Re-inventing the Wheel

I must be honest — I’m really struggling with the process of designing my curriculum. I totally understand why someone would buy a boxed curriculum. But, I’m stubborn, and I know I wouldn’t be satisfied with someone else’s product. Also, my daughter is all over the place when it comes to grade levels. She’s third grade for science, eighth grade for reading, somewhere in the middle for math. No pre-made curriculum is going to meet those disparate needs.

But, what happens when you find yourself designing, then re-designing, and then again re-designing just the first unit? What about the rest of the year? I’ve always had a perfectionist streak, and I try very hard to answer my critics with success. I feel I must get this just right or those who doubted our choice to homeschool will say, “I told you so.”

I don’t know if anyone has been in this place, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. We are “starting” school next week, and I feel like I’m back at square one.

Just a FYI: We are loosely following a Charlotte Mason-style method, although I am all for experimenting with other ideas. Also, I’m back in school myself, one day a week, and I have a lot of reading to do, so I don’t really have time to keep re-designing everything.

image via


Filed under Planning

  • I wouldn’t worry about finding a boxed curriculum that is going to fit your child’s needs. No company does everything right. As for her using different grade levels, I think that is pretty standard in homeschooling as well. The odds of a child doing work in every area at a certain “grade level” is ridiculous. The fact is, they are going to excel in some areas and be slower in others.
    I would suggest that instead of perhaps designing your own (which I have done and takes a great deal of time), find a company that does one subject well. For example: I use aBeka, but only for language arts and arithmetic. I don’t worry about the grade level, I go by skill level. If she is breezing through fifth grade too easily, bump it to sixth. No harm, no foul. I use a different company for geography and yet another for history/social studies. I don’t go with one company, but pick each subject from companies that I believe excel in that category.
    I see your point in wanting to design your own curriculum, but trust me; the time you spend on designing and creating could be spent instead with your kids. If a curriculum doesn’t cover a subject completely, just add to it. Instead of completely re-inventing; simply add to what exists.
    Hope this helps? Best of luck with starting school. I am positive you will figure it out! We perfectionists always do!!

    • Thank you so much for your reply! I took your advice to heart, and have been searching out ways that I can incorporate prepared materials into our plans. There seems to be a lot of resources out there for some of the books I picked, and none for others. I guess I will just have to pick and choose carefully. But, your good advice will spare me trying to make my own writing, spelling, and handwriting programs, at least. I may incorporate more prepared stuff as we go.

      • Awesome! I hope that you eventually find all that you are looking for and are able to spend all the “saved time” with your family. Enjoy the coming year!