Have you ever given up on a curriculum mid-year or bought something brand new and realized really quick that it wasn’t going to work?
I have the amazing Amanda from Adventure Learning here to talk about the #1 reason why your homeschool curriculum is not working (and how to fix that problem!)
Sometimes it sure does feel like you need a new curriculum every other day, doesn’t it?
You may have spent hours agonizing over which curriculum would be the best fit for your kiddo.
Heck, you may even be on your second, third, or tenth curriculum choice by now.
But when your curriculum starts to fail you, it’s not always the curriculum’s fault. Actually, it most likely isn’t the curriculum that needs to change.
Today I’m going to share with you a few questions you should be asking yourself when your curriculum is failing. Then I’ll share the #1 reason why your homeschool curriculum isn’t working and a few solutions to help you get back on track.
When Your Homeschool Curriculum Isn’t Working
As I just mentioned, your homeschool curriculum may not be the thing that needs to change when things are not working in your homeschool. But before you do anything, you need to ask yourself a few questions to help determine what might be the cause.
Re-evaluate your goals
The first thing you should do is to re-evaluate your homeschool goals. In my course, The Learning Lifestyle, I teach homeschool parents to start with an overall vision for their kiddo. Spend time picturing what you want your children to be like when they are adults.
Then zoom in to focus on this school year. I recommend setting only 3-4 goals for the whole school year. What are the top 4 things you want your child to learn this year?
Then evaluate your curriculum. Is it reaching those goals?
If so, then it’s not the curriculum that needs to change. If your curriculum is not helping your child reach the goals you set, then changing the curriculum may be something to consider.
Figure out your educational philosophy
One of the very first lessons I take all homeschool parents through is developing their own unique educational philosophy. We all have different educational backgrounds that influence what education means to us.
Spend time unpacking your own educational experiences to determine what education really means to you.
Does your curriculum align with your philosophy? If so, then the curriculum doesn’t need to change.
Understand your child’s learning style
All children learn best through hands-on experiences, no matter what their learning style may be. So if your curriculum is mostly worksheets and reading, then it may be time to look for something new. But if your curriculum incorporates hands-on activities then we can look at your child’s learning style.
Besides hands-on activities, the way material is presented to a child should mostly align with their learning style.
Physical learners benefit from lots of hands-on activities where they can manipulate materials and come up with their own conclusions.
Visual learners need to see what they are learning. They benefit most from reading books and watching videos before attempting a hands-on assignment.
Audio learners need to watch a video or listen to a book before they can attempt the hands-on assignment successfully.
So take a look at your curriculum. First does it have hands-on activities? If so, then make sure the way material is first presented to the child aligns with their learning style.
Discover your ideal homeschool day
This is similar to your educational philosophy, but it takes into consideration your feelings and lifestyle. Take a minute to visualize the perfect homeschool day.
What are you doing?
What are you learning?
How are you learning?
Make sure your curriculum allows you to live your ideal homeschool day.
Keep in mind that our ideal day rarely ever happens, but if your curriculum doesn’t even allow you to have that type of day, then you will never see your ideal homeschool day happen.
It’s all about possibility with this one.
The #1 Reason Your Homeschool Curriculum Isn’t Working
If you have gotten this far, I’m assuming your curriculum passed all the questions above. Which means your homeschool curriculum is not the problem.
So what is the reason your homeschool curriculum isn’t working?
You’re simply not following your child’s lead.
We all have our own unique learning timeline which is shaped by the experiences we have. If learning was linear, you wouldn’t even have a choice in curriculum because they would all be the same.
Your curriculum is most likely causing two feelings within your kiddo: frustration or boredom.
If your child is experiencing frustration it usually means that your child is being challenged too much. They are not ready to learn that particular skill or they don’t have a meaningful reason to learn that skill.
Let’s pause here and talk about what a meaningful reason is. We can lecture our kids until their ears fall off on the importance of learning something they need to know to succeed in life. For some kids, this may work. For others it may get them to do the bare minimum. But for most kids, they will bulk at your attempt to convince them that this is important.
Remember our unique learning timeline is shaped by our experiences. If your child knows all the prerequisite skills to learning this new skill, then their frustration is due to lack of motivation.
Take time to naturally show them why the skill is important and build their curiosity. Intentionally place them in everyday situations where they would need to know how to use that skill to be successful. This gives them a meaningful reason to learn the skill.
The other reason your curriculum may not be working is because your child is bored. Boredom usually means they are not being challenged enough. It could also mean that they do not have a meaningful reason to learn that skill right now.
If your curriculum meets all the questions I outlined above, then it’s not the curriculum that needs changing. You simply need to step back and follow your child’s lead.
Need help in choosing the perfect curriculum for your child? Click the image below to download our Choosing Curriculum Guide.
Amanda helps homeschoolers raise self-motivated learners by bringing the adventure of learning right into your living room. She’s the creator of The Captivated Learner and The Learning Lifestyle. Amanda is a single, entrepreneur, homeschooling mama of two kiddos. You can follow her on Facebook.