I have written before about my love for lists and all things organizational, and with that came a love of scope and sequences. I love being able to check off a skill my child learns — especially when it is earlier than they are “supposed” to know something.
However, the flip side of that is the frustration and anxiety I feel when my child struggles to learn something they “should” know by a certain age. Over the years I have learned that as a homeschooler, I have the freedom to put aside the scope and sequence and work with my children at their own pace.
I was talking about this subject with another mother today. Her child is in first grade at the local public school, and she told me about all of the homework, aka busywork, her 6-year-old daughter brought home on a daily basis. Most of the homework her child totally knew and was bored with. However, there were other subjects her daughter struggled with and needed extra time to study. She shared that it was all so overwhelming for a 6-year-old and asked me about my experience homeschooling.
I told her that one of the awesome things about homeschooling is that when your child is good at something, you can move on to the next level without doing countless practice pages. On the other hand, you can also spend more time working on the subjects that your child struggles with without overwhelming them with a bunch of extra busywork.
When I think about it, I’m in awe of how freeing it has been to let go of scope and sequence in our homeschool. I have learned to let my child guide the scope and sequence. My 9-year-old son is still struggling to memorize his multiplication facts, and in the beginning, this would have really worried me and I would have: 1) really pushed him, or 2) I would have let him move on without having them totally mastered because I feared that he would get behind. Now I know that if I give him the time to really master them now, it will make the next step so much easier — and he will catch up.
I worried for several years about his spelling and changed curriculums several times. I knew from experience if we just kept at it, he would eventually get it. But I still worried. Then last month it started clicking! He didn’t learn it on someone else’s arbitrary time schedule, instead he learned it on his time schedule. And because I let him have the time and the focus to learn it on his time, I know he’s really learning it now and making solid progress.
Do you use standard scope and sequence guidelines in your homeschool? Why or why not? What strategies help you stay on track while giving you the freedom to work with your children at their pace? Join us this month at NextGen Homeschool as we discuss Ten Things to Let Go of This Year, and join the conversation! Find the series here.