How to Know if Your Homeschool Curriculum is Measuring UpMarlene Griffith
At the end of every school year, I evaluate how well we have worked through the all the coursework I planned, the time we spent doing so, and whether the curriculum we used measured up to my expectations. If the curriculum I purchased didn’t deliver as I had hoped, I then decide if it’s worth modifying or if I should move on to something else.
Here are the questions I ask myself when doing a yearly curriculum check up. I hope they help you determine if your homeschool curriculum is measuring up.
Did you find yourself forced to supplement?
Supplementing is awesome when you are doing it because you want to add a little bit extra into the mix. But when you find yourself forced to supplement because the curriculum omits things you need, your curriculum may not be comprehensive enough.
Is the amount of activities appropriate?
Sure, extra hands-on activities can be fun. But are they necessary? As students get older, activities becomes less of a need and more of a time waste. Don’t get me wrong, hands-on projects are helpful for learning, but they shouldn’t be the bulk of the work as kids hit middle school. That being said, if you find yourself having to reconstruct your curriculum for your younger child by making it more hands-on, then maybe it’s a curriculum you should not continue to use.
Was the curriculum generally boring?
Sure, school work isn’t always super exciting and engaging. Sometimes facts are just facts. But here is the deal: when we are learning well, our brain naturally responds to the work in a welcoming manner. It won’t naturally disengage unless there is another underlying learning issue that needs to be addressed. But assuming there isn’t a problem with learning, then there could be two reasons why your curriculum is boring:
- It’s poorly written. Maybe it’s moralistic or condescending. Maybe it’s convoluted and too abstract.
- It’s too easy or simplistic. Possibly your child desires to go deeper with a topic and is bored with a merely surface presentation.
Was the curriculum challenging enough?
Was your student challenged to continue using already mastered skills while building new ones? Or are they finding the work too easy? When students aren’t challenged they tend to get bored, disengaged, and lose interest in their coursework. This happens often, but thankfully as homeschoolers we are able to find curriculum or build lesson plans that will adequately engage our eager learners. We aren’t bound to arbitrary grade levels either. We can accelerate our children according to their personal needs.
Do you do a yearly curriculum review? What are some other questions you may add to this list?