Episode 20: What To Do When Homeschooling Isn’t Working Out
By: Jamie Gaddy and Homeschool.com
We’re so glad that you could join us on this wonderful day. But maybe your day isn’t going as wonderful as you’d like it to? Are you struggling with homeschooling this year? Are things just not working out as you envisioned?
Today we’re going to talk about what to do when your homeschool isn’t working out as you had planned.
I know for your first time homeschoolers this may feel like an end of the world situation… and I completely get that. I’ve been there. But over the past 15 years of homeschooling my kids I’ve realized that there are seasons. Times when things feel like they couldn’t get any worse… and then times when it’s so good you can scarcely believe it. But don’t be discouraged if you’re in one of the rough seasons, it won’t last forever.
But what do you do? How do you handle the rough spot?
Well, You need to diagnose yourself. Right? Because there isn’t a doctor of homeschooling urgent care center that you can rush off to. You’ve got to determine what it is that is causing this difficult season. Then you can apply some practical principles to help things improve.
- Ask yourself “why” you are homeschooling.
- What do you hope to accomplish by homeschooling
- What are your personal expectations?
- For example – Faith – Special needs – Unschooling – Special interest; like ballet, cooking, acting, or a sport – Travel – Better education – Independence – To catch up – Science – Get into an ivy-league college – Independence
- Ask yourself “how” you need to be homeschooling.
- What is your family’s homeschool style? What method of teaching/learning works best for you and your children?
- What is your child’s learning style? What process of learning works best for them. Do they do well with text-based learning or do they need something interactive like online learning?
- Ask yourself if your WHAT aligns with your how and your why. This could be the exact place where everything is derailing.
- Finally – Ask review these questions and determine where the problem lies.
While there are several reasons a family may feel the need to change things up – you may think that reason isn’t “good enough” to justify not using something you spent good money. Here are some of the most common reasons homeschoolers give for changing curriculum:
- You need to change your style or method. As the saying goes, when you know better; you do better. Did you start homeschooling without taking into consideration your child’s learning style – or a homeschool method that really fits your family as a whole? Many times the issues with homeschooling happen right here. Sometimes we have personal expectations and fail to weigh in the individual needs of our children. But for homeschooling to be successful we’ve got to look at the big picture and make decisions that support each child’s abilities. That may look like a different curriculum for each child… and that is absolutely doable. In fact, I’m doing that right now.
- It’s taking up too much time. The amount of time it takes to homeschool will vary based on the ages of your children and their levels of independence. That said, it should certainly get less time-consuming (not more) as they advance grade levels. If this isn’t the case, it might be time to consider something that takes up less of your time.
- School “never” happens. You’re homeschooling for a reason (or hundreds…), but if you don’t find yourself doing much “school” at all, it may be because the curriculum you’re using is overwhelming you. Get out of the entrapment by changing the curriculum.
- Your children aren’t actually learning (or retaining) anything. The purpose of educating our children is to teach them and for them to learn. If learning isn’t taking place, that could be a sign that your curriculum isn’t doing your family any justice. When that happens, it’s time to find something new – regardless of what time of year it is.
Homeschool.com has a great little printable that helps you work through these questions and determine your why, your how and your what. This is truly the foundation for all the other aspects of homeschooling. If your curriculum isn’t working – it’s down to something out of place in your foundation. If your kids are completely unhappy – it’s down to something out of sorts with the foundation principles…
Trust me, take a minute do the worksheet – it’s actually fun and helps to make your homeschool foundation strong. It’ll make a world of difference in your day today.
Wishing you the best -As always – with grace and joy,
About the Series
Where'd my instruction manual go??? I know we've all wondered that about parenting and homeschooling! Join us as we chat about the big stuff and everything in-between! Helping homeschoolers with practical teaching tips to find all they need to Homeschool and Love it!!