What I mean by actually using the curriculum that we purchase is that I had so many homeschooling moms (usually of pretty young kids) who would come to me and say their curriculum wasn't working for them. I would then ask them how long they had actually tried it and usually the answer was for a week or two or even just a few days. Hmmmm....well that is hardly using the curriculum. I know I have been guilty of enthusiastically purchasing curriculum and then planning too many subjects in and one or more of the subjects never happens. The joke is we could probably purchase nothing at all and get through at least several years on the stuff that is here in the house! That would be a savings.
By too many subjects, I mean requiring one student to do well in too many subjects with high ideals that they can do well in all of them. Sometimes I set my expectations too high for some of my kids and then they end up not doing great in any of their subjects. This is what I am sort of trying to figure out with at least Matthew. I have seemingly the opposite problem with another kid. Sigh. Each kid is different and handles things differently. Matthew is doing fairly well in all of his subjects but ends up having to steal time away to do anything he would like to do. I don't remember not having time to do what I wanted to when I was his age. That kind of time becomes less and less as time goes on. '
I am sure I will revisit this lovely subject many times. I am mostly trying to not let other people's definition of their school overly influence the goals I have seen as important all along. It is sort of a reality check. Academic subjects are important and having the ability to do them is important but there are also other skill and interests which are important as well. More school work for the kids also means more work for me and there comes a time when I have to weigh how crazy and cranky I really want this family to get and still leave in time to keep after the house and little kids.