Oh this program looks so good! And this one looks amazing! I can’t wait to start this new science curriculum!
Are these words coming from my son?
Alas, no, they are coming from me (and lots of other mom’s I bet!). We get starry-eyed looking at all the fantastic homeschool curriculum out there and can get a little sidetracked if we aren’t very careful. Ask me how I know this? 🤷
I know better, but this summer I was looking for a science curriculum for my son and found something I thought looked wonderful. And it actually was. I thought he would be so interested in learning about rocks and minerals. And he is, just not from videos and text.
Sigh.. so back to the drawing board I went and this time I considered his strengths and learning preferences. See, he loves learning through living books read aloud to him. I found this really neat science series called Sassafras Science which follows a twin brother and sister on amazing science adventures. In this particular one, we are studying Zoology. He LOVES it and begs for more! Score!
So, how does this work practically?
This is just from my experience but here’s how I try to do it:
1. Consider interests…
Have a daughter who loves animals but has no interest in bugs right now? Does she love to write, research, read aloud or silently? Find something that fits with most of all of those points then! And remember you can always tweak a program to fit your needs. There’s nothing that says a curriculum can’t be modified!
2. Consider their attention span…
My son has a great attention span when it comes to read-a-louds but not so much when it comes to math. So, a more involved science and history program is great for him, and math needs to be short and sweet!
3. Consider an alternate style…
My son devours audiobooks and has listened to some very advanced literature that way. He doesn’t really care for reading to himself so he would have missed these great books if I had made him wait until he could read them independently. There are many programs that have an audio version available!
4. Consider time…
And by that, I mean your time and their time.
Don’t be too quick to dedicate huge amounts of time to a subject or program. That being said, don’t limit the time spent (whenever possible) when you suddenly hit a sweet spot with your kids. You know what I mean if you’ve ever done it. I recently did this accidentally with our oldest. We are taking both an online art history and drawing tutor and he’s fallen in love with it. Which brings me to my next point.
Don’t be afraid to push their boundaries and stretch their palate some!
I’m not talking about making someone who despises mustard, eat it, instead give your child some bites of something he hasn’t shown interest in yet or perhaps is afraid to try. Case in point. Art and drawing in particular. Our oldest has shown no interest until now. At his first attempts, he was very discouraged and proclaimed how awful he was. I listened, then encouraged him to try again and again. I told him no one is happy with their first drawings and you will never improve if you don’t keep trying. As a result, he is now asking to draw and is visibly improving!
So, before you buy your books before you sign up for classes, take a step back, take out a piece of paper and write down each of your children’s strengths, interests, goals ECT.