Have you ever had too many intersecting thoughts running through your head at the same time? My brain has been like a tossed salad lately as I’ve watched my older kids grow in frustration with your current language arts program. The jumbled thoughts came because I was taking so many aspects of a potential curriculum switch into consideration. Thankfully, I have some nearby homeschool friends that came to my mental rescue.
It was easy to observe how frustrated my kids had become with our textbooks. They are quality books that I had looked forward to using for many years. They are written by a trustworthy educator and I spent a decent amount of money investing in these texts. But none of this was worth the tearful, joy-sucking lessons we were experiencing last fall.
The thoughts I had swirling around my head were caused by several factors. First, I spent hard-earned money on these books and it was tough to see they weren’t a good fit for us right now. Second, another homeschool mom that was homeschooler herself had told me horror stories about how her mom changed curriculum all the time and how much she disliked never finishing things. Third, I wasn’t sure of other textbooks if I didn’t already trust the author. I didn’t spend time or money on something else that we wouldn’t enjoy or finishing having learned something. Fourth, the daily frustrations caused me to wonder if this homeschool gig was right for us anymore altogether!
Like they do on the TV game shows, I called a friend that I knew would have some great insight. This whole experience had gotten us so down that I began my plea for help with, “I know you won’t let me quit homeschooling, so I need your help figuring out our frustrating bits”. A few days later, she was sitting at my dining room table, with a big bag by her side and began settling my worries. She brought over a sample of what she and her daughter had been working on so I could see and touch them rather than clicking around online. We shared both frustrations and eventually found ourselves encouraging each other and feeling much more enthusiastic about kicking off the new year.
Isn’t it funny sometimes? We get so bogged down by so many small (sometimes larger) factors, that we consider bailing on everything? Or we get so buried by one aspect of our school day that it seems we can’t see over the big piles of complaints? I am so thankful for the little homeschool community that helped me to clear away the dust and offer options that are more helpful for my family at this point. I am always thankful for the encouragement from my friend as she reminded me that these textbooks I invested in aren’t working for us right now and that we will likely enjoy them when we revisit them again in the future.
Have you ever needed to switch curriculum mid-year? What factors helped you pick a new direction?
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Lindsay Banton is a caffeinated mother to three great kids. She never expected to homeschool, but has found that it is a wonderful addition to their lifestyle and wouldn’t change it for the world. In addition to homeschooling, Lindsay works alongside her husband in campus ministry at a large university in Connecticut. She grew up in Virginia but has settled into life in New England, learning to love the long winters, cool springs, green summers and gorgeous autumns- and has built a boot collection to meet all the demands. She is currently blogging at www.lindsaybanton.com.