What do you do when your curriculum isn’t working for you? Sometimes it’s attitudes that need adjusted or students who need to buckle down. Other times, though, you need to make a switch.
I would love to be the homeschool mom who plans out the year and sticks to it no matter what. It sounds ideal; my kids would thrive and we would all get along and learn all the things we need to. However, reality is, even when you find curriculum you love, it doesn’t always work like it should. Some kids thrive, others struggle, and no one is getting along.
This year, we added a third student and that has changed things more than I expected. By the time I do all the essentials with each kid individually, I have no time or energy to get to anything fun. While no one has fallen behind in what really matters, we are definitely falling behind in lessons. That left me feeling stressed and overwhelmed… again.
Time for a New Plan
- A better schedule: I prayed about how I could better use my time and make the most of every minute I was home. It all fit on the calendar, but it still wasn’t working right.
- God reminded me that I needed to find time to rest or I’d lose it and every good intention would be wasted.
- Combine subjects for kids: Mine are just too far apart in age to do the same level. I have one in 8th, 2nd, and Pre-K.
- Do one subject a day: Science day covered 5 lessons in one day, then History and so on… The lessons were completed, but no one got much out of it. And Math day, let’s not even talk about that 😉
I was making changes, but nothing was helping. Things were getting worse, and I was starting to panic.
Good Friends Always Know
God was listening and working even when I didn’t know it. My dear friend sent me a message and asked me if I had ever heard of this new curriculum. It is Gather ‘Round Homeschool. I had not heard of it, but I followed the link she provided. It looked like it would be exactly what I needed!
I downloaded the week sample of the first unit, and it was exactly what I had been praying for! My kids are literally gathered ’round the table learning together. The requirements on my time are actually manageable. And, huge bonus, my kids are getting along better than ever! They even break off to play… together!
Suddenly, my homeschool is looking like the homeschool of my dreams!
Switch from Something Good to Something Better
Now, what do I do with this other curriculum? I bought lots of Masterbooks to start this year and I love every single book. At first, I added quite a bit to their binders, but then it was taking so long everyone started to get frustrated again. Plus, it just isn’t necessary. Math is the only thing I need to add. So… I am going to have to sell it.
I feel silly being so emotionally attached to books, but here I am anyway. These books are truly great! If I had one or two students, I’m sure I would stick with it forever, and we could do it all and love every minute. Adding this third student, the one who never has enough pages, has really pushed me over the stress edge.
Why make the Switch?
In the past, I have really disliked what we were using, so switching was easy. This time it is harder. So why switch then, if what we had is so great?
- Too much of a good thing. We simply run out of time and miss half our assignments way too often.
- What third student? Pre-K is lower on my radar than 8th grade, ⁹so Thea didn’t get consistent lesssons.
- There has to be a better way! I was exhausted reading books and assignments three times over. Now, I read one lesson and everyone works from that lesson at their own level.
- Enthusiasm? I may have loved our masterbooks, but the kids weren’t exactly raving about them. Now, they tell people what they learned about without being prompted!
- Teamwork? Everyone was always separate before, but now they work together. They help each other, they do activities together, they go on rabbit trails together. They are learning to be respectful of each other and of me.
The Switch is Working For Us
We spend about 2-3 hours on school total (no longer per student). That sweet little overzealous third student is included in our lesson time! It’s incredible! Even on the days I work in the morning, we are able to do school in the afternoon and skip nothing!
For us, making the switch was necessary. Gather ‘Round is exactly what we needed! How is your year going? Are there things you’d like to improve? Is your curriculum working for you? If not, I’d love to encourage you. You can absolutely stick with what you started with and make it work for you. You can also switch it! There’s no shame in either choice.
New to Homeschooling or thinking about taking the leap… check out my post on beginning 🙂
Leave a comment… I’d love to chat with you!