Last year was our first official year homeschooling, Gator was ready for 1st grade, and before that we had just focused on reading and learning through experiences. Nothing very official. Originally we thought we would unschool, but that didn’t work out completely. So I found Time4Learning and I personally loved it in 1st grade, which was so simple that we got through it in just a couple months. When we started 2nd grade right away and continued with block scheduling some days were fine. Other days ended with tears, both mine and Gator’s. It wasn’t working, but the curriculum was great and I loved the convenience of it. I didn’t want to give up no matter how many rough days we had.
How silly is that? Learning was something we were coming to dread, as homeschoolers with complete freedom to learn and teach however we would like.
I was stuck on a curriculum and it was hurting us.
Are you stuck on the wrong homeschooling curriculum?
Did you spend a lot of money on the curriculum? Did you spend a lot of time building the curriculum from scratch? Is the curriculum working for everyone else you know, just not you? There are a million reasons why you could be stuck on the wrong homeschooling curriculum.
If homeschooling doesn’t feel right, and you’re fighting with the material more than anything, you have the ability to step back and change things. Homeschool will always have it’s challenging days, but if there are more challenging days than not, it might be time to try something else out.
So this summer I had some extra time on my hands and I read books (Affiliate link: I really had quite a few “Aha!” moments when reading The Brave Learner by Julie Bogart
Our day can’t completely be rainbows and butterflies, cupcakes and tea parties, but we can include all of that if we want.
This is a little rundown of our schedule after we switched from sitting in front of a computer for 3 hours every morning. We have a lazy start to the morning before working on school, which includes time for a nice breakfast and time to play. Then we gather on the couch, with dogs and cats on our laps and read books aloud where we dive into fiction, learn some history, and discuss fables. We head outside and nature journal, my daughter’s journaling location of choice is the tire swing under the tree. Then we head inside for a very short math lesson, we use the same curriculum that we used to for math, Time4Learning. I didn’t have to ditch the curriculum entirely, I just had to work it into our day in a not stressful day. That math now results in comments like “This is too easy mom.” and lots of high fives and cheers when she gets all of the questions right on the quiz. Now I still love Time4Learning and we use it in our daily schedule for math, but we use it in short bursts rather than 3 hours daily. She also uses the language arts section just for fun. After our short math lesson we practice Spanish, and after that she reads independently for half an hour. It’s a routine, it’s flexible, it gets us outside, it takes challenging subjects and makes them seem a lot more approachable.
I don’t know if we’ll stick with this schedule, but that’s the beauty of homeschooling. We can always add in new things and take things out that don’t work for us.
Let me know about curriculums that didn’t work out for you, or routines that helped you with your homeschooling journey.