You Can’t Do it All

I really have to wonder about the way some people choose curriculum

As I began searching for information on different companies and their curriculum options for the coming year, I came across a new forum that I hadn’t browsed before–there simply hadn’t been a need. And I found it very helpful, and full of lots of information, not just about specific curriculum, but homeschooling stuff in general.

But I have noticed many people there using two or three different curriculum together at the same time. Now, I can see adding some stuff to what you’re doing…I’ve done that pretty much since we started homeschooling, with things like themed units, and adding on subjects such as Latin. But I think when you’re taking three different curriculum (for example, Sonlight, Story of the World, and Tapestry of Grace), that all have the same purpose in teaching (history through literature), then you have a problem.

I can understand (but not afford) blending two different curriculum with two different approaches. Say, something like Winterpromise, which is very hands-on crafty, and something more substantial, like Sonlight or Tapestry of Grace. And I can see needing separate curriculum for different children, based on their learning styles. But the example mentioned above, (which is an actual attempt by at least one person in assembling curriculum), attempting to use three full curriculum (including all of the activities for Story of the World–not just the books themselves alone), suggests a complete lack of confidence in any one of them.

If you find it necessary to use that many different companies to teach what you think needs to be taught, doesn’t that suggest that none of them is truly right for your family? Yes, there are a lot of amazing options available, and I can see the temptation to use them all. But that’s just not feasible, unless you was a burnt-out teacher and students. That’s one of the reasons I’ve chosen to try something new in our next school year–I was adding and tweaking so much to our Sonlight curriculum (which I do still love), that I realized that perhaps it isn’t the best match for us, at least not right now.

I also really have to wonder how people find time to do that many different curriculum. Sonlight on its own is enough to kill your voice, and I’ve seen the Tapestry of Grace book lists. I suppose you could just add on the reading selections for Story of the World, but if you’re really using it as the curriculum it’s published as, there are additional readings, and activities, and I think even quizzes and tests.

That’s just a lot of work. I don’t know, maybe that’s why I’ve stuck with “open and go” curriculum thus far. I don’t want to have to figure out what to replace, and what to add, and what activities to do from each company. Sure, some tweaking is fine, but if you’re going to that much trouble picking and choosing, why not just come up with your own curriculum? It would probably be the same amount of work, less money, and then you’d know that really had what you wanted, and what worked best for your family!

2 thoughts on “You Can’t Do it All

  1. Wow- I cannot imagine using three at once! Talk about overkill/overwhelm. I use Tapestry of Grace, which is perfect for me since I am a “tweaker” by nature! I previously used both SL and WP and tweaked the heck out of them. I discovered TOG and realized it is a tweakers dream! LOL It is a buffet, not a to do list.

    I just found your blog on Google Blogs and am a new follower 🙂

    Mary

  2. That’s exactly why I’m leaving Sonlight (at least for now)–if I’m going to tweak, I want it to be because I’m supposed to, not because I don’t think things are working out.

    You like TOG? I’ve looked at it, but I have to admit, the initial investment scares me. I know it would end up being a better deal in the long run, but then I think, if I shell out that much money for a teacher’s manual, and decide it doesn’t work for us, I’m really out of luck! It is something I keep looking at, though! 🙂

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