My eldest son has a head for numbers. He’s like his Daddy that way.
He isn’t having such an easy time with reading. He knows his letters and sounds but putting them together has been a struggle. We’ve been taking it easy and we’ve taken long breaks but after half of a year it became clear. The (expensive!) curriculum we had bought without enough research at a conference last year was not working for him and it wasn’t going to work for him. His brain just doesn’t learn that way.
I was having a really hard time deciding to change curriculum because of how much money we’d spent on it until I remembered a quote I’d heard.
If a child cannot learn the way we teach we must teach him the way he learns.*
Isn’t that one of the main reasons we decided to homeschool? So that we could teach our children in the manner that they learn best? You bet.
I took a deep breath and purchases the new curriculum that I felt would be a better match for Tobi’s learning style, which is the Delightful Reading curriculum from Simply Charlotte Mason.
We’ve only just begun so I can’t give a full review but so far Tobi is really liking it. It’s hands on and the lessons are kept short. The curriculum comes with all of the letter and word tiles we need, as well as a teacher’s manual, child’s lesson book (which contains the poems learned, etc) and a book for the child to write the words he learns in. There are also bags and labels for all of the word tile sets.
Tobi is still not loving reading but he is doing better with this than with other methods we’ve tried. He’s even starting to put together words on his own!
It’s easy to forget how much freedom we have in homeschooling. It’s important to sit back every so often and make sure that what we are doing is working.
If a curriculum isn’t working we need to figure out why. We can talk to our children and find out what they don’t like about it, what they do like about it, and if they have ideas of how it could be improved. do they just not like the work, or is the teaching method not clicking for them? We might need to take a break in that subject for a little while so that everyone can de-stress and do some fun learning again for a while.
What about the cost? I know that this is a valid concern for many homeschooling families because we usually have a lot of people living on one income.
A better wording might be what about the price?
Can you sell the curriculum that wasn’t working? Can you trade with another homeschooling family? Can you borrow different curriculum from someone else to try out before buying a new one? Can you find it used, or use a free one? Many curriculum sites also offer a free sample lesson or two.
The cost of not switching to a curriculum that works for our child could be far greater than the price of switching. The cost could be a child learning to dislike or even hate learning. Instead of tantrums during reading lessons, seeing these smiles makes it worth it! Yes, we had to shift things around in our budget but we were able to make it work.
Have you ever had to switch curriculum mid-year? How did you go about it?
*I tried to track down who originally said this quote but there are many quotes of this nature out there and I can’t pinpoint who said it first.