With the memories of the exhaustion of spring fresh in your mind did you vow this summer to find that all-inclusive-everything-done-for-you curriculum? The one with the day to day plan, teaching script, all the answers and the grading templates- It will cover every topic and have each child writing and reading and calculating like a genius in nine months? Sure you had to buy extra books and their accompanying accessories, but hopefully it will be worth it.
Early on in our homeschooling years I felt that if I didn’t have all the children’s books for the entire year ordered and delivered by July… ok August at the latest I was behind. I needed time so I could plan out the entire year each day for each person September through May. If I could just have everything planned perfectly and all the right textbooks, we would have the perfect school year. Spring exhaustion caused a lot of summer pressure that translated into false expectations for fall.
By November we were all so bored with the schedule and lesson plans that we dreaded school each day- me included. With blissful release, I would scrap everything. Picking up a good book based on the time period or science topic we were on we would cozy up together to finally enjoy learning. That’s not to say we didn’t continue with our math but to be released from the stack of textbooks and the scripted learning was heaven.
Here are 3 ways to avoid the common mistake of thinking the perfect curriculum will allow your year will be stress free:
- Don’t look for curriculum that will do everything for you. Look for curriculum that will inspire you to teach and your children to learn. Look at the books you are interested in and take inventory of what you already have at home, what friends have, and what you can get online or at the library. Look for books that compliment your teaching style as well as your children’s learning styles.
- Give yourself flexability to move quickly through a topic or linger if you want. Try to only order what will get you through the first quarter- September thru December. With the holidays and all the creative fun activities of Thanksgiving through Christmas you won’t feel like you are falling behind if you set some subjects aside in December until January.
- Plan only a week in advance. Set general monthly goals and then use them as you make up the week’s lessons. Write out a daily schedule with times for each subject. Then plug in what you want each child to do during that time. Again, flexability is the key.
What are your suggestions to starting school off on a positive step?