Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The truth about curriculum planning

One of my favorite parts of homeschooling is research and planning. I know, I know, I'm supposed to say it's all the quality time with my kids or watching their eyes light up with wonder as we discover new things. Sure, those are great and all, but give me something to research and I'm a happy camper. It's a bit of a disease.

No, really. It's like crack to me.

In the beginning, the choices are overwhelming. You start searching and come to realize that there is no one way to do this homeschooling thing. There are about a billion. Or so. There are full package curriculums that include everything for an entire grade level. There are subject-specific choices. There are methods and styles that differ. And there are more reviews, recommendations, books, blog posts and articles than you could possibly read in a lifetime.

Believe me, I have tried.

Eventually you start to narrow it down. You're attracted to a particular style, or perhaps a melding of two or three styles of homeschooling. You can eliminate certain options based on your goals, your teaching style, your kids' personalities and learning styles. Some choices begin to stand out and your list shortens.

And then, just when you think you're getting somewhere, someone on your homeschooling Facebook page posts about a new book they found, or asks for reviews of curriculum you haven't seen yet. Cue what I have dubbed "HPIADD" - Homeschool Planning Induced Attention Deficit Disorder.

Oooh, shiny!

You absolutely MUST research this new option. After all, it might very well be the perfect fit! This could be the curriculum you've been waiting for! The book that will meet your every need and ensure massive amounts of delighted learning on the parts of your children, while you flit from child to child, looking stunning in your tea length circle skirt and kitten heels with the smell of from-scratch brownies wafting in from your sparkling clean kitchen.

You will love my brownies, OR ELSE.

Alas, you discover that your latest rabbit trail has led to naught, and in your fervor to uncover the Greatest Curriculum Ever, you are still wearing pajama pants and a tank top, the kids may or may not have eaten lunch, there is a  pile of dishes in the sink, and your kitchen mocks you with it's lack of sparkle and shocking lack of brownies.

Not that I would know.

I am guilty of chasing the shiny new curriculum all too often. I am getting better as I gain more experience, but I still have an irresistible urge to research and read far too much. As I work on plans for our upcoming year, I'm having to restrain myself and remember that finding a groove for US is what is important. Our homeschool isn't going to look like someone else's and just because everyone is raving about a particular curriculum, doesn't necessarily mean it is something I must spend money on. We can ease into our year, work with the plans I have made, and make adjustments from there.

Until one of my friends posts about something they are using, and I'm all... SQUIRREL!


  1. You're too funny! I know, I know! It is an addiction. The great part too is when it all arrives in the mail and the kids are tearing it into all and they're so excited over the freshness of it all. But then three months, six and nine months down the road....not so much anymore. That's when I start my next year curriculum hunt all over again!

  2. HA! Have you been peeking in my windows?

  3. So true about the boxes arriving! Everything is so fresh and new and exciting! And yes, it wears off all too quickly.