Making Curricula Work

Worry and The Questions

Like most parents, I tend to worry if I’m doing right by my kids.

Are they eating enough? Eating the right things?

Am I being a positive role model and example?

As a homeschooler, I sometimes wonder if I’ve selected the appropriate curriculum for them.

Are they achieving the appropriate age-level educational goals?

Where should I find the right educational goals?

Who even says they’re the right goals in the first place?

Experts. Yeah, I know.

So many of these questions go through my mind as I try to guide my girls. Guide them in character development. In healthy living. In academics.

But as a mentor once told me, I need to “ turn down my inner critic. Tell myself I’m doing the best I can. Remind myself no one ever looks back on their life and says, ‘I’m really glad I worried, stressed, and beat myself up about _________.”

Now, I’m not going to say I’ve stopped being concerned about what my kids eat. Or even if they reach their educational goals.

But, I have stopped allowing it to keep me up at night.

And I’m not one to follow the crowd. Neither do I go straight for the shiny object.

If it Ain’t Broke…

However, if something in life was broken, I was quick to find a Replacement.

Not a Fix.

And when you’re talking about switching homeschool curriculum, Replacements can get costly.

Whether it be your money or your time.

And if the free curriculum doesn’t show immediate results, they are easy to toss, too.

But that causes a major educational lag. What with having to transition from the old to the new.

I’ve gone through several different curricula during the last four years with my daughters.

I say four because there was a time when I had to pause from home education while I got my home in order.

 

That included homeschooling.

I sent my oldest daughter to a local public school while we lived abroad. And I supplemented her education with a few things at home.

Online All-In-One

During that time, I began to love two online educational tools.making curricula work

My favorites were ABCMouse.com and Time4Learning.

They presented the best options to help me supplement my oldest daughter’s education while we were settling our new affairs.

Then, after my youngest daughter was born, I began to think of other options.

I had one in school and one at home.

However, some rural schools in foreign countries are not what we have come to be used to in the United States.

There was a month when the teachers were on strike demanding their pay from the administration.

So, my kid stayed at home.

There would be days when I would walk into the classroom to drop her off and be informed that the following day, there would be no class.

That started to become quite difficult for a mom who was trying to build a business to care for her two kids.

So, my two options started to become my two standards.

As my youngest grew, she also grew to love both tools. She’s an auditory learner.

My oldest is more hands on with how she learns.

Problems at School

While she was attending school abroad, she was not very happy. She would come home and cry about the amount of homework they received.

Never mind that she was excited to finally be able to read…and in a different language no less.

There was a classmate that was being rather manipulative that she no longer wanted to have in her presence, so she really wanted to move from that environment.

She would be depressed on occasion after school, so I knew something had to be done. But, I didn’t know with which curriculum I would be able to do it.

With her reading primarily in Spanish, we would be starting from scratch.

I went back to my standards.

It Wasn’t the Same

Where ABCMouse worked for her when she was younger, she was now in first grade. And reading in English was a struggle.

Not to mention, with her being such a hands-on learner, good ole’ Time4Learning was not keeping her interest.

Even though both were working great for her younger sister.

I had to come up with another solution.

I decided to search for an ELA curriculum that would work for kids who liked to get their hands dirty (so to speak).

I found two. It took me several passes before I finally decided that I was going to get one and work with her.

But, I also wanted to help my youngest daughter with it, if I could.

Fully Commit

The one that I chose was All About Reading.

I read so many good reviews about it that I had to get it and commit to it for a year.

It has been doing wonders for both girls.

Both their learning styles are covered.

And, because I’ve committed to it…REALLY committed, it has been working for them.

Yes, it is hard when life hits you with a lot of storms.

But, I’m glad we all were able to get back up and make things work.

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