No Curriculum is Good Enough

“We don’t go to homeschool conventions to buy our curriculum.  We go to buy our next curriculum.”
~Voddie Baucham

We have been homeschooling from the beginning.  You’ve heard how I only knew of one homeschool catalog that first year and how I managed to teach my son to read with only the resources from that catalog.

From there, I began purchasing new curriculum nearly every semester…trying to find the perfect one.  I became a little less frantic after I passed the three year homeschool learning curve (that post is a Must Read, in my opinion!), but still I find myself tweaking even today.

And somehow knowing Voddie Baucham‘s family is tweaking too makes me feel better.

That’s why I wanted to address this subject with all of you.  I’m sure some of you wonder why nothing ever seems good enough.  You wonder when you will find something you can stick with.  You wonder what must be wrong with you that you can’t seem to make one curriculum work for everyone.

I’m here to reassure you and tell you that you can’t find that curriculum for three reasons:

1.  Your children change – They were little, now they are big.  There were 2 of them, now there are 6.  They used to be interested in dinosaurs, now they are interested in engineering.  And the list goes on and on and on.  This is the beauty of homeschooling.  You don’t have to remain static and continue to teach from the box.  You get to grow with their needs and interests.  (Read The Christian Home School by Gregg Harris for more information on delight-directed learning)

2. You change – Of course, a homeschool mom can have physical changes in her life that cause her to need to change things up in her homeschool day, but let’s talk about the spiritual changes a homeschool mom goes through.

I am not the same spiritually as I was 10 years ago when we began this homeschooling journey.  Homeschooling causes you to dig deep and teaches you more than you ever realized you would learn.  The biggest lessons you learn are the spiritual ones.  You learn more about your Bible and your God and you learn how utterly dependent you are on Christ.  You go from milk to meat, ever-growing and ever-changing.

Because of that, your ideas about curriculum change too.  Often, you find yourself playing it safe and sticking close to the public school guidelines in the beginning, but as you mature spiritually, you find yourself less concerned with academics and more concerned with your children’s spiritual growth.  You find you want to bring out different things in your homeschool day…things that lead your children to Christ.  And sometimes this means a change in curriculum.

What a wonderful reason to change!

3.  You family changes – Circumstances change for families all the time.  Rarely do family dynamics remain the same all throughout your homeschooling years.  You have to accept these changes and do what needs to be done to work with these changes.  Perhaps you started homeschooling with one small child and now you have 10.  Perhaps your husband doesn’t have a job right now or you are sending a child to college.  Perhaps you are entering the foreign mission field or returning home after years away.  Perhaps you have a child who needs some serious shepherding or a family member who must come live with you.  All of these things will effect your homeschooling.  You have to be ready to adjust as needed.

Ultimately all of this is God.

God guiding and directing the paths of you, your children, and your family.  God growing you up.  God piercing hearts.  God revealing Himself to you each and every day.

You must be willing to say, “Where He leads, I will follow.”

No curriculum will ever be better than God.  We aren’t searching for “good enough” because good enough won’t do.  We are seeking a God Who satisfies our every need and yes, sometimes He will lead us to new curriculum…our next curriculum

{photo credit Shutterhacks}

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28 thoughts on “No Curriculum is Good Enough

  1. Amy–
    First of all, I left a comment a few weeks ago on your 3-year-learning-curve–how that freed me to relax and know that it’s a process. Granted, we’re going to finish our second year in the next few months, but knowing I don’t have to have our entire school plan written in stone, and that it’s ok, even good, to tweak. I remind myself of it every day!

    Secondly, this post is exactly what I needed to hear this morning! Our local homeschool group held our annual “Curriculum and Book Sale” yesterday. I was looking for the perfect thing to energize our science and history studies. Now I can stop searching for the perfect set of books, and start searching for what God wants us to learn, and how he wants us to learn it. I’m thinking I’ll start by going with my gut feeling and searching out some used books. That “gut feeling” that won’t go away–it’s probably God trying to get my attention!

    Blessings–
    Dana

  2. Wonderful post, Amy. Thank you for sharing this message with us today. It’s amazing – a curriculum that worked for one child won’t work for the next and so on. I’ve learned to be flexible and to give myself grace with regards to the curriculum.

    Blessings friend!
    Rachel

  3. Saw you in passing this weekend at TTD, but not close enough through the swarm of people to get to you to say hello. Hope your time there was blessed. We surely were, though I’m still recuperating. LOL.

  4. Exactly! :D We are in the midst of selling curriculum which we purchased and had planned to use for all 5 of my kids. Well, the using of it is causing us to stray from what our original intentions and plans and goals for our family are. So…we found a new one, but need to sell the old one to buy it! Breaking up is hard to do! ;)

    • Thanks, Lori! It is so easy to believe we are failing (in this area and many others) when it might actually be the Lord’s leading, which will never fail us!

  5. When I first read that title, I totally thought it was saying that you don’t even need a “curriculum” to be good enough. Which I absolutely agree with, too! We learn so much just from doing, and you don’t necessarily get that from a book.

  6. Thank you for this post – I needed to read it especially today. I’ve been struggling – with curriculum choices, with sticking to certain materials, with rigid guidelines and then a pendulum shift to delight-directed learning, and recently with thoughts about giving up. To say I’m overwhelmed is an understatement! Thank you for the link to your three-year post as well as the book by Gregg Harris. I started homeschooling in 2010 and heard that it takes several years to set a course and gain confidence. I’m praying that rings true for me! Blessings to you!

  7. Oh Amy this is EXACTLY what I needed to hear today! I literally spent hours at the various math curricula booths at the Teach Them Diligently Convention this weekend… and then poured my heart out to the gracious Sonya Shafer of Simply Charlotte Mason about my agony over “switching curriculum.”

    It just feels like big changes… like moving away from a package curriculum to one that I’ve piecemealed together… is a stepping away from something that I *should* be able to “make work” and a crossing over into trying to find an “easy way out.” Does that make sense at all??? LOL

  8. This is so true, thank you for putting this in new light. We change curriculum on an ongoing basis to a certain degree. Some things remain the same yet other things change. One thing that never changes is seeking the Lord for wisdom and guidance, He is always faithful.

    • I truly believe if you are seeking the Lord, you more than likely will find yourself changing things over the years because we do grow so much as Christians. Yes, He is faithful!

  9. You are right, Amy…we change through the years, and God changes us. Our lives are never stagnant! We must listen to His still soft voice. Thanks for your godly insights.

  10. Beautiful post. I’m in my 5th year of homeschooling and I couldn’t agree with you more. At first, I bought everything and compared myself to others. Now, it’s so much more about living and bringing God into our lives with all that we do. I want children who thirst for the Holy Spirit. I’m totally o.k. if they don’t know Latin or the parts of the circulatory system. I just want them to be in love with God.

  11. So true…and that three year learning curve….I just hit it….It’s a great place to be…and to be here with the words of wisdom from the weekend….it’s a masterpiece in the making, but I’m not the painter or the potter, but I am an instrument in His hands! Love you, Amy…and truly can not begin to tell you…how thankful I am to have met you this weekend!