Thursday, November 21, 2013

Switching Curriculum - If it doesn't work ditch it!

Last year starting about February I poured over our curriculum choices.  I read reviews, company pages, looked at samples, talked to friends.  Then I went to two homeschooling conferences and looked at a bunch of curriculum there too!  So I was pretty confident I had made the right choices for my 6th and 8th grader.  So we are almost three months in and it is obvious that our science choice is not working.  We chose Apologia General Science.  This course is very challenging.  It has the kids thinking about answers rather than spelling everything right out.  My oldest (13) is able to do this very easily and he would be moving right along if we weren't having to go over and over the concepts with our 6th grader. 

I think I figured out the problem (with some help from a friend who pointed it out! lol)  - my kids were in private school with Abeka curriculum up until 2 years ago.  Abeka is great but it test with multiple choice questions and fill in the blank.  Now that we are moving to middle school curriculum Apologia wants more.  I think had we done our charlotte Mason/ classical education style from kindergarten at home this would have been a breeze for both kids.  It would have prepared them for the next step.  Alas that didn't happen.

So what do I do.  Well I looked a bunch of curriculum, poured over websites, asked friends, looked at samples...AGAIN!  I realized that I still loved Apologia and I wanted to do another young explorers with my 11 year old again.  (We did Swimming Creatures last year and LOVED it!)  I had recently purchased a large amount of homeschooling books off of Craigslist for a great deal and in it was the Young Explorers Astronomy and the Notebooking journal to go with it.  So I thought why not!  We already had both pieces on hand.  I did go to ahead and order the science experiment kit to go with it.  I personally think this is a MUST HAVE.  It makes it so easy to do the experiments.  Last year was a real struggle to find all the components.  (By the way when searching for the experiment kits I found two different ones - a basic which was about $36 and a deluxe which was $72 - go for the deluxe you won't be disappointed!) 

So after an EXTREMELY long post I said all this to say if your curriculum is not working just shelf it!  We are planning on revisiting General Science in 8th grade for our middle son.  I think that will be the perfect time for him. 

*this post contains links just to show the curriculum discussed.  No affiliate links contained.

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