So I’m learning to crochet. I’m not very good at it yet, but thanks to YouTube and a few friends and a daughter who can decipher weird drawings and obscure written directions far better than I can, I’m learning.
Sometimes I mess up when I crochet, but when I do, I don’t generally ditch the entire project! Nor do I stubbornly continue on when there is an obvious problem that needs repair. Usually the best thing to do is go back to the place where the mistake occurred and make some adjustments.
My problem in the beginning of my homeschooling experience, (and it was a serious one,) was my absolute rigidity when it came to the teaching style I was comfortable with and the curriculum I had chosen. My everybody-should-be-able-to-learn-just-like-I-learn attitude left me frustrated and feeling like an utter failure. The never-fail curriculum I was using was boring to me and overwhelming to my daughter and we both hated it.
And so I quit homeschooling. For one sad, painfully introspective year we scrounged up the money to send our two girls to Christian school and I breathed a guilty sigh of relief and told myself I’d never try homeschooling again.
But there were so many problems with my attitude and my approach, with one of the biggest issues being my complete unwillingness to make adjustment where it was needed. It discouraged my daughter, frustrated us both, and robbed me of any joy in teaching my child.
Being willing to change is vital to homeschooling success. And by success, I don’t mean having kids who have mastered the trivium and read years above grade level and do all the things I think will validate our decision to homeschool. Homeschooling SUCCESS is, first and foremost, leading my children to faith in Christ and then discipling them in that faith. I put nothing else ahead of that. But I hope our homeschool also builds strong and healthy relationships in our family and confidence in our kids, encouraging them to be life-long learners, thinkers, and innovators. That is more in line with my idea of homeschooling success, and in order to achieve it, from time to time…
- I may need to change my attitude.
- I may need to change my approach.
- I may need to change my expectations.
So. Incredibly. Unrealistic.
- I may need to change our scheduling.
- I may need to change our curriculum.
Sadly, I’ve known a few people who more-or-less confessed to me that they hatedhomeschooling. They complained about the incredibly long school days or the boring computer time or the pages and pages of worksheets their children were required to do. Yet when I asked them if they ever thought about switching their curriculum, they looked at me as blankly as if I’d just suggested they let their kids drop out of school altogether!
A curriculum change isn’t always necessary. Sometimes the curriculum isn’t the problem. But there are certainly times when such a change should at least be considered. Maybe you and your kiddos both could enjoy homeschooling more if you changed your curriculum. The transition doesn’t have to be difficult and doesn’t always translate into more work for you as the teacher.