjoy homeschooling. But not always.  It’s definitely not easy. And it is definitely not for every family.

That said, when you’ve decided you want to keep homeschooling but the curriculum you’re using just doesn’t work for you anymore, what do you do?  Especially when you’ve spent a lot of money to purchase it…

Check out my long video explanation about why I’ve decided after one full year of using the Sonlight Core F program, not to continue with it.

It’s nothing personal.  I enjoyed interviewing Sarita Holzman and think her company does a lot of good for society.  They give back, they reach out to missionary families, and their curricula proves their underlying core values.  And I think that’s awesome.  I thought it was so awesome that I even sacrificed $500 of my pocket money (which I ended up having to pay in small 9-month, interest-free, installments), and even made a video or two about why I chose Sonlight.

But hence, a new year, a new era for my family.  We are moving in a few weeks to a new city and will be, hopefully sooner than later, experiencing new friendships and support groups.  That said, I just couldn’t keep up with Sonlight without always feeling like I was lagging behind somehow.

(And yet, I’m trading one fast-paced program for another as I enter my middle school daughter into a cyberschool for next year.)

But when is it okay to switch curriculum? you might ask.

When it doesn’t work for your kids anymore.

If your kids are getting burned out on it, it’s probably time for a little re-evaluation.  Let it go.  Drop it for a season and come back to it again later on.  It’s okay to do that.  The last thing in the world you want is for your kids to hate learning because the curriculum is like drudgery for them.

When it doesn’t work for you anymore.

Believe it or not, a curriculum can burn out mom more than it does the kids. (Well, you probably do believe that if you’ve experienced it!)  Try stepping back from it, getting away from it for a while, and choosing something more aligned with your values or your season of life. Whether it’s too fast-paced, slow-paced, not aligned with your family vision or your kids’ learning style- whatever the case, if it doesn’t work for you, ditch it.  If the teacher manual is thicker than what you have time for, feel free to put that thing aside and figure things out for yourself- or switch to a simpler program.

When you or the kids have outgrown the program.

Yep.  Our kids really can outgrow a complete program.  Even if the grade levels extend beyond your child’s current grade level, if the presentation of the material doesn’t suit your child’s stage any longer, then it might be time to move on.  If you begin to break out a yawn every time you open the teacher’s guide, then maybe you’ve outgrown it too.

When it’s too time-consuming.

If it takes you all day long to prepare for the lessons and figure out how to teach it, then just maybe it’s too time-consuming for your tastes.  Time to look at some other options that help you zip right through  the lessons and still manage to meet those learning objectives that matter in the first place.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you ever had to switch curriculum that you spent a good deal of money on?

Let me know in the comments below.

*Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

About Demetria Zinga

I'm a web success strategy coach and podcast consultant who enjoys helping female entrepreneurs and mompreneurs find success with online business. When I'm not producing my Web Success Strategies Podcast, I also run an encouragement blog for homeschooling moms of faith.

Comments

  1. Michelle says

    I found out last year that what works for one student does not always work for other students. I stopped using Math-u-see in the middle of the year last year, because my 2 girls just were not learning what they should have been. I found something that worked and was thankfully not overly expensive. It was frustrating though, because I have carefully purchased, most of the time used, every level of math-u-see. It worked great for the 2 oldest, but not the 2 middle ones. I am hanging on to it though, because I have 2 younger ones that are using the younger grades of it and may use the upper grades eventually. We have to remember that each child has their own learning style and that is part of the reason we are homeschooling.

    • says

      Michelle, I feel you on that- especially since you took the time to carefully select the math. Picking out materials for our kids is a chore and a process and there’s a lot to be learned in doing what you said- tapping into each child’s learning style. Thanks for dropping by!
      Demetria recently posted..When is it okay to switch curriculum?My Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

 Subscribe to My Newsletter