It's Not Working - What to Do When Your Curriculum Just Isn't Working Out


It’s Not Working

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Tears filled my eyes as I stood watching my son. He threw his paper on the floor and curled his body in a ball. Our choice of curriculum worked academically and was a perfect fit. Or so it seemed. Fighting and attitudes were the norm in our school.

My daughter trembled as she fumbled with her spelling words. Taking spelling tests made her nervous and stressed. Her school work lacked academically. Emotionally, she dreaded school.

“It’s not working,” I shook my head in unbelief. We had been using the same curriculum for six years. But school didn’t seem the same this year.

I made it a priority to mirror the image of a public school for our home. Worksheets and grades were a must. We started out with school desks but ditched them as time passed. I tried being strict. Each day, they completed every worksheet without exception. That rigidness lasted for many grade levels.

With more kids added to our family, I lightened up a bit. We played learning games and shared laughs, but the worksheets never went away. The curriculum bound my creativity and blinded my eyes.

“This material is solid. The foundation is very important. It can’t be the curriculum.” I set my jaw and defended my stand.

Test after test, my daughter failed. She wasn’t trying anymore. Concepts she had mastered had disappeared. The solution flashed before my eyes, yet I failed to grasp it.

I allowed my children to skip problems and do the minimum if they learned the concept. This seemed to work. The joy of homeschooling had slipped away. My children were screaming for something else, and it tired me.

After much prayer, God showed me that the curriculum was great but not for my family. My children had suffered enough through disciplined schooling. It was time for a change. I lean more towards traditional school, but sometimes, we have to break away from our comfort zones and focus on our children’s needs.

We are still doing the curriculum for now, but our story doesn’t stop there. Next year, I switched curriculums, and we’ll try something different. It’ll be a gentler approach with fewer worksheets and more freedom to embrace interests and creativity. I never imagined I’d switch materials because I thought it was the best. My children and I are so excited for the next school year. Ok, they are more excited for summer, but they look forward to the change.

Change is not always bad. We should embrace some changes. Homeschool isn’t about curriculum and speeding through subjects. It’s about so much more. It’s important in the shuffle of life we don’t forget our children and their needs even if it pushes us out of everything that’s familiar.

I challenge you to take a hard look at your homeschool. Adjust and alter what doesn’t work. Don’t be scared if you realize your school philosophy isn’t working. It’s never too late to switch. Pray much and enjoy each day.

Jessica West


Hi, my name is Jessica. I am married to a wonderful husband and we have six children, 1 girl and 5 boys. God has blessed my life. He is too good to me. I try to juggle homeschooling, housework, and writing. I have self-published a couple of books. You can follow me on my Facebook page.



1 Comment to “ It’s Not Working”

  1. julie says :Reply

    Yes! Adjust and alter! I recently blogged about this same point. Homeschool life is so much happier and easier for kids–and us, when we’re willing to remain flexible and make adjustments. Thanks for sharing.

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).