Using It As Is

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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

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