Anyone else have this experience?
You’re going through the school year feeling like you are swimming upstream in a particular subject, and then all of a sudden – in April or May – it hits you that the program you’re using just flat isn’t working for you – or your children – or maybe even both.
What’s a momma to do? Keep plowing forward because you’ve already paid for the books or go ahead and chuck it.
For me, I say “Chuck it!” If it’s not working, then they aren’t learning from it anyway. They are not likely to retain the information, and to make matters worse, every day you use the offending curriculum, you may be turning them off from the subject all together.
But, before you decide, I do want to caution against throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Is there a way to tweak your program to make it work better for you? You can always make changes to fit your family – don’t feel like a slave to the Teacher’s Manual – think of it more as guidelines than out and out rules.
OK, so you’ve decided to just toss it – now, what do you do? Find another curriculum? Work from the library? Wait until next year to start again?
Well, here’s where it gets a little bit tricky. I think it kind of depends on your homeschooling style. I know some mommas out there like to have a definite start and stop to the school year, and want all the books finished by year’s end.
I’ll have to be honest; I don’t know what they would do, but I do know what I did. For us, we school year-round taking mini-breaks here and there; so, there is no deadline to finish a particular book, and we are always at different points in different subjects.
For my son who was struggling with grammar, I determined he was just not ready for the subject material. I put the book aside and cancelled formal grammar for a time – until he was ready for it. When we had trouble with a writing program, I took some time to research, and we just did made up activities using what we had at home until we found something that work better. You might amaze yourself with what you can put together on your own, using bits and pieces of discarded curricula. Talk about “green” and “cheap”!
Most importantly, remember the goal of making learning fun and memorable… not difficult and painful. Definitely put down that book if it isn’t working for you. If it’s frustrating and not working, you aren’t accomplishing anything by plowing ahead with it, anyway.
What has worked for your family when you’ve had to change direction midstream? Tell us about it in the comments!