Homeschool Creations

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

When Curriculum Isn’t Working

Each year we begin our school year with big intentions, excitement about the curriculum that we have in store for the year, but sometimes that excitement takes a big ol’ nosedive when something that we’re using results in frustration and tears {sometimes for the teacher as well as for the kids}.

Even bigger of a frustration is when you have put a bit of money into a curriculum. Somehow that seems to magnify the ‘what to do?’ questions that go around in my mind.

How do you handle it?

I asked you all that question on Facebook and the results were mixed:

  • Press on ~ keep working if there is a way to salvage it. Especially if it’s a component that was more expensive.
  • Put it aside ~ maybe it will work down the line with a future child or at another time
  • Move on and sell it if you can!

Out of the above, we’ve tried all three…and the last two have been effective for us ~ the first one didn’t have great results {grins}. It boiled down to me asking a few questions about the curriculum to see how it should be handled:

  1. Are we just bored with this? Could it work in a few years?
  2. Is the curriculum problem just with me or the kids as well? {i.e. does it just not ‘click’ with my teaching style/format?}
  3. Is this inhibiting our children’s learning and making learning not fun?

This year, we had a two things that just weren’t clicking and working. About 10 weeks into our school year, we realized that we were going to have to make a few changes. I had a spent a good chunk of money on one of the pieces and was excited to use it. BUT…it just wasn’t working for various reasons {#2 and #3 above were the biggest issues}.

Could we have kept pushing on with it? Most likely. Would it have caused more frustration? Yes. Would that have made learning together something enjoyable? No.

Ultimately, that’s what closed the book on that particular subject for us. Above all, my goal is to make learning something that is fun and enjoyable for our kids {and me}. If I have a kiddo that is frustrated, pressured, and close to tears because of something that we’re using, I would much rather put it aside and find a curriculum to replace it.

I also happen to know myself and my personality. Once frustrated {or having seen a child frustrated} it ends up souring my view of the curriculum…and truthfully, I don’t want to keep at it or try it in the future. I’m also not one that likes to accumulate things that we won’t likely use again, so I want it off my shelves and out the door. :)

The curriculum was listed on {great place to buy/sell used curriculum!!} and I used the sale money to buy another curriculum for the girls {one that we’re all liking now ~ grins}. I am so thankful that we have a HUGE variety of things to choose from {even if it can sometimes be overwhelming!!} and that we all have different teaching/learning styles!!

That said, please know that we are ALL different. What works for one person may not work for another. What I choose to do or how I handle something may not be the way you choose to handle it. So ~ what are your thoughts on the issue? How have you handled the need to change out curriculum when it isn’t working?

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