Let’s face it, trying to use a separate curriculum for each child is time consuming. It takes time to learn to use the various programs, time you could use homeschooling. Instead of attempting to find the perfect curriculum for each child, learn to adapt curriculum to your child.
5 Easy Ways to Adapt Curriculum to Your Kid
Often children need more or less practice than the curriculum provides. When kids need less practice, there’s usually not a problem. You can leave the curriculum alone or skip problems.
Sometimes kids need more practice. When your child hasn’t quite absorbed the material after completing the assignment, it’s time to look for more practice.
Find worksheets which focus on the concepts your child is struggling with. Personalize your homeschool to your kid’s needs. Don’t worry about trying to find a new curriculum, simply add a bit more practice to your current curriculum.
Here are a few sites to get you started:
Change Pace to Adapt Curriculum
Often curricula either move too quickly or too slowly for our kids. If the curricula is too slow, try speeding up just a hair. You don’t want to speed up so much your child struggles, but combining a few lessons or completing 5 days in 4 days might be just the ticket to keeping your child interested.
By the same token, you can always slow a curriculum down. There’s no law that says you have to complete 5 days of work in 5 days.
If your kid is struggling, try slowing down and completing 4 days in 5 days. Perhaps 3 days in 4 days is a better pace. You can even plan on completing the curriculum over two years instead of one.
Another trick is to add a review day to each week. Instead of completing another lesson on Friday, try using Fridays for review.
Use Lectures & Documentaries
A different perspective often provides the understanding children lack. While you can sit down and try to come up with three different ways to present the information, there are several free lectures on line.
Try Kahn Acadamy. Search You-Tube for videos. There are many lectures available on-line. Use them to supplement your child’s textbooks.
There are many documentaries about almost every topic under the sun. Check your library for a documentary about building the pyramids, elephants, or volcanoes. Kids can learn a huge amount from watching a documentary on a rainy day.
Adjust the way you evaluate your children. Some kids are great test-takers. Other kids panic every time they see a test. Don’t torment your child. Instead change the method of evaluation.
Narrations – Have your children narrate what they learned to you each day. Can they explain the day’s concepts in their own words? Narrations is a great way to gently check your child’s comprehension.
Write Papers – High school teens have strong preferences. Some teens love to answer questions. Other teens would prefer to write a paper on the material. There’s no homeschool law that says one way is better than the other. If your child would prefer to write a paper than answer a list of questions, why not. They’ll learn the material just as well if not better.
Oral Exams – There’s no reason your child has to take a written test when you can give an oral exam. Simply sit down and discuss the test together rather than have your kid write. Often you’ll get a better sense of where your child is struggling and excelling through an oral exam than you do through a written exam.
Discussions – By the same token there’s no need to give your children written exams all the time. Sit down with your kids over a cup of tea. Chat about the concepts being taught. Let the conversation range slightly and discuss how you’d apply the concepts in real life, what your opinions are, and what your child would like to learn more about. Discussions are an excellent way of evaluating your child’s understanding of the material.
Many programs don’t include projects. That doesn’t mean you can’t add your own projects to augment learning.
Plays – Let the kids write a play about the historical time period you’re studying. Encourage them to gather some friends to rehearse and perform the play. Set up a miniature theater in your house and invite friends and family over the watch the play being performed.
Projects – Add a project to your homeschool. This can be a science fair style project for science, building a castle when you’re studying the middle ages, or creating crossword puzzles out of spelling words. You don’t need to stick to reading textbooks and writing papers in your homeschool. Liven things up with a few projects.
Act It Out – Act out the concepts you’re learning in math, science, or history. If you’re discussing the concept of states of matter, have the kids pretend to be molecules floating around in space. For gas they run around bumping into each other. To be liquid the kids are touching, but constantly changing position. Solids requires the kids to link arms and march in place.
Don’t complicate your life and add expense to your homeschool by trying to find the perfect curriculum for each child in your family. Instead learn to adapt curriculum to your child.
How do you adapt curriculum to your child?