Tips for Switching Your Homeschool Curriculum
New Year. New Curriculum.
The new year is usually a time for reflection and an opportunity to make positive changes as we look into the future. For many families, it’s also a time to assess their child’s curriculum and make any needed changes.
Evaluating your homeschool curriculum on a yearly basis is a good practice to follow. As you go through the nuts and bolts of your current program, you may find that there’s a need to change your curriculum. Although changing a curriculum mid-year can be difficult, sometimes it’s very necessary. You may find that even if a curriculum has worked for your family for years, there can come a time when it ceases to have the same effect on your children as they grow, and their needs evolve.
Here are some tips and ideas to help make the transition from one curriculum to another as smooth as possible, especially when switching your homeschool curriculum mid-year.
How To Switch From One Homeschool Curriculum to Another
So, you’ve determined that a change in curriculum is necessary. What’s next? We recommend the following steps to make the switch as simple as possible:
- Stop using the old curriculum.
- Look for other homeschool curriculum options.
- Read what other homeschoolers are saying about these different curriculum options.
- Call customer support with any questions you may have about their product.
- Shop smart, look for deals (discounts, free trials, coupons, etc).
- Resell, donate or modify your old curriculum to use it as a supplement.
Mid-Year Homeschool Transitioning Guide
Download this free guide for even more resources and tips to help you make the switch to a new curriculum as smooth as possible.
As a homeschooler, you have the freedom of using the materials and curriculum that are best for your child’s individual needs. Although sometimes it just takes a child time to get used to a new curriculum, at other times, it’s clearly evident that a program is not a good match.
At Time4Learning, we believe that a one-size-fits-all approach to choosing a homeschool curriculum is not an effective approach. In fact, the majority of homeschooling families find the most success when they mix and match various homeschool programs and resources.
Using an online curriculum like Time4Learning is ideal for teaching subjects that are challenging for your child. The engaging curriculum uses animated characters, fun video lessons, colorful graphics, and interactive lessons to teach math, language arts, science, and social studies. Parents are empowered with helpful tools such as activity planners, lesson plans, and time-saving features like automated grading and recordkeeping.
Why do we Need to Change Curriculum From Time to Time?
Education is dynamic, and in order for families to keep up with changing times, current trends, and innovations, it’s important to assess your curriculum from time to time, and make changes when necessary. New events and discoveries are constantly taking place in science and technology, for example, and it’s important that your curriculum keeps up with them.
If a curriculum isn’t working, and you’ve tried to stick it out with no success, or perhaps even addressed possible homeschool burnout, then it’s definitely time for a change. So, when does switching to a new homeschool curriculum make sense?
- When the current materials no longer engage or motivate your student to learn.
- When the content is outdated and boring. If there’s one thing certain in life, it’s change. Change in priorities, change in knowledge demands, change in technology, people, places and events. This means curricula should keep up with these changes so students actually learn skills that will be relevant and useful in their lives.
- When the educational objectives are not being met. This could be due to the materials being too difficult or the curriculum just not catering to your student’s specific learning style.
- When your student has outgrown the curriculum. Finding a homeschool program that is on the same maturity level as your child can make a huge difference in how they feel about learning.
- When the curriculum doesn’t promote independent learning or is too rigid. Children need to learn to work on their own, and to accomplish this, a curriculum needs to be flexible enough to allow students to learn at their own pace.
- When the curriculum requires too much administrative work from you. Life demands change. If your child’s homeschool curriculum is leaving you pressed for time, then perhaps it’s time to find one that provides the kind of features that will help you save time to focus on other aspects of homeschooling.
Before making the switch, use your child’s homeschool portfolio and current records to determine what they’ve already covered this year. Once you’ve got your new curriculum picked out, use any available lesson plans to find the best starting point based on where your child left off.
FAQs About Switching Curriculum in the Middle of the Year
Q: Is ditching my homeschool curriculum halfway through the year a good idea?
A: If you’ve tried your best to make your old homeschool curriculum work and it’s just not a good fit, then it’s absolutely ok to look for a new option. Using a homeschool program that you know is not a good fit for your child will lead to a constant struggle that will result in your child feeling resentful and unmotivated.
Q: How do I know what the starting point should be for my child once I get the new curriculum?
A: Use your child’s homeschool portfolio and current records to determine what they’ve already covered this year. Once you’ve got your new curriculum picked out, use any available lesson plans to find the best starting point based on where your child left off. The Time4Learning curriculum includes lesson plans for parents that can help you determine the best starting point for your child.
Q: I spent a lot of money on my old curriculum. I don’t want to see the money go to waste. What can I do?
A: You have a few options.
- Sell or exchange it. While a homeschool curriculum may not be a good fit for you, it may be for another homeschooler. Negotiate a trade if it makes sense or sell it to recover some of your money.
- Donate it. Again, while it may have not worked for your family, it may for another one. If you know someone in need, you can consider giving it away.
- Use it as a supplement. Sometimes a curriculum doesn’t necessarily have to be tossed but rather repurposed. You can choose certain activities that will provide additional support or knowledge to your student. Scan the materials with your child and find anything that’s interesting for them to work on.