The beginning (or ending) of a school year is a great time to evaluate the effectiveness of the textbooks you are using. When we are in the trenches of teaching or planning on a daily basis, it is hard to come up for an assessing breath.

When I first began homeschooling, I felt that I needed to make a decision and stick with it until I was done. I assumed I could never readjust or shift without first finishing what we began. This is a good theory when it comes to finishing your chores before you play, but I learned that having useful education resources does not need to follow such rules.

Armed with my new found freedom and a need to find things that fit my kids’ learning styles, I gave myself space to research other tools, new ideas, better resources and different textbooks. I also spoke with a public school teacher friend of mine and she share that this is common in her school, which brought additional relief. Also, it is common for kids from the same family to follow different academic paths in other school situations, so why is it that we homeschoolers feel the commitment to do it the same way for each child?

Can I give you the same permission and freedom to shift the things that aren’t working? You aren’t a failure to label a book as useless or too “whatever” for you or the kids. You aren’t an uncommitted rebel to change course mid-year or mid-career.

Perhaps you are restricted to what you can use or have access to (maybe you live in a faraway land where shipping isn’t easy or maybe finances force you to buy and stick with one thing) but you still feel like a change is needed. In that case, check out some free resources online to beef of what you already have. Or, maybe skip a chapter or two and land somewhere different in the same textbook (you could even get super silly and recover your textbook with old school paper grocery bags) and ask your kid to teach you.

Sometimes a change is helpful and necessary. Be creative as to how to change things up and I hope you feel the freedom to change things up when you approach burnout or notice that what you are currently using isn’t working. Sometimes just adding something new is enough to refuel us to launch into a new year or finish the current year.

Global Student Network offers a variety of homeschool curriculum options to fit any learning style.  Learn more by visiting www.GlobalStudentNetwork.com.

Lindsay Banton is a caffeinated mother to three great kids. She never expected to homeschool, but has found that it is a wonderful addition to their lifestyle and wouldn’t change it for the world. In addition to homeschooling, Lindsay works alongside her husband in campus ministry at a large university in Connecticut. She grew up in Virginia but has settled into life in New England, learning to love the long winters, cool springs, green summers and gorgeous autumns- and has built a boot collection to meet all the demands. She is currently blogging at www.GlobalStudentNetwork.com.

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