I had 14 children and I’ve been homeschooling for more than 35 years- I’ve gone through some curriculum!Here are some things I’ve learned along the way about choosing curriculum.
#1- There isn’t one perfect curriculum that works for every child.
So you chose curriculum last year for your oldest and this year the next one is coming up, so they can just use what the oldest child used. Simple. Easy. Maybe…..
Each child is so unique. I found that sometimes a curriculum I used for many of kids with success brought extreme discouragement to a younger child. Kids think differently. Some are very logical. To them, the math’s and sciences make perfect sense, but oh, the English language…. Or, words come easy to one child. They can sit down and create an interesting story or letter, where another child can sit and look at the paper and stress over having to come up with just the right words to communicate what they want to say .
It’s okay that kids learn and think differently. It’s a temptation to get exasperated when your child learns differently from you. You think something makes perfect sense and is incredibly easy, but your child is overwhelmed by it.
Learn to step back and observe how he learns and how he thinks.
Do you feel bound by your curriculum? Do you feel guilty if you don’t do every problem? Are your kids overwhelmed, bored, or frustrated on a regular basis? I want to encourage you to free your children and free yourself, too!
A simple tip to remember is to give your child enough practice to challenge them, but not so much that you overwhelm them. I wish there were a simple rule for how much to give them. I used to think the textbook writers knew this and what was provided in the curriculum is exactly what every child needed. Boy, did I ever find out the hard way!
If you find something in your curriculum that strikes the interest of one of your kids, expand upon it.
Get a whole biography of some person mentioned in their history book, visit a veteran and learn history from those who lived it.
Cook “Math” one day instead of just doing the problems in a book. Learn the skeletal system by tracing your child and having them glue bones down to their outline, build a volcano in the sandbox with vinegar and baking soda.
Let your child start a business while they are still young to help learn financial skills.
Look for what motivates them and let it become part of your “school”.
When you see an interest crop up in one of your children, find the resources needed for them to pursue it.
Make it a part of their “curriculum” and let them pursue what sparks their interest. Maybe they’ll be immensely interested in something for a while and then lose interest and go on to something else as some of my kids did. That’s okay. Their interests will be broadened that way.
Never feel like you have to stick to the traditional school subjects.
Life is so much more varied than the average school curriculum.