What to Do If Your Homeschool Program Isn’t Working
Envision this scenario: You’ve passed the halfway point of the homeschool year and frustrations abound. Your kids aren’t enjoying their schooling which means you aren’t enjoying it either. Some days end in slammed doors and tears (either theirs, yours…or both), and once the school day is over, everyone needs time alone to recover. Does this scene sound familiar? It doesn’t have to be that way. You aren’t locked into a routine that everyone despises. If your homeschool program isn’t working, change it up!
Can I Change Homeschool Curriculum In the Middle of the Year?
The short answer is yes! If your children hate doing their school work, if you aren’t happy with what or how they are learning, if each school day brings an overall feeling of misery, you aren’t obligated to continue in agony until your allotted days are fulfilled. If things aren’t working, you have options, including the ability to change your homeschool curriculum midyear to find one that works for your family.
How Do I Tell If It’s Time to Switch?
If things are not going well, take a moment to reevaluate your situation. Go back to your why… the reason you chose to homeschool in the first place. Whatever it may be, it’s safe to say that miserable children and an overwhelmed parent was not in the plan. Consider sitting down with your computer or an old school pen and paper to organize your thoughts and answer these questions:
- What about your homeschool IS working?
- You may be unhappy with your curriculum of choice, but are there aspects of it you do like? (textbooks vs. online, heavy literature focus or teacher-instruction, lots of review vs. needing supplements for extra reinforcement, etc.)
- What are your favorite parts of the day? Even if they don’t have anything to do with your curriculum, list them to focus on the good and know what you want to keep in your routine.
- Does your schedule need to be reworked?
- Should your day start earlier or later? Do you do the same thing at the same time every day? If so, could you benefit from mixing things up? If not, could you use a bit more structure? Are you taking enough breaks throughout the day? Are your kids getting enough outside time/exercise? Maybe your family could benefit from homeschooling year-round with more frequent breaks to look forward to.
- Does your child struggle with focus or motivation?
- What are your homeschooling goals for your children?
- What do you want them to learn? This can (and should) certainly extend beyond typical school subjects.
- What do you consider success to look or feel like?
- What are your homeschooling goals as a parent?
- Remember, it matters if things aren’t working for you. You’re the one responsible for teaching, record keeping, planning, etc. If you’re unhappy or feeling overwhelmed with your current situation, it may be time to look for an alternative.
- Does your curriculum align with the way your child best learns and you best teach?
- Is your child an auditory learner? Visual learner? Tactile learner? Does your current curriculum cater to these needs?
- Does your child have different needs in various subjects? (For example, are they on grade-level for language arts, but struggle in math?)
- Do you enjoy planning and executing crafts? Doing read alouds? Do you have the time to devote to lots of one-on-one teaching or does an open-and-go approach work best for you?
How to Choose a New Curriculum
If you’ve answered these questions and decided a curriculum change is needed, how do you know what to choose? The curriculum you started with may have been expensive. Investing in a new curriculum at this stage of the school year can seem wasteful, especially as there is no guarantee the replacement will be effective. Don’t stress. Consider these ideas as you plan the next step:
- You now have a list of what works to find a curriculum that will better fit your family. Next, prioritize the characteristics most important to you as you move forward and avoid those that share traits you wish to avoid.
- Keep in mind the amount of time left in the school year and your intentions for the new curriculum. Will you be starting over or picking a midpoint and moving on from there?
- Is your student struggling or excelling in certain subjects? Look for something that will offer you the flexibility needed to create a custom-fit for your child’s unique needs.
- Changing things up can inject new life into your homeschool. Switching out a curriculum that your child views as frustrating for one they enjoy may just save your school year!
- A good homeschool program can help mitigate parent burnout by offering resources and tools to make things easier for you! Time4Learning includes features like grading, complete lesson plans, etc. that can free up your time and help you stay organized.
- There are cost-effective options. Curriculum doesn’t have to cost as much as a mortgage payment. Know your budget and what you can comfortably afford.
Whether you want to start from scratch, supplement your current curriculum, or add electives to spark interest and motivate your children, Time4Learning may be exactly what you’re looking for. It is fun for students, extremely helpful for parents, and affordable with no long-term commitments required. Join 1,000,000+ homeschool students to become a part of the Time4Learning family anytime!