Don’t be Afraid to Ditch Curriculum

I don’t know why I have such a hard time taking my own advice. I have advised other homeschool moms in the past to ditch a curriculum if it isn’t working for them. I’ve encouraged them not to be slaves to the curriculum but to find what works for them. However, I have spent the last three months forcing my daughter {6th grade} to work through a science book that is definitely not working for either of us as it’s written.

I don’t do it often, but there have been times in my 13-year homeschool journey when I have had to switch curriculum mid-year. Sometimes, no amount of tweaking and reworking will make it fit my child. As homeschool moms, we have to step back and evaluate what works and what doesn’t work. And, we have to not be afraid to change what isn’t working.


Don’t Be Afraid to Ditch It!

Can you tweak it?

Can you tweak it? Can you make some changes to make the curriculum work for you and your child? With our curriculum {an ebook}, one change I’ve had to make is to print out the text for her. She needs to be able to hold the pages in her hand and mark them up with highlighters and colored pens. This allows her to come back later and see at a glance what the important stuff is.

Can you supplement it?

Is there a resource {or more than one} that you can use to supplement your curriculum to make it easier to use? Currently, I am adding in some library books and videos about the topics we were covering in hopes that having the information presented in multiple ways will help her learn. I’m also having her narrate and note-take as we go through the lessons. Again, this gives her a place to see all of the important information in one place without being overwhelmed by the amount of narrative in the text.

Ditch it if you must!

Did tweaking your curriculum make it more user-friendly for you? Did supplementing with videos or hands-on activities help your child better retain the information presented? If not, it may warrant a complete change of curriculum. If you are worried about “wasting” money on a curriculum you now won’t use, can you sell it over the summer when other homeschoolers are curriculum shopping? If you can’t afford to purchase a new curriculum, can you ditch it for a season? Can you put it aside until the new school year when you replenish your homeschool budget? Can you make do with free curriculum online or with library books/videos? Do you know another homeschooler who may be willing to loan you some books until you can get something else?

For us, we are finishing out our current unit, and then I am going to reevaluate. I do not have the money for a new science curriculum. So, I will be scouring the books I have in storage as well as some online resources to decide whether or not we can ditch our current curriculum.

How do you handle a curriculum that isn’t a good fit for your family?

Tara Mitchell

Tara is wife to Matt and homeschool momma of three. Her children are 21, 16, and 11 – two boys and one girl. She is currently homeschooling her daughter – 6th grade. When she’s not blogging, Tara enjoys crocheting and snuggling up with a good book. She and her family recently moved from Texas to Ohio, and they’re having fun exploring their new surroundings. She blogs about homeschooling, motherhood, and family life on both of her blogs – This Sweet Life and Embark on the Journey.