- Curriculum that requires more planning time than implementation
- Expectations that ALL material in a particular text/curriculum must be covered
- Age specific materials in all subject areas
- An exclusively computer based curriculum
We were also feeling overwhelmed with trying to gather relevant materials for our 9, 7, and 5 year old. Multiple math, reading, writing, science, social studies, and character building materials for each child has proven to be a logistical nightmare. Not to mention the amount of paperwork generated from these busy little learners! Oh, and don't forget the 3 and 1 year old that demand attention for some strange reason :-)
In an effort to make things a little easier on us we invested in an Internet based program for our oldest son. Regretfully, I did not research this particular program as much as I should have and more importantly I did not heed some wise counsel from my wife. Initially, the program had several bugs and we spent quite a bit of time working through them. It was also picky about how answers were entered, which led to more troubleshooting (and frustration)! These issues coupled with our son's tendency to get distracted during the lessons have convinced us that an exclusively computer based approach is not right for us at this time.
Now for the positives....
At the behest of my wife, we did begin shifting towards a more literature based (Five in a Row) approach to learning. While not perfect, this has improved some of the challenges of teaching multiple learning levels. I am finally getting over my 'learnin' enough to see the benefits of a more classical style of learning. Teaching our children how to think and spending more time on character is far more important that filling their heads with a bunch of disconnected facts. We hope to further develop this methodology in the coming year.
We would love to hear from those who share similar family dynamics with us. What worked? What didn't?