Podcast Episode 11: Is Curriculum Over-rated?

Knowing yourself and your child is far more important than which curriculum you choose to buy.  Stop the curriculum shopping overload!

But a good curriculum CAN be useful...  the guide can help make sure it's a good fit for YOU and YOUR CHILD!

Audio version: www.DecodingLearningDifferences.com


Welcome to Decoding Learning Differences with Kimberlynn Lavelle. This episode is, is curriculum overrated. The number one mistake that I see new homeschoolers making is asking the wrong question to start with. They start with the wrong question. They start with "What do you recommend?" That's not the best first question. I know you think it is because you think, okay, I want to teach my own kids. I want to be a homeschooler. What do I teach them? What curriculum do I use?

Now, Don't get me wrong. Curriculum is great. I love curriculum because it gives a good guideline about what we might want to teach. Totally makes sense. If you want a curriculum, you use a curriculum, enjoy your curriculum,

but don't start with that question. It's not the most important thing. The most important thing is you and your child. You need to take a moment before you start looking at various curriculum, and you need to think about who you are as the teacher. If you're the teacher and are you the teacher, right? Like you can homeschool your child and not be the teacher.

Maybe your spouse is the teacher. Maybe you are going to teach math and your spouse is going to teach language arts. Maybe the neighbor down the street is going to teach history. Maybe you're going to have a tutor for everything. Maybe you're going to use something like out school with online classes. What are you doing? It there's so many options. You don't have to be the teacher.

So decide, are you the teacher? Will that be a good fit? Okay. If you're the teacher, what are you going to do with that? What is it that you need to be successful? Do you need a super structured curriculum that tells you exactly what to say and exactly how to say it and what to teach and what manipulatives to do,

where and what? Like just totally scripted so that you don't have to like think or worry that you might be doing something wrong. You just know that you've got it. You can just grab it, read it, do it, put it away. And you're done, right. Is that what you need to be a good teacher? Or do you need to,

you know, do you have a creative side that you want to pull out? Do you love looking at Pinterest and getting ideas from Pinterest? What do you need to be a good teacher? So think about that really carefully, because if you aren't considering your own needs as the teacher, if you're the teacher. And so both of those are important. If you aren't considering that,

then you're going to buy a curriculum or likely buy something that's not appropriate for you. If you, a lot of them that are super great. If you're willing to be the direct teacher and follow what they tell you to do, you're going to spend a lot of money on a really great curriculum for someone else. It's not necessarily really great for you,

but what about your child? Also, if your child is not someone who's going to listen to a 30 minute lesson, then having the types of curricula that have really long lessons is not going to be a great fit. So you've really have to consider who is your child? What are they interested in that might drive your curriculum? You need to understand what are their strengths,

what are they really good at? That should drive your curriculum? And what are their, what are their weaknesses? What are their struggles? What do they might maybe need some extra help with? So that might be that it's driving like an extra curriculum or program that you're looking at buying to address a specific weakness. Like if your child has dyslexia, you might be thinking,

okay, I want to get an Orton-Gillingham based program, or I might want to do an online program that can address some of those needs. So you might really be considering those options. Now, if you want some more help with this, which you probably, it would be good to get a little more guidance and thoughts on like what to think about.

There is a curriculum guide at www.yourparenthelp.com/curriculumguide, all one word, all smashed together. So there's a link below. Also just check for, look for the link and click on it. The guide will kind of give you some things to think about it. We'll ask you some questions to really dig deep, take time when you are filling that out to really think through what is it that's true about my specific child.

What's really true about me. What do we need? What should this look like? And keep in mind that it's going to look different for different subjects. I had also done a curriculum checklist that you can also get. If you go to www.yourparenthelp.com, look for that also. And that one was a little bit, little different, very similar related.

And there were some videos that went along with that. So there's, there's a lot of guides there to like, kind of help you think about what are you really looking for when you're looking at a curriculum so that you know, whether or not it's right? Because if you just ask the internet world, What do you recommend? They will have a variety of answers.

And what they're recommending is what worked really well for them, but they are not You. So You need to consider if their recommendation actually is going to work. And a lot of times you're wasting so much time reading through all these individual people's opinions. The better questions that I have seen is when people ask I'm considering this, because it has this who has used it,

what is your experience? Did it do this? Did it provide this? Did you find it to be to this? Right? Like when you asked really specific questions of the Facebook internet world, you're going to get the specific answers that you're looking for. Now, you'll still also get people who just give their overall opinion. Oh, that was a terrible curriculum.

And you're like that wasn't you didn't answer my question. You just wanted to give your opinion, but so you get a lot of that still, still too. But if you ask a specific question, you can get a specific answer and that can be really helpful. If you just ask the general, what should I do with my fourth grader next year,

you're going to get everyone's opinion on what they did with their fourth grader and why they thought it was great, but it's not necessarily the best thing. So think about that thing really carefully through that one. So if you need a little extra help, you've got the curriculum guide. The other thing that you can do, if you want even more help is you can email me and we can set up a time.

There's also a way to just set up a call directly on the website. If you want to figure that out, or you can email me Kimberlynn@DecodingLearningDifferences.com and say, "Hey, I need a little extra help. I really want someone to just like, walk me through purchasing this. So I'm not wasting a ton of money on stuff that I'm not gonna use.

That is going to be a terrible fit." And we can, we can set that up too. So Kimberlynn@DecodingLearningDifferences.com with any questions, concerns, whatever that you have. And I will see you next week!



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Decoding Learning Differences