If you ask homeschooling families what they love the most about home education, you will probably hear “flexibility” more often than anything. Flexibility to teach what they want (within state standards of course), when they want, how they want, etc.  Being able to change what we need, when we need it.

Winter holiday breaks are a good opportunity to really evaluate how your homeschool year is going, and to make changes if you need to. Why is this time of year such a good opportunity for this?

–        If you follow a traditional school year, you have had a few months under your belt using your current homeschool curriculum or program. Often times, something looks good on paper but doesn’t really work out once you start using it. You may have thought you could handle a textbook based curriculum, but as it turns out, something on the computer might fit better, or vice versa.

–        Just as you are evaluating your year so far, so are other families. This is a good time to reach out to other homeschoolers you know (be it in person, or even in an online community) and see what they have been using and how they like it. True, what works for one family may not work for yours, but you can at least hear about other programs and get reviews on them.

–        For those families that are making a change, you may be able to find used curriculum at a great bargain price. Selling or giving away curricula/programs that aren’t working is a good way to get back a little of the money spent, and make room for newer materials. Most families would rather sell or give away those materials, than have them take up space in their homeschool rooms.

If you do find that your family does need to make a change, no matter how minor or major, don’t let yourself feel bad over the fact that what you were doing didn’t work. It happens. A lot, lol. Especially to new homeschoolers. You have to get to know yourself, as well as your children and their learning styles, to really start to understand in what direction you need to take your homeschool.

Katie Shuler is a computer junkie, workbook hating, TV watching, iGadget addicted, eclectic homeschooling, soccer mom. A not-so-country girl living in a very-country Georgia small town, she has been homeschooling her two boys since 2005. You can catch a little glimpse of her when you visit her blog, You. Me. Us.