Can you believe we have reached the new year? The new year is a great time to evaluate your homeschool. Take a few moments to answer the following questions:
1. Is your homeschool curriculum working for your kids? Are they enjoying school? Are you enjoying homeschooling?
If homeschooling isn’t living up to what you thought, it may be time to shake things up a little. Unit studies, lapbooking, notebooking, and living books can bring the excitement back to your homeschool.
There are many free curriculums and resources available online that can help breathe life back into your homeschool. Check out some free resources here.
2. Are you running around crazy all week and feel you don’t have time for anything?
You may need to rethink your commitments. Part of the beauty of homeschooling is the time it allows your family to be a family. If you are low on time to actually homeschool, you may need to clear up your schedule. Make sure you are only choosing extra activities that add value to your homeschool.
3. Do you have unrealistic expectations?
Homeschooling will usually not look like public school. Many families picture everyone sitting around a table and working quietly throughout the day. Or they picture a Pinterest perfect school room. The truth is, for most families, there will be noise, movement, and lots of messes.
Students learn best by doing. So, let them “do!” Let them get messy and explore and have fun. They will remember more and learn more than you can ever imagine! Try some hands-on learning with them this year.
4. Are you pushing your child too hard? Not hard enough?
Some families try to keep their students learning at the same pace as a public school, however, this is not necessary. Homeschooling allows you to move at your child’s own pace. Let them go as slow or fast as they need. You will find they will end up being just where they need to be when they graduate.
Everyone develops differently and not every child is ready to learn skills at what schools consider the “perfect” age. (Math is one subject that everyone learns at their own pace. Check out my thoughts on teaching math here.)
Remember, as a Third Option Homeschooler, your only curriculum requirement is to teach reading, writing, math, science, and social studies, and, in grades 7-12, literature and composition. There are no specific topics or levels required within those subjects. You have flexibility in what you choose to teach and when you choose to teach it.
5. Are you overwhelmed or worn out?
Don’t forget to allow time for you. Take breaks and spend time just being a family without turning everything into school. Take a day off and just be. You need to take care of yourself, or you won’t have anything to give to those around you.
Take time for professional development. Pick up a homeschool magazine or book and grab a cup of tea. Visit some homeschool sites or listen to a podcast to get tips and tricks. Make a date with your favorite friend to talk homeschool and kids.
Joy in the Journey by Lori Hatcher
Encouragement for Homeschool Moms by Martha Washburn (email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free copy)
Read the current Old Schoolhouse Magazine here.
The Brave Learner by Julie Bogart
Homeschooling isn’t easy, but you can do it! If you need any assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your homeschool association. That is what we are here for!