Sunday, November 25, 2012

So.... what curriculum do you use???

Isn't that the question?? It seems that everyone out there wants to know the best curriculum, the best choice in educating their children. That is one blessing, and possibly one curse to the popularity of homeschooling.... Oh the choices! There are so many, so many different methods, so many different ideas, so many different programs, and ways to school.... honestly it's overwhelming. It gives me a headache just pondering them all. I seem to get asked about curriculum, a lot. I guess part of it is that I have been homeschooling all my A's from the start? I guess it's that we all seem "together". I guess it's.... well it's just "the" question when it comes to homeschool mom's getting together.


So what do I use....

it doesn't matter!!!

What?? What??? are you going to just leave me hanging like that??

Yes I am!

{once in a while I mention things we do and use, but honestly I try not to}

I believe what works for me, might and might not work for you. Just because something works great for one family, does not mean it will work great for your family. Just because something doesn't work great for your family, doesn't mean the next family won't love it. I have come to learn that a lot of the type of schooling you do, is done by what Mom's personality is. Yes we also cater to our children's needs, abilities, and personalities... but it seems that even if something is working good for the kids, if Mom hates it, then it's usually dropped. If somethings working great for your kids, and Mom hates it, then she will usually figure out a way to make it work!


That being said, when it comes to picking curriculum... I suggest you start with a prayer. I am talking about a deep, searching your soul type of prayer. A prayer to find out exactly who you are. You also need to pray for advice and help in understanding your children's needs and yes who they are. After that I believe you should look around. I also think the best way to look around, is to try to get your actual hands on different curriculum, different methods, different ideas. Find out what someone is using, and ask them if you can come over some time and look at it. One of my favorite things to do is attend Curriculum Conventions. I LOVE these!! A few different times I have organized Curriculum Show and Tells with other homeschool families in my area. We have also held Curriculum Sale and Swaps. These are always fun to "see" what everyone else is using. And at the same time you get to get rid of some of that stuff sitting around your bookcases, collecting dust!

Something else I often remember is that what worked great one year, or for one child during a specific day or grade... might not work now. I have used things with the older A's I have no desire to use now. Some of these are with time contraints, some with interest levels, some with the amount of Mom prep time. Even though I know these products, and love them... and even give raving reviews of them... we might not use them.

Another suggestion, once you have made the decision, stick to it. Even if it seems to be a mess, or like too much work at first, you must give it a test time. A good reasonable amount of time to learn it, and get your family into a routine and structure with it. Then if you've given it the time, and really tried it with a open heart and mind... and it's still not working, then you might start over with a prayer. I suggest you make a note of what you really loved and hated about it.  Even though I am always drawn to certain curriculums, I know through experience that I won't do it, that it won't work. I know this, because of other curriculums similar to it that I have tried, and my "list" of curriculum pro's and con's. 

So it doesn't matter what I use, what I like... it matters what YOU like! If it looks interesting and like something you might like, then try it.

Ok so my computer's being difficult, so I am replying here!
I am sorry that wasn't clear. Yes I agree with you. The best idea is to actually "see" and luckily with the world wide web, we can see tons of samples, and hear tons of personal tips on different curriculum. I guess what I was trying to say, was I have read and been inspired by some curriculum or type of schooling, because it works wonderfully for so and so, but didn't work for me. So be careful in reading about others and try to put their words and life into your life!




2 comments:

  1. I agree with you on general principle; however, I would like to add two suggestions.  Curriculum can be expensive and the cost of buying 2 spelling curricula, for example, in a year can get prohibitive.  Maybe before you buy, try something free or low cost, like Vocabulary and Spelling City.  If it works for your family you save money, if it doesn't work, you have data points to go look for the next curriculum. The other thing is to read about what other homeschoolers are using, check out their pros and cons.  See how that matches up with your family's needs.  I guess that is where I disagree with you a bit, I like to read about what other people use, it just adds more data for me to be able to make choices.  Happy homeschooling!

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  2. I so Totally agree! Since I began homeschooling 7 years ago, I have been guilty of asking, searching, and wanting other homeschooling family's to share their wisdom with me on what they use. To help me make my choices for me, I guess. Of course I have learned through trial an error that what works for them, does not always work for me and what works for me, may not work for them, you, or anyone. For example, in the beginning, I was told that Abeka was the way to go. So, I of course ordered 2 grades at once, thinking I would love this program. Well, after a year of tears ( mostly mine ),I knew I had to just cut my losses and move on. Then I had someone tell me about Time4Learning. This has worked for me, but I knew there was a chance I would be disappointed ( Thank goodness I wasn't ). Homeschooling is a ride, full of bumps, twist and turns, but always has some interesting and ever changing scenery :)

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Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6