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There are times (or maybe all the time) where it is totally fine to not use curriculum when homeschooling. Here are some reasons why it might be time to stop.

When you are homeschooling you want the best for your children. Perhaps you have spent hours researching the right curriculum. Maybe you started with one but changed to another the next year. But what if it is not working for you? Can you just stop using curriculum? The answer is yes. That’s the simple answer. Yes, it is a little more complicated than that, but truthfully, you can educate your children without a curriculum.


IMPORTANCE OF CURRICULUM

I totally believe that curriculum is important, when it serves you well. Schools, of course, need to use them as there will be chaos without it. They need consistency and it helps teachers align across the grades. It will also provide measurable targets and goals. Schools will align with State standards. But when you homeschool, you have freedom to move away from the norms. 

I do believe in knowing what skills children should know according to age/grade, and the State Standards but it doesn’t mean that you have to use a curriculum. You can easily find your State Standards and tailor your children’s lessons accordingly. 


red stop sign with clouds

WHEN TO STOP:

1. When it is frustrating you and your children.

It needs to engage them and also meet their interests. If they are not motivated homeschooling becomes a drag. When your children fight you to get their schooling done, it is a big sign that it might not be the best curriculum for them. Life sucker? Brain buster? Just drop it. 

2. When your children need more tailored material to their learning style and/or learning issues.

Knowing your children’s learning styles is important. Knowing whether they are visual, auditory or kinesthetic learners will make your homeschooling so much better. Many, if not most, curricula cater to visual learners. This means that our auditory and kinesthetic learners are at a disadvantage, or essentially have to work more in order to gain full understanding. 

Maybe your child has a learning disability and you have started homeschooling them so that you can truly tailor to their needs. Curriculum can hold you back in that as you find yourself constantly tweaking and changing. Therefore, why not stop using curriculum and use the available resources around you. 

3. When you don’t have the money to buy the different curriculum you think you need.

Curriculum can be expensive. Yes, you can get it second hand, which will save you money, but even still, it can add up. We shouldn’t let our budget kill our desire to homeschool our children. If you are using different components of different curricula, or you have multiple children, it can add up very quickly. There are many great free resources that you can use. 

4. When you want to be more flexible and have more creative learning experiences.

I know for me personally, I like to be flexible with how I school my girls. I want a lot more hands-on experiences and I want them to take the lead in what they want to learn. Free and imaginative play is also a priority. If I were using a curriculum I would find myself constantly overthinking “I need to make sure this all gets done” and then be running out of time each day to get done what needed to be and wanted to be done. 

5. When your child is “ahead” in some areas yet struggles with others.

No child is really purely one grade. You will find children can be ahead in reading yet behind in math, or vice versa. If you buy an all-in-one curriculum you might get frustrated with this. By not using curriculum, or only using aspects of one or more, then you can work with your child where they are at. 

6. When you start worldschooling

Who wants to carry a heavy curriculum around? I know that I wouldn’t. When you are traveling you are limited as to your baggage allowance. Would you rather clothes or books? 


boy reading in a library

HOW TO HOMESCHOOL WITHOUT A CURRICULUM

To homeschool without using a curriculum, you can use the library, trade resources with other families that homeschool, use the Internet and other free resources. You can set up classes and activities according to your kids’ interests and abilities. It is flexible and can be freeing.

If you still want to be using curriculum, here are some that I have reviewed:

K12 online

Torchlight

Abeka

The Good and the Beautiful

Michayla Best

For over 30 years I have worked with children in a variety of capacities, whether as a teacher or tutor, a babysitter, a camp leader, or family advocate. I have always found a way to connect with children, to help them understand themselves and the world around.

I am Mummy to trinational twincesses who keep me on my toes with their questions, their commentaries, their shenanigans and acts of spontenudity.

Wife, world traveler, musician, crafting queen and self-proclaimed nerd; I love to take what I see, glean, know and help families to find their groove and be successful.

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