Why I Don’t Stress Over Curriculum Anymore {and why you shouldn’t either!}

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My husband and I attended a homeschool conference last weekend and we laughed a lot. Mostly, we laughed about how silly we were our first few years of homeschooling. We were remembering our very first homeschool conference six years ago in which we made 438,789,903 laps around the vendor hall looking like crazed zombies. We would look at curriculum after curriculum, ask questions, take pamphlets and then walk away and forget everything we were just told.

I remember gathering catalogs and brochures from almost every single curriculum booth and then we camped out in a booth at a nearby sub shop and poured over them. Three hours and two headaches later, we still had not made any decisions.

Does that sound familiar?

We were so afraid of choosing the “wrong” curriculum that we were almost paralyzed in our decision making process.

I’m so happy to report that at the homeschool conference last weekend, we made one trip around the vendor hall and had made all of our curriculum choices for next year.

So, what changed? Why is there so much less stress now than there was five years ago? Keep reading to find out…

Why I Don't Stress Over Homeschool Curriculum Anymore {and why you don't have to either}

Why I don’t stress over curriculum anymore {and you don’t have to either!}

1. I know my children and I know their learning styles. The first few years of our homeschooling journey, I had no idea what a learning style was. Not to mention I never considered the fact that my children might have different learning styles. Now, five years later, I’m happy to report that I can take a quick glance at a program and immediately know if it would work for my child.

2. I know my teaching style. Lapbooks are not for us. I don’t even fake it anymore. We are just not a lapbooking family. I also know that messy crafts really aren’t for us. If the project causes more stress than smiles, then it isn’t worth it. It’s taken a few years of trying to fit myself into a mold that just didn’t work before I’ve finally realized what really does work for us. I also know that I like direction. I like a program that has an awesome teacher’s manual that tells me how to teach particular concepts to my children. Some homeschooling moms hate these types of programs, but I need it, and that’s okay! I know that, so I choose curriculum that meets those needs.

3. I know the mission statement of our homeschool. If you don’t have a mission statement for your homeschool, I highly recommend creating one. Define your homeschooling method. Identify your goals. Discuss your beliefs and convictions. THEN, look for a curriculum that matches those requirements. For example, we are Catholic and one of our major factors when choosing curriculum is to ensure that the author/publisher doesn’t hold any anti-Catholic attitudes.

4. I know our budget. This is a HUGE time saver when choosing curriculum. If you know that there is no way you can afford that all-inclusive boxed curriculum program, then don’t spend hours drooling over it. On the flip side of that, if you can afford a well-planned curriculum with all of the bells and whistles, then don’t spend hours scrolling through Pinterest trying to piece together your own program. The old saying “time is money” rings true in this case.

5. I don’t care which curriculum our friends are using. If you haven’t learned yet, homeschoolers can be very legalistic when it comes to curriculum choices. Here’s the best advice you’ll ever receive….are you ready?! Ignore them. If your homeschooling friend is using XYZ curriculum she has seen great results and is raving about it and says she’ll never switch programs, then congratulate her! She found something that works well for HER family..and that is absolutely fantastic. However, that does NOT mean that you would have the same results. It’s all about knowing what works for your family and your child. Discover that and forget the rest.

Do you still stress over curriculum? What makes it so difficult for you?

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Hi, I am not sure if this is a new post or not, BUT I had to comment! Love this one! I completely agree with all the above, which is odd because you know, us homeschoolers have opinions. hehe However I have to say number 5 is by far my favorite on your list. On my blog today I listed 5 free websites and one curriculum I love, however I would hope all readers realize what works for me and our family may not work for them. So thank you so much for this post. Its OK to be different!
    Love this!

  2. Today is my sons last day of public school. From here on out, we are homeschooling. I am absolutely terrified! Wish me luck!!

    1. Good luck to you!! You’ll be just fine. Remember to stay flexible and breathe! Enjoy this beautiful gift of time with your son. Homeschooling is truly a blessing!

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Hi, there! I’m Heather Bowen, and I am so glad you’re here.

My passion lies in helping homeschool moms balance marriage, motherhood, homemaking, and homeschooling all while remaining sane!

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