Do you find yourself changing homeschool curriculum on a regular basis?
Have you ever considered that you just like that feeling you get from change?
Here’s how I discovered my addiction to curriculum change…
Seventh grade is, as we Texans say, “fixin to” be upon us, as is year three of our homeschool. And even though we went through a season of spying on other schooling setups, I am pleased to report that we are all systems launch for another year.
Which means it’s time *cue Jock Jams circa 1996 playlist* foooooorrrrrr currrrriculum shopppping!
I don’t know about you, but I have a science lover in my home.
Okay, no science lover in your home?
Fine, insert your kid’s favorite subject or interest in that space then. (Don’t get all sassy!)
Knowing this key detail about my student makes me have a heightened sense of that OUR SCIENCE CURRICULUM MUST BE PERFECTION.
And, so off to the Homeschool Store I go, tra la la dee da dee!
But, first let me call the husband to tell him to gird his loins for the expenditure! (Nah, I’m playin’ we budgeted for this!)
Because books, I have learned, are habit forming you guys.
I step out of my ’09 (now ’11 – as she died in Tallahassee…) Honda Pilot and into that parking lot and suddenly my hair blows back just so and I deliberately walk in slo-mo, y’all.
BECAUSE CURRICULUM SHOPPING MAKES ME FEEL ALIVE INSIDE
The stillness of the store.
The people wanting to help you.
The books . . . ALL THOSE GLORIOUS BOOKS!
And, inside my head it goes something like this:
Science, you imbecile.
Get out of the math aisle, nincompoop!
So I look through all the science lore.
But then, I start to not feel so good.
Then, I question my reasons for even being here at all.
I was trying to look for something new–something hands-on, self-paced, full of engaging information that will steer her well–yet easy enough for me to grasp and help her with and on and on and . . . STOP.
I had to have a come to Jesus moment right there in that store, because guys, this wasn’t the first time I had done this changing curriculum thing and it’s not only science I’ve switched around.
I have a problem: I like to change things.
Somewhere, I have equated (and maybe you have too) that changing curricula is going to be the ticket this year. That finally we will land in the perfect place of learning by switching it up.
But, what if I told you that sometimes sticking with things is a better option?
7 Things to Consider Before Changing To a New Homeschool Curriculum
Thoughts on Addiction to Curriculum Change (and What to Do Instead):
1. Am I changing just for something new?
If so, maybe paint a wall instead or learn a new hobby with your student first.
You can just be addicted to that excitement you feel when you change to something new and unknown. And, that’s probably not how you want to homeschool.
2. Will the new curriculum do more harm than good?
Sometimes I fail to factor in what the change will do to my kid who has become accustomed to learning with whatever system is in place.
They know the steps already in this one line of books and then I go and change that up!
And, I throw in yet another thing to learn on top of the learning.
The change might not be worth the stress.
3. What works for another family might not work for yours.
I rely heavily on word of mouth to make curricula choices. Sometimes that has proven to be wonderful and other times . . . not so much.
If you happen to look at someone else’s race you are bound to stumble a bit. So, stop comparing your journey with others.
As my dad told me when I was learning to drive: “Hands go where eyes go.”
(Or, something like that.)
4. No curriculum is perfect! (Also: You can Cathy Duffy yourself to death.)
And, don’t think of it as “settling!”
You aren’t really settling because you are all in and will fill in the gaps as you go.
(And, all curricula have gaps.)
5. Maybe you just really love books and changing curriculum fulfills that.
Then, you just need to get to the library!
Recognizing that I have a BOOK addiction was really helpful in overcoming the change addiction. It was the books that I loved, not necessarily the change.
6. Ask: “What are we really hoping to gain by switching curriculum that we don’t already have?”
Stepping back to consider the end game helped me in final decision making for courses to take next year.
7. We are further along and need to nail things down.
Back to what I was saying earlier, the comfort of curriculum loyalty at this point is going to bring my seventh grader success.
In her world of change, she needs stability.
So, we did end up changing science this year with our backup of the old curriculum if we don’t like it. BUT, we did stick with Classical Conversations, our History stuff, and Math (outsourced).
Stay on course fellow sojourners. Let us not lose hope and grow weary in the homeschool store or at conventions!
Gillian homeschools her two daughters and focuses on the funny in life through imperfection over at her family’s blog: www.fournicholstwocents.com.
Grateful for Jesus and deodorant, she loves talking to anyone about the correct meat to cheese ratio in tacos.