Sometime between 6th and 8th grade, most students run into a math block. Could unschooling be the answer?
You put a lot of effort — and sometimes, a lot of money — into choosing the right curriculum, so it’s not always easy to let one go. But sometimes moving on is the right thing. Here are a few tips to help you figure out whether it’s time to say adios to a curriculum that isn’t working for your homeschool.
Consider your timing. Maybe the curriculum is great — just not right now. Your child might not be academically or emotionally ready for a particular curriculum—in which case, putting it back on the shelf for a few months or years may be all you need to get the perfect fit.
Tweak the assignments. If a curriculum has too much writing or too few hands-on activities, you can easily change some of the writing assignments to oral presentations or add a few experiments. An okay curriculum can become a great one with a few strategic tweaks. But if your tweaks end up rebuilding the curriculum from scratch, you might be better off letting that curriculum go and forging your own path.
Use it as a guide. If you like the content a particular curriculum covers but not its methods, you can always use the syllabus as a starting point to create your own curriculum. Similarly, if you love a curriculum’s method but wish it covered different topics, you can use its methods to inspire your own curricular creations.
Recoup your loss. If a curriculum doesn’t work, don’t let it glare at you from your schoolroom shelves. Resell it, and use the money to invest in a program that you love. Chances are, that not-right-for-you curriculum is perfect for another family, so you’ll be helping someone out and getting rid of a problem in one swoop.
This was part of our Problem: Solved feature in the winter 2015 issue of HSL, along with other ideas for teaching math when you hate math, writing your own curriculum, getting organized for high school, and more.