Adapt Alter or Add

No plan is perfect.  20140318_115016

And for many new homeschool moms, a packaged curriculum or program promises some certainty to your child’s education.  The sad reality is that these products often needs to be adapted, altered, added or abandoned to “fit” your child’s learning style and stage, or your teaching style and approach.

Please don’t feel condemned if your purchase doesn’t ‘work’.


  • You can still use your books or curriculum, but rather follow your child’s time schedule and pace rather than the prescribed schedule.
  • I have o.f.t.e.n urged parents to  make time for tangents  and spread a 1-year schedule over 18 months.  I have never regretted taking longer on a curriculum in all my years of homeschooling with all my children, as I shared with my re-using our Sonlight curriculum.
  • Use lapbooks or minibooks, but allow your children to use them in their own personal way.


  • Add hands-on activities wherever possible, especially for younger children.
  • Go on outings and field trips.
  • Visit masters and real artisans, factories and manufacturing companies.
  • For teens, find a student teacher or tutor, or friend or another parent to teach difficult subjects.


Yikes!  Really?

  • When your child refuses to learn, hates the lessons or the content, please, please don’t force them to continue.
  • Put the books away and maybe try again in 6 months.
  • I have very seldom made a disaster-purchase, but I have had to abandon a year-plan and reschedule work.
  • My teenagers refused to continue Charlotte Mason subjects, much to my dismay, and I let it go, but some years later, they returned to enjoy the very lessons I had been to forceful on.  I learnt to offer these lessons in a  really informal way.
  • Sadly, many moms have bookshelves filled with unused books and curriculums.  Wasted money and lots of guilt.  If you cannot use these abandoned books, try find a co-op or group and sell your 2nd hand materials.
  • May I quietly add that even as a professional school teacher, some lessons just never worked, and I abandoned them!

With all my encouragement and blessings,

3 thoughts on “Adapt Alter or Add

  1. Hi Nadene I just want to say, you really do inspire me to continue on and definitely “Adapt, Alter or Add” is great advice. Thanks for encouraging others and myself and I especially like the Art pages. Take care and hugs to you all Kym Fullerton Great Reasons to Homeschool


  2. Thank you so much for posting on this topic again. I love it when you do because they come at the moment I need them the most. We are in our first “lul” of sorts and we’ve been on this path for about six years now, I think. *smile* But, last night when I sat down to figure out what we are going to do to take a little time off but to keep learning going on (ie: games with bankers, noticing the natural science around us outside and in, cooking and following recopies, and the like) your post came up and I was once again encouraged to be sure to follow my heart in this matter, the matter of teaching our children. Thank you so very much! I really appreciate it when you make the time to post on this topic. Have a lovely day. Sincerely, Mommy of two growing blessings & so much more!


  3. So true. I adapt almost everything that I buy. The tough part about traditional brick and morter schools is that all kids do not learn the same way. We have to remember that as homeschoolers too. For me that is a bonus-I have the ability to change the material so that it works for each of my kids. Terrific post.


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