Through the years I have used many different types of curriculum. I have tweaked and molded much of it to my homeschool while others I have stuck to the plan in the teacher’s manual. It is believed by many you gain the most from your curriculum by referencing the teacher’s manual. The teacher’s manual will provide you insight on how to use the curriculum properly. Many view the teacher’s manual as a chokehold while some find it a lifesaver. During my years of reviewing and selling old curriculum many have asked “Do I need the teacher’s manual?” The answer is not always simple. The curriculum is the foundation of subject you are teaching. As the teacher you make it come alive and suit to your individual students. Suiting a curriculum to your students does not always mean tossing aside the teacher’s manual. How do you know when you need it and when you do not?
When you need the teacher’s manual:
If you are teaching a subject you are unfamiliar with or if you have questions on how to schedule the class the teacher’s manual can help. A teacher’s manual contains tips and methods of teaching a subject that may bring insight you had not considered.
If you are switching curriculum then consulting a teacher’s manual may help you determine the method best used while teaching. I am not suggesting you adapt to a manual or method if it does not suit you. Some curricula are intended for a particular method and works best if used as intended.
When you can skip the teacher’s manual:
If this is your second or third time teaching Kindergarten and you are familiar with the curriculum then you may skip the teacher’s manual.
If you the subject you are teaching is something you are very familiar with or have an educational background in then a teacher’s manual may provide you direction.
If you have a plan but you are using the curriculum as scope and sequence or because of bits and pieces you want to add to your lessons then no need for the teacher’s manual.