You’ve been using the same homeschooling approach since the beginning. Suddenly, though, you learn about another style (like unschooling or Waldorf) that seems like it might work better.
The next day, your tried-and-true method starts to seem…dull by comparison. Your interest in lesson planning wanes and the kids can tell. Before you know it, daily lessons are a pain.
We’ve all been there. It’s easy to think that we need to change the way we homeschool, especially if some of our kids are struggling. And the temptation to switch up your homeschooling style can get really strong as the school year wears on. By February, many parents are ready to toss everything they’ve ever learned and start all over again.
But does that really mean you should change your homeschooling approach? What should you consider before jumping ship? If you do decide to make a change, how can you get started?
Evaluating Your Homeschooling Approach
Give It Time
No matter how badly you want to drop your current homeschooling method, wait a little while before you ditch it. You’ll need time to re-calibrate before you can implement a new style and, if you drop everything at once, your kids may get behind. Which will make any homeschooling style seem like drudgery.
Observe how your kids learn best. Do they need hands-on activities to understand a concept? Are they huge bookworms? Do they have difficulty with handwriting? You’ll need to take all of this into account as you decide on a new homeschooling approach.
You’ll also want to make a note of what’s currently working. If the way you’re homeschooling now is working in certain subjects, don’t change a thing there! It’s perfectly fine to use one homeschooling style for some subjects and another for different topics.
Do Your Homework
While you’re waiting, read up on various homeschooling styles. Some of the approaches you might consider could include:
- Unit studies
- Charlotte Mason
- School at home
These are all very different philosophies, so you’ll want to learn as much as you can about them before attempting to try them with your family.
As you study each homeschooling style, look out for potential problems that may arise in your family. For example, if some of your kids struggle with reading, then the Charlotte Mason approach to reading may be a challenge. If your kids do best with a structured school day, then unschooling may not be a good fit.
Make Small Changes First
What if you decide that you do want to change your homeschooling approach? Make the switch gradually.
Try a test week with each homeschooling approach you’re considering. Invite the kids to give their opinion about the styles they like best. Most of all, though, watch your children to see which style works best for them and for you.
Changing your homeschooling approach is not a decision that should be taken lightly. But if you make the change in a way that benefits everyone in the family, you might find that it brings new life to your homeschooling routine.