Switching Levels with Homeschool Curriculum

Last month, I wrote an early review for the level 2 of biology curriculum from R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey homeschool curriculum. I mentioned how I found it quite advanced for her, but unless it became increasingly frustrating and confusing for her, we would keep going. 

Well, it did become more and more frustrating. 

The lessons each week were at a much higher level than she could comprehend. The hands on labs were fine, but she wasn't retaining most of the information. The end of week "show what you know" and review really showed me that she hadn't absorbed the majority of the lessons content. 

She was getting disappointed with herself, upset, and frustrated. I looked ahead in the curriculum and saw more complex topics that I was concerned would confuse her even more. 

This particular curriculum is very good, but at this point we are putting it back on the shelf. Pandia Press suggests level 2 is appropriate for grades 5 to grades 9. For us, grade 5 was too early to use this level. We will try again in a couple of years. 

One important advantage of homeschooling is the ability to adjust the schedule and curriculum we use for our own children. To either move up a level or to go back a level. 

Finding what fits for our children is more important than a level or grade number. I find this a great freedom. 

As a side note, when I first started homeschooling, my oldest daughter needed to get back to math basics when I pulled her out of public school grade 2. She quickly "caught up" and was much more comfortable with her math knowledge because we took the time to go back. 

If you are homeschooling, I hope you can remember this simple fact. The fact that you can cater your experience to your own children. Go back, go forward, stay in the same spot as long as it takes. 

Celeste and I talked about re-visiting the previous level biology, and she expressed a strong interest in doing the earth & space curriculum again instead. 

We did that one two years ago and she loved it then, and we started again this week. I will expect more from her in the lab worksheets and the readings, adjusting so it matches her abilities more. I will find resources to keep it interesting for her as well, and more hands-on activities. She is looking forward to studying weather, earth, the solar system, and geology. 

Here is a quick mosaic from the last few days. 

We started writing daily observations about the weather. We did a thermometer lab in our own backyard. We met the Sidewalk Astronomers of Charlottetown at Victoria Park and looked at the sun through his telescope. We received special glasses that are safe for direct solar viewing from the Sidewalk Astronomers with specific instructions. Celeste showed her dad how to use them and they both looked at the sun together. 


  1. Good for you. Ability to pay attention to our student's needs and be flexible is such a blessing of homeschooling, whether it means we need to pull back or push forward.


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