Perhaps things aren't going as planned.
Maybe you picked the wrong curriculum, or you had some unforeseen difficulties develop in your family.
Even if your home school material is working for you this year, sometimes finding something new will add that extra spark to your child's home education and learning.
To help you plan for next year, here are some questions to answer when considering new home school material for your family.
Grab a notebook, journal or piece of paper.
Make sure you write down your thoughts. Sometimes we forget details, especially as we progress in age! :)
What curriculum, products and resources are working well?
Make note of all the products and resources that you use with your family and each child.
If something is working well, keep using it and/or look for the next grade or level, if available.
Many companies offer additional products with the same format that you have grown to know and love. If they don’t, writing a short email and recommendation may be the encouragement they need to create more!
Most often you will find consistency from publishers, so you know what to expect when going to the next level or grade.
For example, we have used Saxon Math since we began home schooling. It works well for us and we know what to expect with each grade, since we understand their method and have come to know and appreciate the Saxon style.
What would make your homeschool more fun or interesting?
If lessons seem a little dry, add some simple hands-on projects or purchase a fun home school science kit to liven up your home school day.
Perhaps your children would love to read some of the great works of literature that were presented in their Language Arts or Literature Class.
Some curriculum – even the curriculum that I use, only highlights various sections of literary works. Excerpts or large selections are included throughout the lessons, but the complete writing, play or book is not read.
Often, I will look for some of the books or writings for my children to read and put them on their required reading list. I want my children to be well read, and think some of the books that are highlighted need more attention – at least read in their entirety.
If you think a particular subject needs more attention, take the time needed to focus on it. You can stray from your lesson plans or curriculum from time to time! :)
What do you like about your school year?
Maybe it's the extra time you take to do hands-on projects, or your involvement in some enrichment classes or homeschooling activities.
Maybe your children really like the more relaxed atmosphere resulting from homeschool unit studies or your deviance from traditional accredited homeschooling curriculum or the home schooling text book approach to learning.
What would you like to change?
Realizing that something isn't working is the first step to successful homeschooling.
Using home school material that seems popular but isn't working in your family, may be a signal for change.
Before scrapping materials all together (which can be costly)...
Some curriculum websites have a forum or support area to help answer your questions or find solutions to your problems. A quick click to their FAQ or support page may be all that's needed to bring better results in working with a specific product or course. A little modification can work wonders!
Don't forget to create your home school material list now, while everything is fresh in your mind.
The home school convention season will soon be upon us. Planning now, will help you be ready, relaxed and resolute when finding, choosing and purchasing new home school material for next year.
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