Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Making Your Curriculum Work for You

It's no secret that most homeschoolers love Sonlight. I have fallen in love with Sonlight myself. HOWEVER (and that is a big however), I do not like the Instructor's Guide. That huge thing is enough to give any newbie homeschooler a melt down (I am not a newbie--I am in my fourth year and I almost had a meltdown).

So how did I handle it? What have I been doing with it?

At first, I was very overwhelmed. I tried doing it like the guide suggested, but that just was not a good fit for our family. So I broke it down, pulled out the stuff we liked, and crossed out the things we did not like.

Here is what we have going on now:

~Friday is a free day. No structured curriculum on this day. We leave it open for Nature study, art, home -ec, field trips, woodworking with daddy, or whatever we would love to do on this day.

~Monday-Thursday: Bible, Math, History/Reading, Writing class, and Science. We also still have read aloud time (my kids like it)

I am trying this year to be more relaxed than ever when it comes to school. I am not doing a schedule much--we are doing a journal of what we get accomplished instead of fretting over what we have not gotten done.

Basically, all I am saying is this--instead of fretting on what is not working, find a way to make it work. You can take any curriculum and change it to meet what you are doing.

In the past, I have taken Bob Jones, read a section and then made a lapbook to study it further. Use what you have and make it work for you!


Heidi Jo said...

Well said! We love Sonlight too, but we do what we can when we can. My girls actually do the IG on their own (Core 6 and alt7) and I do the boys (Core 1). Everyone gathers for the boys read alouds, even though my girls have already done the story. I am trying to free up Fridays for fun stuff but my oldest still needs to do math and science. Last year I pitched the IG and just read by the "stack" method. which means I put all the books in order and just read as we wanted. Check out Oh My Stinken Heck's blog for great tips on Sonlight. I am using her idea of just pulling a week of the IG out for the girls at a time. Those binders are way to big :-)

Luke said...

Absolutely! We often say that curriculum should be a tool not a taskmaster... use it for what you need.


Daddy's Chick's said...

Love your ideas thanks for sharing! Have a blessed day

Susan said...

I am encouraged to hear that another home educating family is keeping a journal of what is accomplished. We are trying that method for the first time this year and I find it freeing! We're staying on track much better too - maybe it's because there is no guilt at the end of the day over what we didn't accomplish. When I did lesson plans, I would always fret and get upset over anything that wasn't done and that just seemed counter-productive for both me and my girls.

Wonderful thoughts on your weekly schedule - love the Friday idea!