You did your due diligence. You scoured the internet. Read all the blog posts and reviews. Watched all the unboxings. Asked for recommendations. Then you decided to take the plunge and order it – the perfect homeschool curriculum.
When it arrived, you were super excited. There it was! All shiny and new and full of promise. You couldn’t wait to get started. You just KNEW that this was going to be the one thing that turned it all around for your family.
“Houston, we have a problem!”
It’s not as easy to use as they said it would be. You’re confused about what to use first.
It’s not as “open-and-go” as they said it would be. You’re spending way too much time before each lesson reviewing and prepping.
Your kids don’t enjoy it as much as you thought they would. They’re bored at best and confused at worst.
This isn’t what you signed up for!
But what can you do?
When your homeschool curriculum isn’t working, it’s not the end of the world. Here are several things you can do to overcome this homeschool hurdle.
Try using it differently
Sometimes the issue with a homeschool curriculum isn’t the contents, but how it’s being used. This is especially true if the recommended teaching style doesn’t align with your kids’ learning styles. It could very well be that the curriculum would work well for your family IF you implemented it differently. Brainstorm ways to use the curriculum in a way that better meets your child’s needs.
For example, if the curriculum is textbook-based, plan lessons that involve lots of hands-on, interactive work to complement it. If it’s all online, find some offline activities and field trips to supplement what they are learning. In other words, use the curriculum as a guide – nothing is set in stone. And remember that it’s totally okay to use outside resources with your curriculum.
Lower your expectations
Gasp! You just bought the ‘perfect’ curriculum, it should do everything you hoped and expected. Wrong! No homeschool curriculum is perfect and no homeschool curriculum will do everything you desire and need. You need to make it fit and work for you. As mentioned above, use it differently, so it meets your needs. It’s okay if you don’t follow a curriculum to the T, cut some things out or add some things in. That’s one of the the beauties of homeschooling.
Ask for help
I think that we homeschool moms easily forget that we aren’t in this alone or we feel that if we need help we must be doing something wrong or aren’t good enough. We can ask for help and we should! Many of us go into homeschooling blind; we are on a pilgrim journey and have no experience whatsoever! And that’s okay; seek out more experienced, veteran homeschool moms; you’ll be surprised and blessed by how eager they are to help.
You can go directly to the curriculum company to ask your questions or voice your concerns. Many of them have great customer support and really, truly want to help you and see you succeed. Or find other homeschool moms that use and have experience with the curriculum that can give you tips and advice. If you can’t find anyone nearby, consider looking in online groups for help.
Evaluate your routine
Let’s be honest – if your routine sucks, homeschooling in general can be a huge challenge. The ineffectiveness of the curriculum you chose may just be a symptom of a bigger problem. Take a look at your routine/schedule to see if it is working against you. Are your kids waking up way too early and they’re just too cranky to cooperate? Try giving them extra time to wake up and adjust for the day ahead. Is their schedule packed so tightly that they feel rushed or tired? Try cutting back on what you guys are attempting to get done each day.
Take a break
Another thing you might consider is whether your family isn’t ready for, or needs a break from, formal learning. Perhaps your child is still too young for formal learning or this specific curriculum. Maybe everyone is just cranky and “not feeling it” right now. Maybe everyone could do with a little decompressing.
One of the great things about homeschooling is that you have an amazing amount of control over how your family spends its time. If you want to take a week off from formal learning to go on field trips, go camping, have a mini vacation, or just let everyone do their own thing, you can! Take a little break. Re-energize. Then come back to the curriculum after everyone has had a chance to reset and get excited about learning.
Let your child run with it
Having eight children I have found that my teaching style doesn’t always line up with my child’s learning style. This can make for some frustrating times, especially when starting a new curriculum.
There have been times when I was ready to just ditch a curriculum because I just couldn’t wrap my head around it, but my child was fine with it and wanted to continue. So if your child is old enough or a good, independent learner and they understand it, let them continue on. Of course check in periodically to make sure they are progressing and not having any issues. Just because you don’t like or understand the curriculum, doesn’t mean your child will.
Check the return policy
If you’ve tried the ideas above or know that they won’t work and you really just want your money back, the first thing you should do is check the return policy for the product. You should be able to find that on the website, on your receipt, or in the confirmation email you received when you ordered it. If you can’t find a return policy, reach out to the company via phone, email, or social media to ask about it. If your situation fits within the terms of the return policy, follow whatever the instructions are for returning the product (if necessary) and receiving a refund. A lot of homeschool companies have great money back guarantee policies.
Sell your curriculum
If the company doesn’t have a good return policy or you’ve missed the deadline to file for a return, hope is not lost! There are tons of avenues to resell homeschool curriculum – both online and offline. Check out Facebook groups devoted to buying and selling used homeschool materials. If you’re lucky, you might even find some that are geared towards the company that makes your curriculum. You just have to use the right keywords to find them. You can also sell used items on Craigslist, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace. Offline options include homeschool co-ops, yard/garage sales, and consignment shops/sales.
And try something new
Once you’ve sold the curriculum or at least cut your loses and moved on, try something new. This one didn’t work for you but don’t give up, there are so many other options out there, and you will find a good fit. Not a perfect fit, but a good one. It might take a little time to find it, you can do this!
If you are hesitant to invest money into another option, consider asking around to see if anyone you know might have the curriculum you are interested in so that you can try it out before you buy it. Or check the return policy before you buy and try to find one with a money back guarantee or that offers a good sample or trial that you can use first.
Have you ever bought a curriculum that just didn’t work?
How did you overcome it?
Thank you so much for being a part of this online community! I really am so thankful for you!
As my way of saying thank you, I’ve come together with several of my homeschool blogging friends to offer an incredible giveaway worth over $1400!*
That’s right – over $1400 worth of homeschool resources and other goodies! We’re working with some of the top homeschool companies around. All you have to do is enter below! The giveaway ends Dec. 21st @ 11:59pm CT.
Everyone gets something just for entering – digital swag bag full of discounts and resources from several of your favorite homeschool blogs!!
Scroll down to see the prize package and swag bag details!
It is your responsibility to read the terms and conditions upon entering. Entering the giveaway signs you up for the following newsletters: In All You Do, Life Beyond the Lesson Plan, Heart and Soul Homeschooling, Homeschool on the Range, Our Crazy Adventures in Autismland, Yellow House Book Rental, My Joy-Filled Life, Clarissa R. West, The Multi-Taskin’ Mom, Faith & Good Works, The Fervent Mama, Simple Living Creative Learning, Peace Creek on the Prairie, Brookdale House, The Art Kit, Making Room 4 One More, Sound Foundation Homeschool, Beyond the Stick Figure, Many Seasons of Motherhood, Everyday Graces Homeschool, Apologia, All About Learning Press, Sonlight, Media Angels, The Adventurous Mailbox, BJ’s Homeschool, Truthquest History, ChalkPastel.com, Abby Banks, and iWrite Bible.
Enter using the form below! Each entry increases your odds of winning, and you’re sure to find some new bloggers and companies to follow!
*The prize package includes the following items:
Apologia – What We Believe Series, worth $125
All About Learning Press – Gift Card for $100
Sonlight – Book package including the following titles: A Christmas Carol, The Gift of the Magi, The Light at Tern Rock, The Family Under the Bridge, The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Year Down Yonder. Package is worth $75.93.
Grapevine Bible Studies – Old Testament Master Teacher Book & Zondervan Compact Bible Dictionary, worth $76
Peace Creek Crafts ‘N Designs – $30 eGift Card
MT Designs Boutique – $30 Gift Card
Media Angels, Inc. – Creation Bundle, worth $69
The Adventurous Mailbox – Premium Digital Package, worth $64
BJ’s Homeschool – Homeschooling High School with College in Mind, 2nd edition & Gift card to Barnes and Noble worth $18
Everyday Graces Homeschool – The Homeschool Garden Morning Time membership worth $222
TruthQuest History – American History for Young Students III (1865-2000), worth $30
A Journey Through Learning Lapbooks – Choice of Products from Store, worth $50
The Wolfe Pack – Holiday Fact and Fun Packs Bundle, worth $46
ChalkPastel.com – You ARE an Artist Clubhouse annual membership, worth $200
The Fervent Mama – Handwriting Curriculum
Abby Banks – Podcast Launch for Teens, worth $57
Yellow House Book Rental – three Life of Fred Elementary or Intermediate Series math books (5-month rental)
Beyond the Stick Figure – Intro to Drawing Course, worth $45
Sound Foundations Homeschool – Happy Homeschool Secrets, worth $37
The Art Kit – 5 Printables worth $30
In All You Do – Northern European Geography study. worth $40
The Multi Taskin Mom – $30 Shop Credit
iWrite Bible – Old Testament Scripture Writing Devotional, worth $30
In addition, all entrants will receive a Digital Swag Bag at the end of the Giveaway that includes:
Peace Creek on the Prairie – 35% off coupon
All About Learning Press – FREE downloadable reading and spelling activity pack
The Fervent Mama – 30% off coupon
4 One More – 30% off Podcast Launch for Teens
The Art Kit – 30% off coupon
Life Beyond the Lesson Plan – 30% off coupon
Everyday Graces Homeschool – 10% off coupon
Beyond the Stick Figure – 25% off coupon
In All You Do – 30% off coupon