Open to Change, Part II

stick-in-the-mudMinute-by-minute changes in our routine are one thing, they generally affect our lives for a brief moment. But, what about those changes which are far-reaching and costly? Are we open to change when those changes stand to cost us something?

What happens when we invest a great deal of time and money into a homeschooling curriculum that just isn’t working? Do we stick with a routine we’ve established simply because we’ve dedicated hours of planning to getting down just the right schedule?

Before I scream in frustration or wallow in despair, I need to ask myself a few questions:

Did I pray about this? Before leaping into a change, I always want to pray. The Lord will help me determine whether this is just hormones speaking or the truth coming to light. (laughing)

What are my long-term goals? Do I know what I want for my family in the long run? When we envision the end goal, the hurdles are much easier to jump.

Is this change meeting those goals? By sticking with what I’m currently doing, are we able to accomplish what we set out to do? Let’s not waste time on things which do not move us toward the prize. I need to pick my battles carefully.

Could our goals be met in a better manner? Yes, this may in fact be doing the job, but is it doing it well? If a better plan comes along, I need to be open to change.

Am I one with my spouse on this issue? As always, what does my husband have to say on this matter? I don’t want to fight for constancy or change, if I am fighting alone. I need to be sure we are one on whatever the issue may be and then we move forward together.

Is there someone who could help me with perspective? Change can be hard, especially when the consequences are far-reaching. Instead of making a blind leap into the unknown, it might be in my best interest to seek counsel on this matter from someone who has been here before.

Change is always a hard one for me, but by focusing on what’s important, being one with my man, and seeking the Lord in all things, change definitely becomes a little easier.

Time to Chime In: What is the biggest change you’ve ever made mid-year into your homeschooling routine? (I know some of you have changed states!! That’s pretty big!)

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15 thoughts on “Open to Change, Part II

  1. What a timely post for my family! Last year we dropped the expensive, accredited curriculum that was ripping up our love of learning and discovered a classical approach based on Oliver DeMille’s Thomas Jefferson Education and our passion for reading. It was an expensive lesson, but one that I would do again in a heart beat. The love of learning and the core of family must come first!

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    • I’m so glad you accepted the change and let the greater good win out! I wish I could say I always do this willingly, but I’m still a work in action. 🙂 Love of learning is key, as is the close knit bond of family. Good choice!

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  2. We’ve dropped curriculum in the past that wasn’t working for us but it didn’t seem troubling to me. My biggest change has come over the past couple of months. We’ve always had a stop/start point to the school year. I’ve worked hard to space out curriculum to fit my time frame. I reluctantly decided to let that go. If my kids are science hungry why hold them back to fit a schedule? So now it looks like we will do about one and a half curriculums per academic year. I had just purchased Latin for the upcoming academic year but my oldest wants to start now! So I let him start yesterday. For me it is letting go of some of my control and that is hard. I like clear boundaries but why should I set those boundaries on my kids (I mean academic boundaries only here!) We’ve just entered the murky twilight zone of homeschooling where my kids won’t be able to give an exact grade level if asked…

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    • I, too, like clear boundaries. This is always a struggle for me, especially considering my husband is almost ‘anti-boundary’ when it comes to routines. Together we, hopefully, present a balanced perspective of life, understanding that both are essential in the right time and place.

      Grade levels can be tricky, can’t they?

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  3. Well our biggest change was letting go of curriculum that wasn’t totally working for us (as you mentioned in your post) and doing more “unschooling”. I had been scared of that loss of structure but found that our own rhythm and my intuition about my daughter’s needs really works. I had to let go and accept that change. It has been great!

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  4. We have had to let a curriculum go because it was not working. Fortunately we didn’t pay much for it but that being said it would have been bad to stick to it. We bought it because someone said it was great but curriculum is something that should be researched, prayed about and considered carefully.

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  5. Thanks for the post. We had our largest hurddle last year. We started out sending our son to a Christian School – he wanted some other interaction with more kids his age. Wanting to give him an opportunity to do that–we knew in our hearts this could be a problem. He started fairly good, but we noticed that ALL of the curriculum was secular and the Math book was a horrible redesign of a saxon method and had secular illustrations all throughout. When we realized that the teachers were not really doing a good job at teaching the children (not just our own son) and there were other parents worried, I went in and pulled him out of school in February (’14). They were upset with me, but I had to do what was right for our son. We brought him home again, and I had to do the teaching in my office and at home. My wife was working full-time to help pay for the school. He had nearly lost an entire school year of math and science and their Language Arts approach was a complete failure… no writing skills were taught, no grammar, they only read from a Literature book that weighed as much as a spare tire. We went back to our ecclectic Charlotte Mason meets Unit Study meets just get him to love to learn again approach. We prayed about it and put him back into Teaching Textbooks and that was the right way – but before we did we spent a fast track in Life of Fred – Fractions. He somehow connected the dots and now he is in Algebra I (started in January. Much prayer has to go into everything we do – and it is important for the mom and dad to be in harmony on methods, materials and environment. Just as you would not want to be unequally yoked in marriage, you do not want to be unequally yoked in home education with your children.

    Great post… thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. One January, I told my eldest that we were going to entirely unschool. Get rid of the math book. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Someone should have told me that this is what happens in your first year of homeschooling.

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  7. We did a screeching U-turn with our approach to math with our oldest son. I was wading through Geometry with him after having slogged through Algebra I, really at the peril of our relationship. One day I woke up and realized that this kid was not going to need “my idea” of a college prep math program. I’m thankful to report that we did survive high school, and he has completed his associate’s degree in welding (and, yes, he passed the math components). He is happily employed in that field, and his younger brothers are profiting from the mind- and faith-stretching experiences his mother gained from those years.

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  8. “When we envision the end goal, the hurdles are much easier to jump.” I love this!!! It is so true!!! Our perspective determines how we act, and taking a step back to consider the bigger picture usually puts things into focus pretty quickly.

    I think our biggest mid-year change was ditching almost all of our curriculum and really allowing our children to be more self-directed. It was really scary at first because I was afraid that they would just play all day, but they don’t! Instead, they immerse themselves in amazing projects and work on them all the time, not just during “school hours.” My 11 year old is learning computer programming and electronics. My 10 year old spends hours writing creatively and working through an writing course on DVD. My 7 year old has chosen to learn about catapults, how they work and how they were used in history. The younger three (6, 4,1) play all day, but that is exactly what they should be doing! Stepping back and looking at the bigger picture, trusting my children and myself, we are now experiencing the joy of relaxing our approach to homeschooling.

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  9. Pingback: Helping Our Children Manage Change | A Homeschool Mom

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