Customized Curriculum

Customized_CurriculumThere have been times in our learning adventure when our curriculum choices have not always worked. For whatever reason, the curriculum began to grow tedious or lacked enough hands-on application. In extreme circumstances, we’ve even needed to rearrange the entire book to fit our needs. Thank goodness we have the freedom to customize our curriculum!

Just recently, a friend and I were talking about our homeschool curriculum. We’re a little over halfway through our learning year and still making much-needed changes to our routine. While you’d think our schedule would be fairly established at this point, we’re constantly changing because life is constantly changing!

My friend started out the year in her own home, now they are living with family. They started out with certain resources, but God had another plan. We started out with a particular routine in mind, but my children’s learning styles have dictated change. Our budget has been cut significantly and timing has become an issue.

While life certainly can hand us a solid curve ball every now and again, it’s comforting to know we don’t have to break under the stress of sticking to the books. We have the freedom to adjust, dismiss, and build upon our curriculum, making it into something better.

In the past, I’ve customized our curriculum in several ways. I’ve dismissed teachers’ guides, choosing to work through texts at a preferred pace. Other times, I’ve added hands-on activities, side studies, and learning expeditions to enhance a lesson. At one point, I even rearranged chapters in a science book to help my children better work through the text. We’ve skipped tests, added writing assignments, and opted out of reading work for video lessons.

My friend has currently decided to skip science and history altogether, choosing to focus on The Three R’s. With two little ones running around while attempting to school three older ones, scheduling can be a bit rough. She’ll return their focus on science and history over the summer, when life is a little less busy.

Customizing our curriculum is a blessing. We aren’t locked into anyone else’s idea of what learning should look like, and can tailor our lessons to each child’s needs. May we be open to God’s leading, wherever that path may take us.

“An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.”
Proverbs 18:15

🔔Time to Chime In: To what extreme have you customized your curriculum?

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11 thoughts on “Customized Curriculum

  1. Creating and tweaking curriculum is so much fun. Once you figure out your kids’ learning styles and interests it’s a must! I frequently rearranged chapters in a science book because for some reason the leaf studies always seemed to fall in February. 🙂

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  2. I’ve gone in and out of customizing it. Sometimes I just want to make it through a book just to say I did. And other times, I surrender and decide I just don’t want to. Nobody likes it. Why are we doing this? I think of all those hours, days, weeks I began planning homeschooling…before we actually started it…what time was expended on things that were changed so quickly! I have unschooled and classically schooled, and it all works. Just go with the flow!

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    • I have often asked myself, “Why didn’t I do this years ago?” The answer is always, “It was not in God’s timing!”

      To everything there is a season. I cannot go back, I cannot see into the future (don’t know that I’d want to); what I can do is do my best with what God is giving me right now. And that, my friend, is often more than enough!

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  3. In a standard school setting, the student is forced to learn through a structured setting designed for a general student population. This method gets through to a large portion of the students but misses many and does not maximize the learning with the larger group.

    Customizing curriculum allows the parent the ability to maximize the student’s learning. As parents, we see what works with our children and what does not. It also opens a new world to all of us for we are no longer stuck with the standard line of curriculum.

    The best part about our customizing was and is always allowing our sons to take part in selecting their history, science, and geography. They even had a hand in the language arts. Though we are not Irish, I learned much about Ireland from my sons selecting to study Ireland for geography. We even learned how to make a few Irish food items. There is an enthusiasm from our children knowing they will study a subject they helped select and have an interest in.

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  4. I have to greatly customize for my 14 year old because of his autism/learning challenges. We basically do the three Rs with him. He reads the same work, just verbally goes over it with me as opposed to writing answers. We use Teaching Textbooks but he only does a few problems a day. My second son is very ADHD so that’s hard to get him to focus. I have a few more with learning disabilities, so I’m sure we’ll be customizing forever!

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  5. This resonates with me. This is my first year homeschooling and like you and your friend, we also have 4 kids. And I also dropped history and science pretty quick. I just couldn’t do it with a 1 and 3 year old running around. And me not knowing what the heck I’m doing! So we’re also focused on the three Rs. But I LOVE the idea of adding those in over the summer. What a great idea!

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