Let’s;face;it:;teaching;writing;is tough. And whether due to the lack;of;confidence;in;your;own ability to write because of your
understandable and sequential steps, or
the inability of the curriculum you purchased to provide the help you need,
you’re;ready;to;pitch;your;current;writ-ing program. Never mind that it cost a
fortune. Or perhaps you got a great deal,
getting the results you wanted, and your
to other areas and is souring the whole
homeschooling experience. In business,
this is called sunk cost, a cost that has
already been incurred and thus cannot
be recovered. You must decide whether
somehow continuing with the program
from the time and money you have invested thus far. So now what?
Five Steps to Take Before You
Ditch the Old and Buy the New
1.;Take your temperature. Are you just
having a bad day? Did you get enough
sleep last night? Are you suffering mid-year crisis? If you are new to home-schooling, perhaps you just need to hear
that we all experience this. Congratulations! You are normal. If you are feeling
overwhelmed and frustrated, and this
has been going on for a while, you may
need to do something differently.
2.;Take your child’s temperature. Does
he or she need an attitude adjustment?
Do you need to focus on character rather
than academics? Could you have a strug-
gling learner on your hands? If your
cheerful, bright child suddenly turns sul-
some writing, it may be time to consider
3.;Take a look at the directions. Did the
materials come with a teacher’s guide,
and are you following best practices, or
your student? Do you have all the components? Are there supposed to be handouts or DVDs that you either misplaced
doing what was laid out for you, or if you
lacking,;you;may;have;a;program;unsuit-able for your homeschool.
4.;Phone a friend.
;Either;take;this;ad-vice literally and communicate with
the one who suggested these materials, or contact the company. Either way,
5.;Check out the product reviews, and
look for the bad ones. While no curriculum
provider wants to admit it, not all mate-
your students or circumstances resemble
frustrating or unusable. This is not only
If after consideration and consultation, you determine to start anew, may I
recommend;five;more;steps;for;consider-ation before your next purchase?
1.;What are others saying? Go;back;to
the product reviews, and see what oth-ers;are;suggesting.;Peruse;webpages;and
they are gushing, or if they give a non-committal;“good;enough.”;Do;the;boys
the hearts and imaginations of the boys,
2. What type of guarantee do they
have? While no one can reimburse you
for your time, many companies have
some type of satisfaction-return policy.
in the products.
3.;How well does the company support
its homeschooling customers Many of the
big publishers primarily serve schools.
Do they have a number to call or a forum
to consult if you run into problems?
4. How well does it break down the
complex method of teaching writing?
Beware of frustrating your students with
to compose. Or perhaps worse are those
programs that focus heavily on gram-
What to Do if Your
If your cheerful, bright
child suddenly turns
sullen when you suggest
writing, it may be time to
consider another strategy.