Ask a NextGen Homeschooler: How Can I Breathe Life Into My Homeschool Curriculum?

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Welcome to “Ask a NextGen Homeschooler.” It’s your turn to ask the authors of NextGen Homeschoolformerly homeschooled moms who are now homeschooling our children — to weigh in on your homeschooling questions. From the practical to the personal, all questions are welcome!

This week’s question comes from a NextGen Homeschool reader:

My husband and I decided to homeschool before my son went to first grade, and he is now in second grade. We have been following a specific curriculum, and I feel like if we don’t get everything done that the curriculum says, he is doomed and won’t do well with testing. It’s certainly making our school days less fun, which I don’t want to be the case at all! Although I hate sticking to this rigid schedule, I don’t feel experienced with homeschooling enough to do it any other way. Can you share with me what method/style of homeschooling you use? Have you tried others, do your kids seem to like it, and has testing gone okay?

BreatheLifeIntoHomeschoolCurriculum

Today NextGen Homeschool author Rosanna Ward shares how she adjusts her homeschool curriculum to meet her son’s learning style and keep things interesting:

RosannaWardNewNextGen Homeschool Author Rosanna Ward
Was homeschooled since 8th grade
Began homeschooling in 2005
Two homeschool graduate daughters & two sons ages 9 & 3

My son is now in third grade, and I understand your anxiety. I have not tested him yet because we are not required to do so here in Oklahoma, but I may do it this year just to see where he is at. I have a book called “What Your Child Needs to Know When” by Robin Sampson that I follow loosely just to make sure we stay on track.

However, I do not feel tied to any curriculum’s schedule or scope and sequence. There are so many ways that your child can learn the information they need to know, I try to find the most enjoyable way possible.

I would suggest that you find out what learning style your child is and try to find a curriculum that fits that style. For example, my son is an auditory learner, so we do a lot of audio books and “jingles” for memorization, and he remembers so much that way. It really does make a difference.

Also I’ve discovered that when you’re homeschooling a boy, it’s helpful to give them plenty of breaks and ways to expend their energy, or they tend to have a hard time focusing. My older two children were girls, and there is a world of difference between homeschooling them at this age than homeschooling my son now. I feel like I am learning everything all over again. But I am also more comfortable now than I was when I started, so I am confident about being flexible and adjusting to what he needs.

Do you ever feel “restricted” by the lesson plan that comes with your homeschool curriculum? How do you work with your chosen homeschool curriculum to keep things interesting and adjust to the learning styles of your children? What changes have you made that have turned things around for you and your children?

About Renée Gotcher

Renée Gotcher is a wife, writer, entrepreneur & home-educating mother of three daughters: Audrey, Claire and Elise. A former journalist, Renée was homeschooled during her last two years of high school and started homeschooling in 2010. She is editor of NextGen Homeschool and blogs on personal topics at A New Chapter. Her family lives in Castle Rock, Colorado.

Comments

  1. My son is a very hands on learner and just doing book assignment after book assignment was not working for him. Now, when we get to a new concept, I search for hands on activities that cover that idea. I usually use Pinterest, which is a great resource for homeschoolers. Even replacing one review assignment with a hands on activity really helps my son’s understanding of the concept, and it gives him some time to create. This in turn helps him to concentrate a bit better when we go back to our regularly scheduled curriculum assignments.

  2. Lady Lilith says:

    Nice tips. My girl likes acting so after we learn something, we play charades. We take turns acting and guessing what the other one is.

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