Should I Switch Curriculum Mid-Year (or just make adjustments)?

There’s nothing more exciting than pulling that new curriculum out of the box, and there’s nothing more frustrating than feeling stuck with a curriculum that’s not working half way through the year. We’ve had our share of mid-year crisis situations, false starts and failures, switching up curriculums and styles and routines. It’s not easy to start over; it feels like admitting defeat, like you failed at something. It’s not easy to quit on a curriculum while we are teaching our kids to persevere. But we have to separate the feelings from the reality. You have not failed; your curriculum is failing you. So how do you know when to stick it out and when to start over with something new? Should you switch curriculum mid-year?

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Deciding to Switch Curriculum Mid-Year

There is no perfect curriculum, but there are curriculum choices that just need a little adjustment. Ask yourself and your child if there is anything about the curriculum that you like. If there is something about the curriculum that you like, if you find yourself saying, “if only this one thing were different,” than you might be better off tweaking your curriculum and making a few adjustments, at least till the end of the year.

But if your curriculum has you both dreading school or dreading a particular subject, if there is very little or nothing at all that you enjoy, by all means switch curriculum mid-year. Neither of you will gain anything by trudging through. 

*Doesn’t my child need to learn do things he doesn’t like to do?* There is no doubt that teaching our children to work through hard situations is an important life skill, but I don’t think that learning has to be the platform for this lesson, particularly with young children. I have plenty of opportunities to teach this lesson with room-cleaning, dishes, and other chores. If I’m noticing that this is a character issue and not a curriculum issue, than yes, I deal with it differently; switching curriculum will not cure my child’s heart problem.

Deciding What Curriculum to Use Now

Next, take a good look at what you don’t like about your current curriculum. Does it take too long? Is the teacher material too complicated or too open-ended? Does it have too many online elements or not enough? Does it have too much review and not enough variety? Does it move too quickly through the material or not quickly enough? If you can identify more specifically what you did and didn’t like, choosing a successful new curriculum will be easier. In some rare situations, I have loved the curriculum but my child has not. Working through these first two questions is key so that I can find something that works for both of us, something that keeps the elements I love and adds the elements my child needs.

Where to Find Curriculum Mid-Year

When I’m checking out my options, one of my favorite places to start is Cathy Duffy reviews. Once I have a few items that I think will work, then I head to google for reviews on that particular curriculum, or I check Amazon or CBD.com for previews of the curriculum. Youtube is also a great place to search for reviews of particular curriculum items.

Once I’ve got an idea of what I want, I check for used items first. This time of year, check used curriculum groups on Facebook and ebay; many people who are in the same situation you are in, or are already looking ahead to next year, will be selling items at greatly reduced prices.  Try selling your current curriculum, as well. Re-coup some of your costs and invest that in a curriculum that works for you.

Sometimes, finances make switching curriculum mid-year nearly impossible, even if you can sell your original curriculum. Don’t forget to search the internet for free or nearly free activities or resources. Pinterest, TeachersPayTeachers, and CurrClick (affiliate link) are a few of my favorite places to look for supplements or inexpensive solutions to get us through the year.

If you are still not sure that switching curriculum mid-year is the best option for you, check out TableLifeBlog’s article: “10 Things To Do When Your Curriculum Isn’t Working.”

Not sure if you are ready to switch curriculum mid-year?

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Published by Tracy

Our life is creative chaos, and our homeschool is loud and busy and distracted and challenging and lovely. My name is Tracy, and I homeschool my crew of three kids with ADHD/dyslexia, finding creative ways to use their strengths to teach their weaknesses. As a homeschooled homeschooler, I love customizing curriculum and making adjustments to incorporate fun, hands-on projects for out-of-the-box learners. Stop by growingNgrace.com to find grace for the messes and mistakes, and knowledge to pick up the pieces and make something special. Let’s grow together!