I don't know about you, but curriculum shopping is one of my favorite things to do ever since we started homeschooling. Initially we started out using Easy Peasy : All in One Homeschooling. We actually quite liked it. It's completely free. It's easy, simply planned out and it covers all subjects. I did feel like I needed to supplement math but I digress...
Where was I? Oh yeah, curriculum shopping...It's fun, yo. We are eclectic homeschoolers following a mostly Charlotte Mason style with a good measure of Classical thrown in there. If you don't know what those entail, check this article out. I was homeschooled as a high school kid [a million years ago] and I have to tell you there wasn't anywhere near the amount of curriculum that's available today. It's so easy to get curriculum paralysis and just not know what to do.
So you research. And us homeschooling parents sure know how to research and we really love doing it. Just me? Oh. Well, I love to research. I will google until my eyes bleed, often falling asleep at my keyboard reading reviews and watching YouTube curriculum videos. Please, tell me I'm not alone here....
Bueller? ... Anyone...?
When you finally reached a decision based on your kids' learning style and your method of teaching said style, you purchase. It's like Christmas when a box of school stuff arrives! I practically tackle my UPS dude and I'm sure he knows my name. Note to self: He should get a Christmas card from us this year.
You tear open the packaging and are enamored with the shiny, new, awesomeness that lay before you. This is going to be so great! And it might be, in the beginning. Weeks or months go by...the honeymoon phase is over. By this point you are either supplementing or changing it completely. Worse still, you avoid doing it. You might even dread this subject now. Your kiddo can now tell that you don't like it and it's possibly reflecting on how they're doing in that particular subject. Yeah. I've been there.
If you're like me you might even push through because everyone said, "This is THE BEST curriculum!" You feel like you might be doing your kid some injustice by not using what is supposed to be the best. It even fits their learning style. Plus it was expensive. You wrote in the workbook...can't resell that...
What's happening here?! Simply put: it doesn't fit your teaching style. There are important things that must be taught while you're homeschooling but there are several options. There's no one way to learn something and there's no single way it must be taught. If it's sucking the fun out of learning, something more important could be lost. I want my kids to enjoy learning. Don't we all?
Step 1: Figure out the learning style of your kid, look at curriculum that fits that.
Step 2: From those that fit the learning style, figure out which ones fit your personality/teaching style. Charlotte Mason with lots of living books is your thing but textbooks are Boring City to you? Cool, don't use K12. Maybe you have a hard time explaining math concepts to your kiddo? You're probably going to want to try something like Teaching Textbooks.
Ya know the saying, "Happy Wife, Happy Life"? Well, Happy Mom, Happy Kids, yo. It's ok to go back to drawing board or even go back to what you were doing before if everyone was learning and having fun. You're not a failure. You're not a disgrace and you're not doing anything wrong.
This is all part of the learning curve for the parent. Bet you didn't realize you were learning all that, did ya? I mean I knew I was going to be learning Latin and Greek along with my kids, but I didn't realize I was going to discover a bunch of stuff about myself in this homeschooling journey. Just roll with the tide. Things will be ever changing and new challenges will pop up. It's all good.
Journey on, homeschooling parent.
You got this.
PS: If you're curious, the curriculum that really just did not do it for us was the award winning All About Reading. Yeah, I know. I'm sure you loved it and it was amazing for your kid. It was kind of a flop here. She was learning but preferred Hooked on Phonics with Bob Books. We're doing some Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons as well, which she surprisingly loves. *shrugs*