So… it’s February. For many homeschoolers that means next year’s curriculum is being considered. For many it means they are wishing they had chose something different for this year. Both are reasonable.
And here is the thing: if you are in the second category and you think you have to just tough it out for the rest of the year, don’t! It’s ok to switch curriculum right now. Seriously.
Changing horses is allowed in this sport.
It may seem like you don’t have that many weeks left, but you do. And it’s not worth using a curriculum that isn’t working.
So, what are some good reasons to switch curriculum mid year?
You hate it. Seriously, why get up every day and do a job that is already tough with a tool that you hate. That’s like wearing shoes that give you blisters every time you wear them. Just.don’t.do.it. It really doesn’t matter why you hate it. If you really hate it, ditch it.
It is taking your entire day. If a curriculum is fantastic, but it takes every minute of your day, leaving you with no time for anything else, I would dare say that it’s time to find something else. One of the perks of homeschooling is that you can help your child enjoy other interests. If your curriculum sucks away your day, then it is worth leaving.
It no longer meets your goals. It may seem like a curriculum meets your needs when you first buy it and it even may meet your needs for awhile, but families change and so do needs. The goals you have for your child and family need to be met by your curriculum. If that isn’t happening, it’s perfectly logical to switch to one that will.
You have to work to make it work. It is important to remember that our curriculum is supposed to work for us, we are not supposed to work for it. If you are having to do back flips to make a curriculum work, that’s not great. I’m not talking about having to work… homeschooling requires effort… but if you have to adjust, tweak, or change it a lot for it to work for you or your family, that’s worth leaving.
You aren’t getting it done. So, if a subject/curriculum isn’t getting done regularly, we have to evaluate why. Are ignoring a subject? If you’re being lazy, well stop. If it’s because of one of the reasons above, then it is time to find something you can actually do. Know what I mean? And if you aren’t getting it done because it require more than you can give, throw it out the window. Or at least shelve it until you life matches what the curriculum needs from you. There is ideal homeschooling and there is real life homeschooling. We have to make sure our curriculum matches our real life.
Your kids really hate it. Ok, hear me out. I don’t mean that your kids hate work. School is often times work and if it never is, we aren’t really teaching our kids to do hard things. But, if our kids hate school and hate the curriculum, it is valuable to assess the curriculum. Is it a complete mismatch to a kid? Is it too challenging, as opposed to challenging? Is it seriously dull? Not only is it prudent to change a curric if it’s not a match for a child, but it could also show that child your love for them.
So… there ya go. While it might seem silly to some to switch, I think it’s super if it successfully ends your school year.
Be a rebellious homeschooler (is there any other kind, actually?) or blaze a trail with your friends, showing them that you’re the boss of your homeschoool, not the curriculum.
Ways to soften the blow if you have to buy new curriculum:
- Sell your old curriculum on eBay, a Facebook group, or to a friend. While now is not the best time, you could still sell it and recoup some money.
- Borrow a curriculum a friend uses. You can even borrow one that a friend has already done half a year. Gives you a real chance to test out the “new” curriculum.
- Ask friends if they would like to trade curriculum for the rest of the year. Hey, you never know.
- Sell any old curriculum you have held on to and haven’t used in a long time. No sense in holding on to materials that are just shadows of homeschool years gone by.
If these reasons resonate with you and you have been counting the days until you can stop using a curriculum or you and/or your child is really unhappy with a curriculum, just do it. Prayerfully consider if you are hanging on for the wrong reasons to a curriculum.
I’m here to tell you that it’s not worth it. I know because I did it and for an entire year. Yes, I trudged through a curriculum because I just hated the idea of “giving up” or starting over or whatever. But you know what? God had just the right fit waiting for me and I never would have found it if I finally hadn’t switched horses.
So… is it time to change horses, homeschooler?