Once upon a time, there was a homeschool mom of children. Said Homeschool Mom was extremely excited about beginning the new homeschool year. Much preparation had gone into planning everything. Walls were painted, new desks were bought and every supply her children would possibly need was neatly placed on the child’s personal shelf next to their color coordinated binders. What excited the homeschool mom the most was the curriculum she planned to use. And so the real story begins.
You see, months prior to the beginning of the school year, Said Homeschool Mom spent hours, weeks, and even days perusing the websites of homeschool publishers and flipping through curriculum magazines the mailman stuffed inside her mailbox. She even left her home early one morning to drive three hours away, so she could walk the aisles of the annual homeschool convention that came to her state. It was not until after all that work, did she find the perfect curriculum.
With lesson plans made through the next three months, color-coordinated binders filled with assignments and pencils sharpened, the first day of school had arrived. After a quick review and settling into the school year, the first week flew by and was done before Said Homeschool Mom) knew it. Everyone (even Homeschool Mom) had a smiling face. She felt ready to begin the second week. School continued with no issues for the next few weeks.
If you remember, it was previously mentioned Said Homeschool Mom had more than one child. Over the past few weeks, Said Homeschool Mom had noticed her daughter (or it could just as easily have been her son) was having some challenges with her math (or it could have been history, science or one of those other subjects). She figured it was due to the fact that the curriculum was new and her daughter (or son) had not yet found their rhythm.
The story picks up two months later. Teaching math (or whatever subject is was) had become a difficult task for Said Homeschool Mom when it came to said child (the daughter or the son). They had a bad attitude, which made it difficult to teach them the material. There had even been some days where voices were raised, and tears were shed. This was not how Said Homeschool Mom imagined her school year. Her daughter (or son) needed to realize Said Homeschool Mom was in charge and the work had to be done.
Said Homeschool Mom did not really understand what was happening. Not only had she planned every school day, printed all of the necessary sheets and filled binders, she purchased new curriculum . . . the perfect curriculum. It was a curriculum that was widely used by other homeschoolers, one she loved and decided was just right (after months of research) for all of her children. Her daughter (or son) was going to have to buckle down and get the work done, no matter what! And so began another week.
The next week looked much like the previous ones with the daughter (or son). Frustration from Said Homeschool Mom and tears from daughter (or son). Said Homeschool Mom came to the realization that it was not working. Math (or whatever subject it was) had become a battle every day. She thought to herself that this never happened before. Daughter (or son) did well last school year in science (or whatever subject) and learned a lot. Why was she (or he) having a difficult time this year? Hmm. Could it be the different curriculum?
It was only three months into the school year and something was going to have to change. Either daughter (or son) was going to have to keep working through the new curriculum, even though it made them cry, or Said Homeschool Mom was going to have to retreat.
This story may not have played out scene-by-scene in your home, but some parts of it may sound familiar. Homeschooling is a give and take experience. We homeschool, so our children can receive a tailored education – one that is based on their learning styles, abilities and interests – and learn at their pace. The curriculum everyone else is using may not work for your child. A curriculum may be popular, highly revered and what you are determined to use, but that does not mean it will work for your child (daughter or son). When it comes to curriculum, pick your battles. You do not have to be the winner just because the curriculum is one you really want to use, spent a lot of money on or believe is the best. Let your child win, because you want them to learn, to love learning and, ultimately, you are homeschooling for them.
Don’t fight with your child about curriculum. It does not matter the child (daughter or son) or the subject (ex: math, science, history, etc.). Stick with what works and if you have not found it, keep looking. Homeschooling is not about tears or frustration. Pick your battles (there will be plenty later) and in the end, both of you will be winners.
No children were hurt in any manner, so this story could be told. (LOL!!)