Saturday, August 6, 2011

Do you ever feel like you have too much curriculum?

UGH. I feel so frustrated. I have all of my plans laid out. I have all of my curriculum. I am set.

BUT, I don't have time for any of the extras. I have so many ebooks, unit studies, audio classes, etc, that I never have time to do.

Do you ever just want to do one thing at a time, and move on?

I mean, I have all subjects picked out. Each course will take a year. If I continue with this, I will not be able to do any of those unit studies, living books, etc.. that I also want to do.

I feel like I would want to do math and writing each day with my oldest, math and reading each day with my youngest, and then just do something else, whether that be a history or science thing.Whatever.

Do you know what I mean?

For example, I have almost all of the Curiosity Files. I would like to do just one of those until we are done, and then move on to something else.

I have Creation Science classes online, I have cool art projects, I have a lot I would like to do, but with all of my curriculum picked out for the year, I won't have time for any of that.

And Lapbooks, OH MY, I have 100's of lapbooks. But never any time. sigh

I want to read a lot more, I want to do a lot more projects. Oh, I just feel tied down.

Do you ever feel that way?

How do you deal with this? How do you make it work? How do you incorporate the extras?


Mary said...

I own lots of extras too. One thing I do is incorporate those extras in to my set curriculum. For example, if I have a revolutionary war lapbook I schedule a little bit of the lap book each day we do history. This is another reason schooling year round works better for my family - because we can be flexible enough to fit work extras in and not worry about squeezing everything in to nine months.

The other thing to remember is we don't have to do it all. It is OK if we don't do every single thing we own. It is so hard to do that!! Good luck and have fun!!!

Debbie said...

I feel the same way--too many fun things to do and too little time. When I first started homeschooling, we did history OR science for a month or more and could concentrate more fully on what we were studying. I really liked doing that. I should try it again.

Giggly Girls said...

I could've wrote that myself. LOL

I do try to incorporate some of it into my plans from the start. We did get a couple of lap books done last year that fit in with our studies. I found history pockets were really easy to fit in.

I have grand ideas with math and art but rarely get to those.

This is going to be my year. I just know it! LOL

Noteable Scraps said...

YES!!!! I so feel like that. I felt like I was reading a blogpost written by me! Well, after a while of feeling pretty tied-down to the curriculum, I've decided (with my children's input) that they are a bit bored, and the times I take a break for a unit study or something, they are so happy! So, I'm substituting the "fun" stuff in wherever I can this year. We had decided to do just what you said - each one does their basic language arts and math for each day, then we are going to just start pulling those "extras" off the shelf and doing them till we run out of time. My kids LOVE "The Curiosity Files." Soon my oldest will start high school, where he may be a little more tied down to curriculum again. He is a very hands-on learner and needs the fun science experiments and other projects to keep him loving learning. I am going to do what I can in the time I've been given! I just clicked "follow" so I can see what you end up doing this year. You can follow me at if you'd like. I'll be posting about curriculum choices in the next few days! :)

Dustine said...

I make up a curriculum plan each year but sit down each Sunday to plan exactly what I hope to get done that week. Sometimes I'll put aside our regular plans just to tackle something fun or a unit study.
I too am starting down the homestead journey. :)

Jesse, said...

I know exactly what you mean. I am re-thinking everything about school this year - and we are supposed to start next week! I'm working on a morning board to do at breakfast and am hopeful that it will help me get some of the "missed" things in our day. Poetry study, artist study those sorts of things!

Heather said...

We curriculum junkies are loaded with too much good stuff, aren't we? That can be a blessing and a curse.

I was thinking that the other day when I was putting things together. I had made some really good decisions about what to do this year, to really be on the ball, and already we have modified our expectations.

It was going to the library that did us in. We saw a book that looked interesting, which led to something else on the same topic that was interesting, and before you know it, the whole idea of using the particular (non-traditional, Chalotte Mason-y) book I got for science studies on a regular basis was scrapped. I have it. I like it. And now it is going to be a supplement for the days I am not creative enough to come up with something more fun (nature studies, lapbooks, read-alouds, etc.), instead of a 2-3 times weekly guaranteed expectation.

I am finding as I go through the years that dellight-directed studies (often explored through lapbooks and unit studies) are more our style (with a Charlotte Mason underlying philiosophy). I was agahst at myself that over the summer I read a book about a family who "un-schools" and I didn't cringe and think, "How are they learning anything?" (the way I used to since I am a recovering PS teacher). It seemed to me that the unschoolers learned more the way they did things (using lapbooks, delight-directed studies, unit studies, etc.) than kids using traditional curricula learn...and they were having a blast doing it.

Will I ever go all the way and ditch our basic curriculum books? Nope. But I am learning every year to take the time to do the fun things that the kids will remember and hold with enthusiasm in their hearts because we all worked together and had a great time instead of the "sit and do book work" stuff, or at least to do the other stuff more often. How much of the textbooks I learned out of do I remember? Not much. The class I remember most (and most fondly) was a class taught in a non-traditional way outdoors with no textbook.

I say sell the curriculum, make a bunch of money, and go on an awesome field trip!! Whooo-ey! Now if I can just follow my own advice, I might get to go on that trip to Hawaii...but I am, after all, a confessed curriculum junkie. What can I do? Those books and choices just keep calling out to me...

I hope you find your happy medium!!

Heather said...

You know, I thought of something else. I realized that I never feel guilty, like we haven't gotten enough done, on the days when we use our non-traditional additions to our curriculum (lap books, field trips, nature walks, fun games, unit study activities.) But quite often, I feel anxious or as if I've left something undone on the days when we've worked in our books, even if every assignment I gave was completed successfully. That's something to ponder. Have you ever felt that way, too, or is it just me?

Thanks for the challenging question and the opportunity to think out loud.

Heather A Blessings Pour Out

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