The Productive Homeschooler: The Best Homeschool Curriculum

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I’ve talked about all sorts of things this week that help me streamline my day to be a more productive homeschooler and mother. We’ve talked about time management, housekeeping, chores, and meal planning…. but today I want to talk to you about something that is arguably the MOST important factor in having a productive homeschool. You have to find the best homeschool curriculum.

What do I mean about the best homeschool curriculum?

The Best Homeschool Curriculum

The best homeschool curriculum is the one that works for you.

We are so fortunate to be homeschooling at a time where we are surrounded by high quality curriculum. There are dozens of programs for almost every subject under the sun. Because we have so many options, it’s easy to fall into the trap- trying to use too many resources, trying to use resources your best friend claims is the best, and trying to use resources that aren’t a great fit for your kids.

The Best Homeschool Curriculum is the one that gets DONE

(and sometimes, that’s no curriculum at all!)

You need a program that is easy for you to understand and easy for you to implement. The best homeschool curriculum is one that gets done. If you are using a program because your best friend (or the homeschool forum) said it’s the very best on the market, only it makes you crazy and your kids cry- well, then it’s not the best.

Maybe you’re like me. I *love* Singapore Math. I love it. But at the level Bug is at, he physically struggled with the amount of writing and the size of the lines. It just wasn’t working anymore. I love it, I truly feel that it is the best program for a mathy child, and will best prepare him for advanced mathematics. But it still wasn’t working for him anymore, even after we completed the prior levels, and worked so hard. I just this week switched him to Teaching Textbooks.

It may not be my idea of the “best” math program. This year though, it’s the best fit for Bug. I have it, he doesn’t have to write, only one problem is shown at a time, so he isn’t overwhelmed. It allows him to keep moving forward without making us crazy. Maybe next year, I can come back to Singapore with him, but if I can’t, no big deal. This is what is best for him right now.

If you are struggling to get school “done” each day, look at what you are doing. Do you have the best curriculum for your family?

I’m not telling you to jump ship (because that’s rarely the right answer) but I am asking you to take a closer look.

Another common pitfall when planning your homeschool day is over committing to more programs that you need. For example, if you’re doing Logic of English Essentials, and Michael Clay Thompson Language Arts, and Writing With Ease….. you’re doing too much. Logic of English teaches Grammar, Spelling, and Phonics. It includes dictation and some composition. Michael Clay Thompson is a grammar program and includes some composition. Writing With Ease has dictation and copywork and some grammar. See the overlap? Don’t do that to yourself!

I am the kind of person who has overlapped in the past. Take it from me, just don’t do it.

Which leads me to my next point:

Do Not Become a Slave to Your Curriculum

It doesn’t matter that your curriculum says you need to do XY and Z. If you already covered “Z”…. don’t do it again. You do not have to do everything written on the page. You do not have to check all the boxes.

You are the teacher. YOU make the plans.

You know what you need to do.

Same thing goes for the amount of time you put into your lessons. Your kids are only this young once. If you’re working on math and it’s taking longer than you want it to, then stop. You can stop a lesson halfway through. You can come back and repeat the lesson tomorrow if it didn’t stick.

You are the boss, remember?

A Productive Homeschooler remembers who is in charge here, and she makes choices to prioritize, streamline, and not waste time.

You can do this. I know you have a lot on your shoulders. I do too. You just keep on being the awesome Mama you are. If something isn’t working, fix it.

The house is too messy to focus? Take a week off from your lessons to teach the kids to clean, and throw away as much as you can.

Dinner has become too many fast food meals? Take a week to come up with a new plan. Ask your friends what they do for easy meals, look into meal planning services and make it happen.

School just isn’t getting done? Take some time to pinpoint the problem…. and fix it.

You can do it. Taking the time to do it is worth it.

Sometimes, the Productive Homeschooler takes time off to get the job done.



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  1. You know that feeling you get when you read that Blog that just speaks to your heart! It’s not that it’s new to me. But, I needed someone to say it to me AGAIN! You just let out that sigh of relief and commit to make the changes! Thank you! God Bless you!

  2. This post is a huge help. Trying to do it all and be the only one that can, will and has to get it done with no one to step in and take over for a moment,,, is hard! I love being able to read about other families who are right there with us! It gives me hope, or a few more minutes of sanity!

  3. We just ditched Math U See after 2 years and started Teaching Textbooks today. I really wanted to make MUS work, but it is just too blah for my son. He is really excited about TT.

    1. Bug has loved the first couple lessons. We’ll see how it goes. I’m still not sold on it- but the proof is in the pudding. we’ll do this level, see how retention is, and decide where to go from there!
      I hope it works well for you!

  4. We definitely take breaks because it makes Mama happier. I try to stick to 6 weeks in school with the 7th weeks off for planning. Sometimes that overlaps with holidays like Christmas and Easter; other times, not. I have to say this makes everyone a LOT happier in the end:)

    1. I love the idea of doing this- we need more breaks then I give us. We just aren’t the best at time “off”… things always seem to get out of hand when the routine gets broken. But- something to think about for sure!

  5. Great post! I enjoyed this Heather. English is one I’ve had to be careful not to over-commit in, as there are plenty of other subjects that cover much of the same skills.

    1. I’ve made that same mistake, again and again. I am paying more attention though, and skipping repeat lessons across the curriculum this year. We’re all MUCH happier!

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