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This curriculum was PERFECT... with just a few "modifications" ...


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Have you ever been to AllRecipes.com or a similar site, looked at a recipe, then read the reviews? And they go something like this?

 

Original Recipe:

 

Fruit Salad Recipe:

 

1 pound strawberries, trimmed, and quartered

 

1/2 pound blueberries, washed

 

2 peaches, peeled, cored, and diced

 

1 pound red seedless grapes, halved

 

 

 

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

 

 

Review:

 

 

This was fabulous!

 

Our family loved this recipe! I didn't have any strawberries, so I used raspberries instead. Our store was out of peaches, so I substituted mangoes. My son is allergic to red grapes, so we replaced that ingredient with green grapes. And, I only used half of the amount of blueberries the recipe called for. It was wonderful! I'll be making this again!

 

And you're reading that and thinking, huh? :confused1: After all those "tweaks," it isn't even the same recipe!!

 

Well, it's about six weeks into our school year, and I realize that this is exactly what I've done with my curriculum.

 

I bought a unit study curriculum that covered everything except math -- reading, writing, grammar, spelling, history, science, and Bible.

 

Then I decided to "supplement" with the IEW TWSS (which is a great program, and I'm glad I bought it). But, the SWI-A wasn't enough, not when I saw that they had an Ancient History-Based Writing Curriculum, which dovetailed *perfectly* with our curriculum. So, I am trying to do BOTH.

 

Then, I decided to use MOH as the history spine "to go along with" the history portion of the curriculum.

 

And, after borrowing someone's Easy Grammar curriculum last year, I thought it would be good to add that in, because I liked the system.

 

And I wanted more spelling than the program offered, so I bought Natural Speller.

 

Everyone was raving about Apologia science, so I bought that.

 

I wanted a good foundation in Greek and Latin vocabulary, so I purchased EFTRU.

 

I saw literature units that corresponded with the ancient civilizations we were studying, so even though MY curriculum choice didn't use those books, I bought them anyway and figured I find a way to work them in.

 

Now, here we are, six weeks later... and about the ONLY thing I'm really using from the original curriculum is the Bible study. But I keep trying to incorporate bits and pieces of it... and I am slowly. going. insane. :ack2:

 

 

It's 1:30 AM where I am, and for the past 8 hours, I've been trying to cobble together this week's lesson plans from my gazillion different books... and wondering how and why and when this all got so complicated.

 

Anyone else suffer from this?

 

I'm afraid it's my perfectionism... I desperately want to provide the best possible homeschooling experience for my son, and keep running to what I think is bigger and better than what I already have. And I have spent -- no, wasted -- hundreds and hundreds of dollars trying to get this going. (This will be my first full year homeschooling -- we just started last spring.)

 

Ugh.

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I know exactly what you mean. I've spent the last 8 years doing just that. (With the exception of Rod and Staff materials.) This year, I've opening the books and using them as written. you know what, it is working just fine. Much less stressful, and we are actually getting somewhere in the books already. Not all bogged down following all those rabbit trails. I don't think we ever actually caught any rabbits. They can be fun for a while, but I've found as the kids get older they really need to push on in the materials they have to make progress.

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Well, hmmm, speaking as someone with a huge internal need to modify and "improve" recipes, knitting patterns, sewing patterns, and pretty much any other set of directions that cross my path ... are there people who DON'T act this way? I thought this was normal behavior. :blushing:

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Well, hmmm, speaking as someone with a huge internal need to modify and "improve" recipes, knitting patterns, sewing patterns, and pretty much any other set of directions that cross my path ... are there people who DON'T act this way? I thought this was normal behavior. :blushing:

I'm the same way... I start with a nice lacy scarf pattern and end up with a sweater. But I mean to, and I enjoy it. Same with curricula -- and again, on purpose and to great effect. Sometimes it doesn't work out (lacy scarf-sweater... hard to get the neckline right...still not quite thrilled...) but after years of this I can pretty well eyeball a pattern to say when, for instance, a sock isn't going to be stretchy enough. To extend the metaphor to its ridiculous extreme. ;)

 

When you're in your first year though, of knitting OR homeschooling, best to find something that's nearly tried-and-true and use it with minimal modifications until you know what you're dealing with. Otherwise you spend a lot of time pulling out rows and rows of stitches!!

 

For the OP... if the original curriculum is even passably usable, I would go back to it. Give it a good solid unmodified try for at least a month before you start changing things. It's worth it for your sanity and to get some sleep at night, and even if it won't be perfect (and it won't be!) that's okay. It won't hurt anyone to do something imperfect for a month or two, and it gives you a LOT of experience to draw on when you do start modifying!

 

:grouphug:

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... are there people who DON'T act this way? I thought this was normal behavior. :blushing:

 

I used to tweek curriculum, but with family needs and my work schedule, I really don't tweak much at all any more other than sometimes doing less or more school as our schedule requires. Ironically, my children's standardized test scores are actually better than during my tweeking days, I think because frankly I spent too much time agonizing and switching versus teaching them. So tweeking can indeed have it's downside for some of us. My checkbook is also happier :tongue_smilie:.

 

Your mileage may vary...

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:iagree:Yup - same here. It sounds like we're all just true originals! I think that's the beauty of a classical education. We're on the hunt for what is best for our child and we, as their parents, are the best to judge what will fit. Unfortunately for us perfectionists, there are a LOT of GREAT curriculum options out there and it can make one a bit batty:tongue_smilie:

 

I'll race you to the loony bin!:D

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I think TWTM tends to lead us that way. I have planned and tweaked my heart out. But for the most part, it seems TWTM recommends using the local library and getting similar, not agonizing over purchases and ordering books in. If we did that it would be simpler. For the future, I am going to purchase 2 books per subject and use the local library for the rest. If the local library has nothing... well, we will have enough from our 2 spines. No more worrying!

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Just a LOL about allrecipes.com. I *love* that site, and use it all the time (and use a lot of the 5 star review recipes), but that drives me crazy too, when people say they've changed so much of the recipe. :confused: I can see how it could be the same for curriculum too!

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Oh, you are SO singing my tune.

 

I do this when I cook too. :blushing:

 

The recipe reviews are even worse when you read a review like this:

 

I was out of fresh tomatoes, so I used canned. My family doesn't like Greek olives, so I used black olives, and I had to leave out the fresh herbs because I couldn't find any at the grocery store. We had shredded low-fat mozzerella in the fridge already, so I used it instead of fresh. I don't see what's the big deal about this recipe. It just wasn't all that great. :001_rolleyes:

 

Cat

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.... and I sheepishly confess that the NEW curriculum I ordered, to somewhat replace my original curriculum in hopes of making life even simpler (ha!), just arrived today... :blush:

 

 

Maybe this really will be the last thing I try this year.... maybe.

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This year I used a form from Donna Young's site. It is a "goals form" and lists the subject area first, the goals for that area and then curriculum. I like it a lot becasue it forces me to think about what it is I want them to learn and create bite-sized pieces instead of a feast. Like Rough Collie I get so excited about all that they can learn and want to cram so much into this year that it can end up overwhelming both them and me.

Add to that the plethora of really terrific, affordable curriculum- wow. It's not like how it was back in the day. I recieve just a few curriculum catalogs and choose from those what we'll use. There is too much out there and too little time or money to conisder it all.

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Aaawww.... how nice to find a soul mate. It's not my first year homeschooling - but I did exactly the same this year. I thought that my son needed more hands-on experience in science (so we added TWO, nut just one - TWO science programs), I changed our math curriculum but still keep the other one on hand - just in case :001_huh:, I added a different grammar program, switched the spelling program -and now, what do I have? A major headache trying to combine all things........

 

At least one good thing came out of this.....I finally figured out my son's learning style. :tongue_smilie:

 

 

Sonja

__________________

Homeschooling a one and only

ds (8)

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I like when the reviews indicated lots of substitutions, then say how bad the recipe was.

 

Something like this happened when we were newly married. I tried a veggie lasagne recipe, made a bunch of substitutions and ended up with something quite inedible. We made a new rule that you couldn't substitute more thatn 50% of the ingredients on a new recipe.

 

I don't have a huge problem with using bits and pieces of different curriculum. What I do have to really watch is how I let reviews influence my choice in first place. Did someone love a certain program (after they had added or dropped a bunch of features)? Or did someone else tell me how such and such math curriculum just didn't work (omitting the fact that they hadn't done the pre-lesson meeting, did the problems out loud instead of in writing, and only did odd numbered problems).

 

In other words, the success or failure of the program might have been application, not the program itself.

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This is a really good thread, and I'm glad you started it. I'm sorry you're going insane though. ;)

 

I've done this before, many times. The one year I used Learning Adventures' A World of Adventure, I knew in theory that it was good to go as is. No supplements needed! Wonderful. But I supplemented anyway to the point where it wasn't even the same thing -- just like you described.

 

In my frustration, I decided to just ditch everything BUT the AWOA -- simplify, simplify, simplify became my motto. And ya know what? It was wonderful! The most pleasant year we ever had.

 

It's hard to let go and put your faith in any one program, but I would say that's exactly what you need to do: pick one. Either the unit study or all the other stuff. Doing both will burn you and your kids out QUICKLY!

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I say... OUCH! Because that is so me.

 

I have to realize a few things.

 

1) There are tons of great programs out there, but it is better to stick with mine (unless it just isn't working then toss it) and use most of it, than try all and only sample each. :)

 

2) I have to go back to WHY I am homeschooling. I wrote down my goals when I started so I can re-evaluate and ask "Does this fit with my goal" If it does, great keep it... if not toss it.

 

3) It is totally fine to sample some things into my curriculum, but I need to keep the main thing the main thing.

 

I hear ya girl. :D These little tips helped me. I have been homeschooling for 8 years now, and I have never used a curiculum as is. But I am getting much better at keeping it closer to the original.

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I want to add that High School Biology in Your Home did not need to be entirely made over as I did. It is a good program, and all I *needed* to add was some more cell biology in order to comport with our state's standards.

 

I don't do this only with science, I do it with every single subject, every year, even when I start out planning not to do it.

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This is a really good thread, and I'm glad you started it. I'm sorry you're going insane though. ;)

 

I've done this before, many times. The one year I used Learning Adventures' A World of Adventure, I knew in theory that it was good to go as is. No supplements needed! Wonderful. But I supplemented anyway to the point where it wasn't even the same thing -- just like you described.

 

In my frustration, I decided to just ditch everything BUT the AWOA -- simplify, simplify, simplify became my motto. And ya know what? It was wonderful! The most pleasant year we ever had.

 

It's hard to let go and put your faith in any one program, but I would say that's exactly what you need to do: pick one. Either the unit study or all the other stuff. Doing both will burn you and your kids out QUICKLY!

 

 

:blush: This is exactly the same program I keep supplementing.

 

It is exhausting me, and you wouldn't even recognize that I'm doing AWOA if you looked at my lesson plans.

 

But... I like MOH. And I like IEW'S TWSS. And I think I like the Easy Grammar system. And I definitely like having more spelling, a la the Natural Speller.

 

Yet, by the time I replace the AWOA components with all these other things, it's not even AWOA anymore.

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