Every year after the holidays, I evaluate how things are going with our curriculum. With half the year complete, I am happy to say nothing has been a disaster! There are just a couple of small changes I made recently at the start of our second semester.
Before I give you a run-down of what’s working well, and the tweaks we have made, just remember one thing: if something is not working for you or your child, CHANGE IT! There is no need for you or your child to be miserable in their homeschool experience. What worked well for one, may not work as well for the next child. Many of you well know that it’s rare to find kids who learn the same way, even if they are siblings!
Changing doesn’t necessarily mean throwing your $200 science curriculum in the trash, either. Perhaps you can jump to a chapter that has more interesting subject matter. Maybe you can find a really neat experiment on Pinterest to compliment the lesson. Sometimes, I even take worksheets and cut them into question strips rather than using it as a traditional worksheet. You may find the curriculum needs to be fine tuned to suit the needs of your family. Be on the lookout to add in some fun now and then, especially in these winter months! Believe me, the February funk is definitely a thing! If you’re already in it, you may want to check out this post I wrote last year.
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Updates and Changes
Things are going well this year for my son’s first year of high school. He likes the independence of what we chose for him. For the most part he gets everything done, although there is some procrastinating involved, and I know right where he got it! (ME).
Math, Science, English and his Health elective are all going great! We even managed the Teaching Textbooks upgrade without any bumps or hiccups! Politics & Government is a subject I teach him and his sister together, and what a great year to be learning about this topic from a trusted source! You can check out my beginning of the school year post for more details on the above subjects.
One thing we are changing is our Bible curriculum. We really didn’t have one this year, just some worksheets I was printing. We will be using The Usborne Encyclopedia of World Religions as a semester long unit study. I am currently assigning one “religion” each week and providing my own questions to answer from the text as well as utilizing the suggested internet links. This course will be informative to us both.
The other subject that is getting a change is U.S. History for both kids. We had been using All American History for the past year and a half. I was having some issues getting student materials for the second half of the course, so I began coming up with material myself.
I had my eye on U.S. History Detective by Critical Thinking Co. for some time, and was able to make a smooth transition, as it picked up exactly where we left off in All American History with the Gilded Age. So far, we are enjoying the change!
In addition to the history change mentioned above, math has been changed more times than I care to admit. We started out good with BJU Consumer Math. A few months in, the tax chapter got us. I realized I would have to teach myself most of the things in the text, and in turn, attempt to teach them to her. After a few weeks of realizing this one class would turn into a part time job I wasn’t ready for, I opted to give Monarch a try. I can’t say at this point if it’s really a better fit. Fortunately, an opportunity to review Personal Finance Lab became available. We are currently using it during a review period, and I’ll be posting our review towards the end of this month.
Science, English, Bible, and her Graphic Design course from Schoolhouse Teachers.com are all going well. I added in a photography challenge, as an additional activity in creativity from Schoolhouse Teachers.com at the start of this semester. Check out a couple of her photos from the first two weeks!
One of the many benefits of homeschooling is tailoring and using curriculum to teach each child as an individual. When something is not working as planned, there are always options. Sometimes what we’re doing just needs to just be re-evaluated and fine-tuned. With that, we’re moving forward and pressing on until summer!