So you have started your new homeschool year. You may be a month or two in, and it’s time to think about how the year is going. Is your homeschool plan working?
- Some of you may be thinking, “The thought never crossed my mind; everything is great!”
- Or you might be in the camp of, “I am drowning! It feels as though nothing is going is right!”
Either way (or somewhere in between), it is good to reflect on what is, or is not working. The act of taking a step back and looking at how your homeschool plan is going is better done in the first couple of months than many months down the road because if there is an issue, you have time to fix it!
1. Are Your Children Showing Signs of Distress?
The first question to ask is about the children. One day this week, stop whatever you are doing and take the time to really look at and listen to your children.
- Is their learning progressing?
- Is their schoolwork taking them eight hours a day? (That's too long!)
- Are they stressed and frustrated with any particular subject or task?
- Do you find them happy and engaged with a particular task or subject?
Assessing your homeschool plan goes both ways. You want to pinpoint both things that are working and things that are not. There is a good chance that if you can find something that works for one subject, you can find something similar for a subject that is a sticking point.
2. Are You Finding Homeschool Tasks Manageable for You?
How are you feeling? Are you working into the wee hours of the night (or all day) to read, check work, and prepare lessons?
If your homeschool plan is too mom-intensive, you will burn out. As my husband says, “Happy wife, happy life.” or “If Mom’s not happy, then nobody's happy!”
Like it or not, your stress level and mood affects the tone of your house. If you are spending too much time slaving at homeschool tasks, then there is a good chance it is sucking the joy out of you. Down time outside the confines of homeschooling is a necessity both for you and for your family.
3. Is There Something in Your Homeschool Plan That Needs to Change?
After looking at your children and yourself, is there something in your homeschool plan that needs to change?
Maybe you have realized you have a child who learns very well with video-based learning. You know this because you took the time to observe and see how well that video based math program is going for your child. That being said, the science program you have is book-intensive and a trouble spot for this child. Now is a good time to see how you can modify the homeschool plan. It could be as simple as adding in videos for each of the topics in your science study, or as complicated as needing to throw it out the window and choose something else.
4. What is Working Very Well in Your Homeschool Plan?
If you can see what is going well, and understand what about those things makes you and your children happy, then you will be better able to select things in the future that will have a higher rate of success.
Do keep in mind though what works for one, may not work for another, and just because something is working now, doesn’t guarantee it will work forever.
The bottom line is that if you stop to take the time to evaluate how your best laid homeschool plans are working out, you will have enough time to change the things that aren’t working, and to learn from the things that are.