Seven years ago when we began homeschooling I was overwhelmed with what curriculum to choose. I was even more baffled by the moms who were piecing their curriculum together. I could not figure out how they knew which pieces of what curriculum programs to use. It all seemed like I would never have my ducks in a row, much less floating successfully in the same pond.
If you would have told me a few years ago I would be orchestrating different curriculums for each of our kids, I would have laughed. It seemed so out of my realm of abilities it seemed impossible.
Back when I first started kindergarten with Maddie I needed a curriculum outlined for me. When we began homeschooling using, My Father’s World, it was AWESOME! Everything came in a neat kit. My lesson plans were outlined for me and everything from workbooks, teachers guide, science experiments and the books on our reading list also came in our kit. It was wonderful to not have to look for anything!
Then second grade came and we needed to branch out on our own for math and language arts. I began asking my veteran homeschool friends what they used for various subjects. I was desperate to find a math curriculum to help Maddie gain if not a love, at least an appreciation for math. We fell in love with MathUsee and then this summer we fell in love with SpellingYouSee.
Maddie has begun to be ready for a more in depth science curriculum. She has been at a fifth grade end of the year grade level for a couple of years and I new she was ready for more “meat” to her learning. A friend shared in a Facebook homeschool group she was selling her high school Apologia Science curriculum. I private messaged her for more information the company and she invited me to come have a look at it. We went over to look it over and Maddie took the science books, sat down on my friends couch and began reading them for fun! I immediately knew we had found the right books.
Another reason I am excited about discovering Apologia Science is because there are workbooks for Maddie’s level of learning and ability, but there are also workbooks at the twins level. This means we can use the text book as a unit study.
I have learned through the years of homeschooling to expect quality not quantity from my kids school work. An example of this is handwriting. Every. Single. Time. My kids will give me three to four beautiful letters, after the fourth they no longer care and begin to write in scribbles. This has held true in math and every other subject we have tackled.
When looking for a curriculum we took into consideration how long an assignment would take to be completed. I also took into consideration how long the company suggested it would take for the work to be done. If math takes Maddie longer than half an hour it is because she has made up her minds he doesn’t want to do it. Same with spelling and language arts.
Applying what our kids are learning to everyday life has been pivotal to helping them have a drive for what they are learning. Creating practical ways they have to use the math, spelling and science concepts they are learning at the dinning room table helps them to own their learning. It inspires them to figure out how to create good studying and learning habits. Taking time to figure out how each of our kids learn, continually talking with them about their interests and passions also helps us figure out which curriculums to use.
Keeping our bookshelves filled with books with content they are interested in learning is important. No one wants to be forced to read something they have no interest in learning. Yet, when their passions and interests are encouraged we have found they are more likely to be open to a new concept they would not have been previously willing to be introduced to.
Learning to piece curriculums together isn’t a poof magic moment (although it feels like it is). It is more a series of small mommy moments that add up to one big mommy moment of knowing how to go forward. God has always been faithful to bring the right curriculum at the right time. We are excited to continue our learning adventure!