Blog Hop and Giveaway: Homeschooling Outside the {Curriculum} Box

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I am participating in a blog hop with the rest of the Home Educating Family review team every Friday for four weeks! And if that weren’t exciting enough, each week I am going to be able to offer a giveaway for a product from Home Educating Family!  You can find out the details at the end of this post!

If you have been reading my blog for very long at all you know that my favorite “perk” about homeschooling is the flexibility it gives. I firmly believe that we are all unique and learn in a variety of ways. As adults we have, for the most part,  the freedom to choose an occupation that fits our strengths. Our children need some freedom in this area as well.  Children, especially young children, need to be taught where they are at. What works for one child may not work for another. Even in our home my children have two very different learning styles, neither of which matches my preferred teaching style. But that’s okay. In our home I have the freedom to choose activities and curriculum that will work for each child or for all of us.

Today’s topic is “Homeschooling Outside the {Curriculum} Box. I’ll be honest, I never really taught inside the “box”. I rarely choose curriculum that has explicit “say this, say this, say this” type instructions. Even if I do choose a curriculum like that, I often don’t follow it exactly. I use my curriculum more as a guide and add to it as I want to. That said, we DO use an overall comprehensive curriculum, My Father’s World. And I LOVE it! Our curriculum does a great job of laying everything out, but still giving a parent the freedom to choose how it is presented.

Since I haven’t homeschooled IN the box, I thought I would go a slightly different direction with the box theme and tell you about something that happened to me the first year I homeschooled. You see, I was fairly confident in my abilities as a beginning homeschool mom.  After all, I WAS a licensed elementary school teacher, as everyone would point out when I told them of our schooling decision. Sure, I could do this. I was a teacher after all.  So, armed with that confidence I attended my first homeschool conference with a friend of mine. We spent hours that weekend pouring over the curriculum halls to make sure that we picked the PERFECT curriculum. After all of the looking, talking to the vendors, and our own discussions we chose the same curriculum.

The curriculum we chose was a unit-style curriculum, Biblically-based. You could use it with your whole family.  It had wonderful, hands-on activities.  I took it home and with great excitement..and tons of confidence..planned out our year.  When I think back over all that I have learned, I have to laugh at how sure I was of myself at that time.   My confidence lasted less than a week and I learned quickly that having an education degree does not necessarily make you an experienced homeschool mom!  Smile   The curriculum that I chose simply did not work well for one young child.  If she had been older or if there had been more of them, I think it could have been wonderful.  It really is a good curriculum.  But she wasn’t and there weren’t.

Still, I tried really hard to make it work. I was frustrated.  She was frustrated.  And then I learned one of the best lessons I have learned as a homeschooler: if it isn’t working, DITCH IT!  It just isn’t worth the frustration of trying to make something work. I know that curriculum can be expensive.  I know that for many of us frugality is a way of life.  But it really, truly, isn’t worth it.  Don’t allow your curriculum to box you in!

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This week, thanks to Home Educating Family, I am able to give away an On-the-Go Planner to one of my readers!

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You have until midnight next Thursday (October 4th) to enter.  I will be using random.org to choose a winner, which I will announce next Friday (October 5th).  If you enter, please be sure to check back on Friday to see if you are the winner.  I will need to forward the winner’s name and email to Home Educating Family so that they can send you the prize!

Here’s how to enter:

You may have up to three entries per person.  Any extra entries will be deleted before I determine the winner.

1. You may have one entry just for leaving any comment on this post.  I’d love to know more about you, but even just a “nice post” will do!  Smile

2. You may have one entry for “liking” Crestview Heights Academy on Facebook.  Please leave a separate comment noting that you have done so.  If you already like CHA, just let me know that in the comment.

3. You may have one entry for tweeting about the contest or posting about it on Facebook.  If you don’t have Twitter or Facebook, you can email about the contest or just tell a friend.  Leave a separate comment for completing this activity as well.

Due to international sweepstakes laws, this giveaway is for US entrants only. This giveaway is not tied to any social media site. All prizes must be claimed within eight weeks. Thank you!

I can’t wait until next week, when I will be able to announce the winner of this contest and tell you about next week’s prize!

Please go check out the rest of my team’s blogs and read about how they make their homeschools unique.

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20 responses »

  1. Thinking outside the box to me, is trying to do things for free or nearly free off the internet. I have no extra $$ to spend after 2 major car repairs, and 3 wisdom teeth removal (at 37!!). We went to a used book sale, and bought pieces here and there… Literally didn’t get a box to even think outside of here 😀

  2. I’ve had to change curriculum choices over the years as we’ve found they work for us for a while then they don’t. Am working on being less by-the-book(or curriculum) this year which is really a challenge for me. Thanks for the post!

  3. I twittered and FBed. 😉 I tried the “boxed” curriculum approach this year…learned the hard way. We are dabbling in a little bit of everything now and the boys have never been happier. Thanks for sharing.

  4. We are trying MFW for the first time this year and, so far, it is going very well. Thanks for sharing, I would love to win a planner!

  5. Thanx for the reminder that we don’t HAVE to use it just because we bought it!! Kinda like learning that we simply DON’T have to eat everything on our plates!! ❤

  6. Thanks for sharing your “outside the box” ideas! My sisters and I are all “nextgen” homeschoolers – previously homeschooled as students and now homeschooling our kids. In some ways like you, because of our previous background, I think we all thought we had it figured out before we started. But now, I think I can honestly embrace the idea that our homeschool is a work in progress and that it’s the way it should be! My sisters & l do things differently, and I think in most ways, we’re all pretty outside the box, which I love. Look forward to following your blog! We’re at http://www.nextgenhomeschool.com.

  7. Pingback: Crestview Heights Academy

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