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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Using It As Is

"Sweet!"

I'm giddy. My wife, who has uncomfortably hovered nearby for the last half-hour, sighs in relief. "You finally figure it out?"

I proudly show her the product of my labor: My computer's login screen now matches my desktop wallpaper.

Brittany's distrust of my abilities was well founded. I was following unclear instructions on the internet in my attempts to manually tweak my computer's permissions and registry keys. For those who do that kind of thing all the time, no sweat. For someone, like me, who knows only enough to get myself into trouble, it causes my wife more than a little concern. But there's something about renaming the hard drives, tweaking the desktop, and organizing my folders that makes the computer mine.

As homeschoolers, we often do the same with curriculum. We'll tweak and adjust to meet our family's needs. This ability to find--and use--what works is one of the many strengths of homeschooling: We can customize our curriculum so it reflects what our students need. We aren't required to use our educational materials "as is"... in fact, it's important to remember that your curriculum is a tool, not a taskmaster.

As you continue in your school year, remember that even a completely packaged curriculum can be adjusted to meet your needs. Perhaps it's something big, like rearranging the daily schedule to fit your timetable. Or, perhaps, it's something as simple as adding a label to your binder so it matches your pencils...

How about you? What do you enjoy tweaking so it feels more like it's yours? What do you use "as is"?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

6 comments:

colleen said...

I tweek my attitude each day to make sure it reflects who I am or want to be. I tweek my personalized business to what I want to learn more about and how I can help more people live their dreams.

Anne Galivan said...

"Know just enough to be dangerous!" Love that! Sounds like my tech skills.

Fantastic segue. I agree. I think most home-schoolers start out following a "script" because they lack confidence. As time goes on they start to make their home-school their own. I call it "eclectic home-schooling" and it's what I've been doing for years (and years and years).

BTW, Luke - I have that Sonlight post scheduled for next Monday. Thanks again for your input!

sumpteretc said...

I pretty much use it as is. Weird, huh?

Colleen said...

We use the IG as much as we can, but we do AWANA memory verses and our own Bible curriculum. We like to add Thinking Skills, Typing, and Daily Geography Practice. We adjust daily LA lessons to each child's level. In the past I have rearranged just about anything and everything. This year I am doing less of "my own thing" because I am schooling four. I need all the planning help I can get!

Eternal Instants said...

I am also pretty techno-tarded!

As a first year home educator, I love that there is a "script" for me to go by... Yes it's a lack of self confidence! But as time goes on I find myself being more creative and changing a few things...sumpterect, I use it "as is" as well! I am confident that Sonlight knows what to do when it comes to planning my year out... And boy I am grateful!!!

Luke said...

Good stuff, Colleen! Thanks for sharing.

Thanks, Anne!

Sumpteretc, that may be a little less common, but it's certainly not weird <smile>.

Colleen, glad the resources are proving to be so helpful <smile>.

Thank you, Eternal Instants!

~Luke


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Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester
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