As most of y’all know I am homeschooling my 3 older boys. All of them are different, and none of them have the same learning needs. We are also a single income family, so we don’t have tons of disposable income readily available to purchase the best of the best curriculum. Combine that with the learning needs, I’m kind of stuck as to which curriculum would work. Ray is gifted, and very advanced because of this, and bores easily. If he’s bored, he gets depressed. If he’s not challenged enough, he gets depressed. Zachary is completely different. He needs tons of stimulation, but not too much pressure, short lessons, quick to the point. Chris is different than the two of them. He needs short lessons, but he needs them to be slower and more repetition. He needs more practice, slower speech to understand what is being said.
When we first tried homeschooling, I admit I did more of an un-schooling approach, with some Easy Peasy tied in. Easy Peasy worked, but we didn’t have internet at the time, so I was doing it all from my phone or using my phone as a hot spot for my computer. It was really hard, and I felt very disorganized and cluttered. The kids liked it okay, but I can honestly say I didn’t give it much of a shot. We were living with my mother-in-law, no internet, no where specific for the kids to sit and do their school. I looked into a bunch, got my heart set on some Unit Studies (My Father’s World, Sonlight, or Heart of Dakota), or Classical Conversations but once again, money is a huge factor.
What Works Now
Then we moved, we bought a kitchen table (funny how that makes you feel better, huh?), and the first thing we budgeted in was internet. Whew internet again. I felt like we were amongst the civilized now. Then since we moved to a new school district that was supposed to be good, we put the kids in school. Then, as you know, we pulled the kids and started homeschooling. I knew I needed something easy, that I wouldn’t have to piece together. I wanted something one size fits all, which I know is impossible given all of my kids’ different learning needs. We did a month of de-schooling, and just jumped into Acellus Academy. I have to say I really do like it. It works very well for all of them, but Ray is starting to get bored. He’s getting depressed and defiant. I finally realized that it’s because he’s not being challenged. I can move him up a grade, but I also don’t want him missing any important information.
I am unsure as to how to handle this with Ray. I have found another online curriculum I’m going to try, and see if it’s more his style. This one is more reading, more textbook like, less videos. He has been in public school his entire school career, loves to read, loves to learn, and be challenged. He might need the order of reading textbooks online. There’s a free trial so I’m going to give it a shot and see how it goes. If not, I don’t know where to go next. I am open to any and all suggestions.
The Journey Continues
Despite these struggles finding a good fit, I am confident in my choice to pull the kids out of school. Homeschooling is working for all of them. They are happier. They have less meltdowns. They are learning, and thriving. They have plenty of social time, which is what most people ask about. This is the right choice for us, I know that without a doubt. Now I just have to find the right choice of curriculum for each of them, and our family. I also have to let go of all previous expectations and thoughts as to how learning should go. I will continue to pray for wisdom and guidance, and remind myself to have faith that it’ll all be okay.