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Choosing a Curriculum to Survive and Thrive in Your Homeschool

Choosing a Curriculum to Survive and Thrive in Your Homeschool

When choosing a curriculum, the truth is: It is All About You

Have you ever wondered what I use at home for a school with 10 different grades? Yes, 10 kids in 10 different grades. Have you wondered how I haven’t  just completely lost my mind? That is ok. We get that a lot.

In our homeschool, I use the curriculum that fits ME best. I translate that to each of my kids the way they hear it best.

Making a curriculum choice is a very personalized decision.

It has to fit you as the teacher, as much or even more than it has to fit the kids. If you hate it, the school day can feel like drudgery. The curriculum you choose will directly effect the success of your day. My advice is to get one you love. That way you can be enthusiastic about and translate it as needed to fit your kids learning style.

What if I hate school already and it is only December

This is a sign you are using a curriculum you hate and the reason why I am wiring this now. I want to help you because January and February are high burnout months for homeschoolers. Don’t quit when a few small changes could make all of the difference in your school.

You can do this homeschooling thing and you can do it really well. I know you can because I have somehow managed to find my way with 10 very active and energetic kids.

One of the reasons I can stay such an active resource as a homeschool Mom is that I have a lot of students. It works for me and I am thankful. Each of my kids have different needs and learning habits. It stretches me and makes me search for tools to help me. That is great because I get to share them with you.

There might not be a magic bullet curriculum, but I have found the fit for me. I don’t think that you, as the parent and teacher, are considered enough in the curriculum choosing equation.

When you are first starting out, the truth is that it is all about you.

Shop around for a Curriculum for your kids but First, Two Points

  1. Know your personality.

I love my curriculum. There is a huge binder that I loving call “Mom.” It tells me what to do every day. Knowing my personality, I can tell you this is a great fit. Indecision kills my productivity more than anything. When you leave me a list, I am a happy person. My husband knows this, if he wants something done he is specific and clear. Those seem to be the only kind of  instructions that I will follow.

     What stalls you out in your school day?

My dear friend who introduced me to the curriculum that I love and have used for the last 13 years, used it for less than a year. I am glad I met with her during the “Love-it” stage. She hates being told what to do. She loves to wing-it and create unit studies about topics of interest. This works for her and her family. I would sink where she swims.

     What kinds of activities do you get excited to do?

We all like to get our information differently. That is why my number one rule of curriculum curation actually has nothing to do with school or learning styles. It is about knowing you. How do you as a regular, human, adult, person like to receive instructions. Structured with details, or with lots of room to make your own plan? This will help you know what kind of curriculum to look for.

 

     2.  Know Your Lifestyle

Take time to gauge how your days run before you ever start school. Start looking at your long term academic goals. These were the two biggest factor in choosing our curriculum.

As for my day; I spent out days reading books while the kids were small. We were young restaurant owners so, I was alone for long portions of the day with 5 children, 5 and under. Reading was our wind down activity. We read in the mornings. We read at nap time and at bed time as well. I wanted a curriculum that gave us school credit for doing exactly what we were already doing every day.

     What activities are a priority in your day?

We all have strong desires to see our children succeed in different areas. Embrace those passions because they can translate our enthusiasm for a subject to our children. I also knew my academic goals for my kids early on. Reading is important to me. I didn’t read for joy until I was an adult. If I  wanted my kids to grow up and be more than readers, if I wanted them to love books I was going to have to model that. Knowing that reading is vital in child development, builds leadership skills and increases the likelihood of continuing on in higher education, I created a world where reading was prominent before school was even on the radar.

     What are some of your long term academic goals and hopes for your kids?

 

Is there a right way?

What if I value hands on learning? There are plenty of boxed curriculums and learning kits to keep you busy well on to graduation. My friend just loves textbooks. She loves knowing everything is covered and all in one place. I would die, but she is happy, happy, happy. She looks at my stack of nearly 50 reading books and feels her skin crawl.

Knowing yourself is the key to thriving with the curriculum you have chosen. Your personal learning style and current life style are factors in choosing the right curriculum for your family.

Knowing this might change everything for you?

I hope this helps you see where you are having troubles with your curriculum. Whether it is because of learning style of lifestyle, a few small changes can correct the problems and get you on track to the best school year ever.

Next time I will share about how three of us use the same curriculum very differently because we have learned this truth. It is helping us thrive exactly the way we are.

I want to help you do the same. Leave a comment and tell me one thing you took away from this article. Do you know how you like to receive information? Do you have a unique lifestyle that would your school? I would love to hear from you.

 

feed my soul words on a page

 


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