I think we’ve all been there. You research a particular curriculum that a friend suggested. You look up reviews. You fall in love with it. Your purchase the beautiful new books. Then, your kid hates it. You hate it. It is too hard to understand. There is too much work involved. You just can’t get it all done. You start to feel defeated.
Now breathe. That was me a few times. I still find something I don’t care for from time to time but I have gotten better about how to really research. I have also gotten very picky about what I purchase with my homeschool budget. I don’t want to waste money on something that just won’t work for us.
When you are researching a particular book or curriculum, look at credible resources. There are many Facebook groups that can help you with this. Another wonderful resource for researching curriculum is the book by Cathy Duffy called 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum. Every homeschool parent should have a copy of this book. It truly is a gem.
I would also ask friends. I love helping other homeschool families choose the right curriculum for their family. If a friend wants to know about a particular brand and I have used it or have it to show them, I share. I give them my own experience and am honest about it. If I felt it was too much sit down work, I tell them. If it was perfect for math but lacked in language arts, I tell them and give them specifics.
If you purchase something and it just isn’t a fit for your family, toss it. Maybe not literally because you could possibly sell it. But, stop using it. Take a break for a small amount of time from that subject and really research other brands. It may be something someone else can use in your circle of homeschool friends. What works for one, may not work for another. Someone will be able to use what you bought.
Don’t stress out if you can’t afford anything new. There are tons of resources online that are free. Just ask around about what others have used. There are so many options with homeschooling and finding the right fit takes some time.
Remember, each of your children may be different as well. A language arts program that worked beautifully for your nine year old may not work as well for your five year old. Their brains are different and they may have different learning styles. I have one that is a auditory learner. I have one that is a visual learner. I am not sure what my littlest guy will be, but I’m sure it will be something completely different than the other two.
Just roll with the punches and don’t force something to work if it is torture for you or your child. Make some positive changes and do your best to encourage your children along the way to try new things. Sometimes my children have been apprehensive to try a new math book, but once they get into it they love it.
Just remember that homeschooling isn’t just for your children to learn and be educated, it is for you too. You are learning how to teach your children and you are learning how they like to learn. This will help them to reach fuller potential in the future and give them a love for learning.