Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Curriculum problems...

Often, new homeschoolers face the same problem, purchasing the wrong curriculum. Sometimes it is hard to realize it and we want to hold onto whatever we thought was a good choice. Sometimes we don't find out until it is too late. In our case I made a bad math choice and didn't even realize it until I started to give my son a practice test for his end of year evaluation.
I found out then that he really was off base entirely. We were almost completely unprepared for the test and now we are having to spend this next two months 'teaching to the test'. I really hate that, I hate having to put so much emphasis on one subject instead of it being just another fun daily exercise. I am sure that the math choice I made would have been good if we didn't have to take a final test this year. However, since we do it just isn't going to work for us. Next year I'm switching to Saxon. I have heard a lot of great reviews about it. This time I did more research and think I'm making the right choice.
If this has happened to you, don't worry, it's easily fixable. The first step is to just step away from the curriculum. You have to admit that you have a curriculum problem. Sell it on ebay or another selling site and start over. Research, go to sites that offer curriculum reviews and make sure it is what you are looking for.
One final problem with curriculum I will mention is getting something that you love...even though it will not suit your children. I personally LOVE the idea of the classical curriculum. I would love to go through the stages of the trivium and teach the kids Latin and build on a true classical base. However, I know my kids (especially my son) would hate it! He just is not receptive to things like that. He's more hands on or computer oriented and so I go that direction. If your kids will not enjoy it or do well with it, then it will be a complete waste of time.
As my dreams of classically educated children slip away I will tearfully wave it goodbye and hold on to two small aspects of it....Chronological history and possibly Latin. :)


Anonymous said...

Ok so this is not a comment! I totally cannot figure out where to write questions...so FYI, your mother sent me! I had one question, how early is too early to start workbooks to getting her prepared for homeschool or preschool? What age is good for preschool?

AutumnLeavz said...

Hello Jennifer,
In my opinion it's never too early. You pretty much have to go based on your child's attitude. Before I had kids I babysat and would work with them on little fun worksheets daily if they wanted to. The one girl who I did the most with ended up an honor student and loves to read.
My son was less interested (as most boys are) and so I didn't really push him to do much. We did what his interests allowed each day. My daughter has always begged for schoolwork and though she just turned 5 is already working at beginning 1st grade level.
So...In my opinion your child will let you know if they're interested or not. For a 2 year old I would start with alphabet games and counting for fun during daily activities. You might can start writing alphabet practice now as well.
For a 3 year old I would introduce workbooks daily.
Hope this helps, any other questions or more specifics just post another comment :)