Good morning homeschoolers! It is that time of year when homeschool parents wonder if they have to finish a curriculum or if they can throw in the towel. Today, I’m going to help you decide what to do.
First of all, great job getting through 4/5ths of the homeschool year! Homeschooling isn’t for the faint of heart, and you’ve been working hard at it. Yes, you! Even though you took a super long winter break and there were a few weeks where you gave up and let the kids just be feral. You are still doing great! They learned a ton of geology from that week you just let them dig a hole in the yard while you ate chocolate. Really.
Now, you are feeling the pressure to decide what to do about your curriculum. Hopefully, if you are using one of mine, you aren’t feeling stressed and all is well. However, even if you are rocking one of mine, you might have added a math or spelling program and you are wondering if your child can make do without being able to spell words like aardvark and why we bother to teach multiplication. So, let’s talk about how we know if we should keep going, quit, or take a break.
Is it working?
If a curriculum is working for your child, do not quit on it. No, the grass is not greener with another choice. If your child is learning without a fight, treasure that. You are winning. Do not change horses when you are ahead, or some old-fashioned wisdom like that.
What if you are 9/10ths of the way through a program and you’d child just won’t do that last lesson? I recommend calling it done and moving on. Your child learned the material. They need a break. You need a break. Just take the break and decide if you need to move on to the next level, or find another program. No, there isn’t a lot of value in finishing a program. The value is the learning, and your child already learned a whole lot from this program. It is okay to decide you are done with it.
So much more to go?
Now, what about the curriculum that you started but are only halfway through? To decide what to do, answer these questions: It is working well for your child? Are they happy? Are they learning? Do they now know things that they didn’t before this curriculum? If so, you should continue it. Though taking a break and coming back to it in the fall is a valid choice. Sometimes, you need a break even if what you are using is great. And it is ok for a program that says it is designed for a single school year actually takes you a little longer. The learning is the point, not staying on someone else’s schedule.
Now, what if it isn’t working? Then you can ditch it. No, it doesn’t matter that it is only halfway done. It wasn’t a waste of time and there’s no gold star for continuing to use a program that isn’t working for you or your child. Even if your child hated it, you learned something about how your child learns or what to look for in a new curriculum. Sometimes, that’s how it goes. Not every curriculum is made to go the distance.
About the Author
Laura Sowdon, OTR/L is an occupational therapist, writer, speaker, educator and creator of the Five Senses Literature Lessons homeschool curriculum. She has worked as an occupational therapist with children in public and private schools, as well as private practice. Laura has taught and managed homeschool co-ops as well as homeschooling her own three children. Laura is dedicated to the idea of educating children at a pace that aligns with brain and physical development milestones and respects neurodiversity in all its forms.