It’s the thing we homeschool moms dread… What if the curriculum you choose ends up being the wrong homeschool curriculum choice? You spend hours researching and looking into books, not sure if it’s going to work. Fellow homeschool mom, you’re not alone. This is what our journey through choosing the wrong homeschool curriculum choice has looked like.
I wish I could say that making the wrong homeschool curriculum choice has only happened to us once. But, it has happened to us multiple times. Sometimes it has been more painful than others.
You see, when we first started homeschooling I didn’t even realize there were different homeschool methods. I didn’t know where we stood and what we were truly looking for. I also tried to mimic what others were doing. This all lead to one disaster after another.
We were also trying to mimic school at home and this is not what homeschooling is meant to be for us. I wasn’t giving myself permission to be flexible, I wasn’t giving myself permission to let go of the schedule, and I wasn’t giving myself permission to allow my kids to just be kids.
How I found out we made the wrong homeschool curriculum choice
When we first started homeschooling, I was so eager to find out what kind of curriculum my friends loved. I wrote it all down and looked it up online once I was home, reading through all of the reviews and all of the lesson samples. I know starting to homeschool can be overwhelming for new families because there are just so many choices. Instead of finding what method fit us the best, I found the curriculum that looked most appealing to me and bought it without looking back. That’s when the first disaster hit.
My son was a good reader and took to reading pretty quickly. I was shocked when he suddenly started to fall behind in the curriculum I had chosen for him. My eager reader was now crying at every single lesson. I didn’t understand what had changed. But, one day, after the tears started once again, I knew we couldn’t go on like this.
A different year, we tried using Abeka language arts online streaming. Now, I know Abeka is a much loved curriculum. From what we used, I could tell it definitely was solid and that kids will certainly gain from using it. But, school now took f.o.r.e.v.e.r. to get done. I’m talking at least 3-4 hours just for his language and reading time, guys.
We were only a couple of weeks into the school year and my kiddo was already overwhelmed and I was exhausted from school taking us all day. I didn’t know I was signing us up to have a brick and mortar school schedule in our home. This wasn’t the right fit for us at all.
Making the hard decision to switch homeschool curriculum
When reading wasn’t working for my son, I packed my little first grader up in the car and took him to the book store. I presented him with age appropriate readers and let him choose which books he’d like to bring home that day. Oh my goodness. This kid was so excited to pick out his own books! That’s all it took. Letting him look through and pick out the books that he wanted made our days turned around. Now we always create our own homeschool reading list and they do amazingly with it.
Leaving Abeka was a little bit harder than throwing away our previous reading curriculum. I had just dropped a bunch of money for my son to use their online streaming and buying all of the books to go along with it, so it was a lot to swallow. But, after just a few weeks of doing it, we knew we couldn’t continue. I got refunded for the streaming we didn’t use and I packed up the books. It was time to find something else.
I know that switching curriculum mid-school year can be hard. It can be just as hard a few weeks in, too. You start to doubt yourself. Do I really need to buy something else? Can we just hang tight until this school year is over? Sometimes you totally can. Other times, it’s just not worth it.
How to keep from making the wrong homeschool curriculum choice
So, how on earth are you supposed to find the curriculum that is right for you!? Sometimes, there isn’t the perfect curriculum for your family. I still feel like we try new and different things from year to year. Not necessarily because what we were using was bad, but just because there is so much out there to see and do. Here are a few things you can do to help you find what’s best for you, though.
Find out which homeschool method you most align with.
If you’re using a traditional method like Abeka but you are really Charlotte Mason at heart, it just isn’t going to work for you no matter how amazing it is! Find out what you like about some homeschool methods and not about others and tune in on what will work best for you and your family.
Look through books in your preferred homeschool method to find ideas.
Books like 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum have so much goodness in it. It’s full of reviews about the pros and cons of each curriculum listed. It’s a great resource! Also look for books specifically a part of your chosen homeschooling method. They’re surely going to help point you in the right direction of what is available and give you ideas of what to do in your homeschool.
Have your children help you through the process.
I know this might be more difficult with really little kids, but make them be a part of the process! Ask them what they’d like to learn about this year. Is your child super into animals? Then learning about animals will surely get their attention. Do you have a book worm? Find a curriculum that centers around reading books. Using your child’s interests as a part of their homeschooling is part of the beauty of the flexibility of homeschool!
Have you had to ditch a curriculum after making the wrong homeschool curriculum choice? Let me know all about it in my online homeschool community or in the comments below.