As the new school year begins, we often have lofty hopes about things we’d like to see take place. We usually know what didn’t work and make every attempt to stay as far away from those things as possible. We acknowledge that we might try something different next school year, but we assume we’ll at least get through this year committed to the choices we’ve made. And then, out of nowhere, we’re caught off guard when we realize—often after an extended break, such as during the holidays—that our choices aren’t going to cut it for another six months.
If this describes you, the first thing you should do is relax knowing that you’re hardly alone. Whether this is your first year homeschooling or your tenth, this happens to many, many homeschooling families. Next, you have two choices: either plug away with the curriculum plans you had or toss those plans aside in favor of something new. How do you decide what to do? Start by asking yourself the following:
Is what we’re doing benefitting anyone in any way? If there is some benefit (albeit not what you’d anticipated), then it might mean you need to put the brakes on your program without completely stopping.
What would something else be like at this point? Would it help us or harm us if we made changes to our curriculum?
What do the others involved (spouse/children) think of changing and what do they think of leaving things as they are? Remember the overall goals you have in school this year and consider how you’ll reach these goals. Its okay to change the path you’re on but it’s important to keep your original goals intact.
Whether you decide to stay on the path you’ve been on or make changes, do it after careful consideration. As a homeschooling family, you have the distinct advantage of always being able to do whatever works for all involved. Don’t make hasty decisions but do make the decisions that best serve your family.