Why We're Not Using Boxed Curriculum


So I should probably preface this with the disclaimer that now that I've made such a proclamation, I will probably change my mind at some point. I usually do.

I was convinced at the beginning of this homeschooling journey that I needed boxed curriculum like I need coffee. Essential stuff, you guys. So I bought the junior kindergarten curriculum from Memoria Press last year. And while I liked it, it required sooooooooo much workbook work. And it was very rote. And if we're being really, really honest here, I don't do well with checklists or a rigid schedule. In my dream world I am the master of my planner, checking off my To Do list like a boss. But most days I'm lucky if I get to take a bathroom break solo and drink my coffee in peace without a fight over stuffed animals breaking out in the living room. You with me, mamas?

So as I mentioned in a previous post, I've implemented what I call intuitive homeschooling. Progressing through the skills I know my (nearly) 6 year old needs to know while anticipating her learning needs. Sounds harder in some regards than a boxed curriculum, but this method ends up being more fun for us.

So instead of boxed curriculum, we sort of wing it. This morning we worked on phonemes using Reading Lessons Through Literature Part One and made it through 3 letters. I'm having her write in a composition notebook that contains pages with the bottom half lined and the top blank (for drawing pictures.) We write the letter and its various phonetic pronunciations at the top of the page, and she draws a picture to correspond with the sound. Then at the bottom of the page, she practices writing her letters and a word to correspond to each sound.

We barely made it through 3 before she got bored. So then we switched to math, which is her favorite. She did a practice round of copying numbers and then we did addition with beans, which you can see at the top of this post. Once she finished up her math she played United States bingo with Kirk and reviewed some of the states. And then that's it.

We could probably do more (or less, depending on your methodology), but this works for us. Next year I'll add history (US and art) and we'll ramp up on our science and nature study. We're taking it slow and avoiding burn-out (I hope.)

Sure, a boxed curriculum would remove some of the planning and maybe I'll use one some day. But in the meantime we'll blaze our own trail on the homeschooling journey and figure it out day by day.


If you homeschool or are thinking about it, what method or program do you use? Would love to hear more in the comments!