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Sabrina S

Changing Curriculum...need encouragement!

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We are thinking about making a pretty massive change in how we homeschool. We have always used one specific curriculum with extras added in to expand on it but suddenly it doesn't seem to be a great fit for our family anymore. A big part of this program is meeting weekly with other homeschoolers, these meetings have become something I dread and don't have a good attitude about. I have one child who is always sad after because her peers exclude and ignore her and are sometimes outright rude to her. In addition to that she isn't benefitting much from the interactions in class because most of them don't come prepared. I have another child who seems to be absorbing the bad attitudes and disrespectful behaviors of her classmates. My son is the only one who I think may be actually gaining anything from it. Then the two little boys are supposed to be in the nursery but that has been an uphill battle. Also, it's very expensive.

 

All of that to say I am thinking we need to make some changes and make them soon. We are considering not returning the second semester, it means we would "lose" some money but at this point I sort of feel like it is a loss either way and we wouldn't have to spend MORE money by not returning the second semester. I know I can do a good job of doing school without the support group and with different curriculum, I'm actually very much looking forward to the freedom cutting loose would give me. But my oldest is in 7th grade.....I've always assumed we would use this program through high school and never thought much more about jr high and high school curriculum so I'm feeling a bit lost in that area and more concerned about "messing it up" than I am with younger grades. Any tips for homeschooling through high school? Or any suggestions on curriculum I could look into (preferably inexpensive and/or reusable).

 

I don't really know what else I'm looking for here. I can't really talk about this anywhere else without upsetting or offending those in the program which is definitely not my intent. I think I'm just a bit apprehensive about leaving what we have always done and striking out on a new path. And yes,  I am intentionally not mentioning the name of the program...if you piece it together by my other posts let me be clear I'm not criticising it as a whole it has been a wonderful experience for me for the most part and really taught me a lot about home education and gave me the confidence to do this on my own, I just don't think it is the right fit anymore. 

 

Thanks :)

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I think if we knew what you're looking for in a potential curriculum, it would help us make recommendations.  I have never stuck to just one program in the past, we always changed things a little here and there from one year to the next.  This year, however, things were a mess, and we were several weeks in when I suddenly dumped almost everything and switched to Ambleside Online.   Not necessarily because it was free (though that allowed the immediate change) but because it meets our needs for our family dynamic more than I expect other CM curricula could.

I have not homeschooled a high schooler, my oldest is 5th grade, but I am a homeschool graduate (homeschooled 10th-12th) and I basically did it all on my own.  I remind myself of that when I get anxious about the upcoming years.  If I could do it ALL as the student, I should be fine guiding my own kids.  Don't let it stress you out.

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Oh good point!! I'm not sure I really know what I want from jr high/high school curriculum. I want her to be able to do a lot on her own (because I'm working with others who need a lot more guidance) but I still want to know what she is doing and be involved. We have been using a classical curriculum which I like (and may still use many of the components of) but I'm also drawn to a CM approach and a bit of an unschooling approach (not completely unschooling but I like the idea of allowing for changes and side roads based on interest). That said I have every intention of her finishing almost all of her first two years of college the last two years of high school so I want to be doing a lot of prep work for that now. This may not be what high school looks like for all of my kids but I know this particular child can handle it. I will use various online dual enrollment options for this probably. 

 

I really prefer to keep school work relatively light, no busy work, only the necessary book work to achieve the goals of learning. Otherwise I want them learning from reading, experiences, and life and learning practical skills and thinking skills as much as (or more than) "book knowledge." Does that make sense? 

 

I'm planning to put her in speech and debate next year (I was going to this year but before we started thinking about quitting the coop portion we were feeling way too busy to add anything). I am also considering starting a socratic discussion group with other kids her age and trying to get our homeschool group to do some sort of open mic night type thing monthly or quarterly. That will fill in the things I think we would be missing by not being in the coop. 

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Yes, it makes sense.  Learning organically through real books and real life is the foundation of our homeschool too.  

I really can't help much with high school or classical curriculum, but hopefully you'll get some suggestions and ideas, and figure out your new path!  

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