Dear Calvert Families –
As the days of December slowly slip by and we approach the start of a new calendar year, it’s a good idea for homeschool families to set aside some time for reflection.
What were your accomplishments over the past few months? Where do you need to make improvements? Are your children on track? Finally, what changes should you implement as you tackle the books in 2018?
Use our list to reflect on your recent successes and determine where you might need to make improvements in the new year.
As you look back on your past few months of homeschooling, focus on the positive aspects. Take a moment to make a mental list of your accomplishments thus far as a homeschooling parent. What have you done well? What challenges have you overcome? How can you emulate those positives in other areas?
We can often be our own worst critics. Continue to celebrate your successes, even if they are sometimes small, and don’t be too hard on yourself. A positive approach to the path forward will not only benefit you but also your children.
It’s human nature to sometimes make things more complicated than necessary. Take a moment to consider areas where you may be able to cut corners or work more efficiently. For example, reviewing the week’s lessons ahead of time will lead to a smoother work week. You might also plan out the week’s meals on the weekend, perhaps with your children’s input.
Reflect on how you can simplify not only your homeschool day, but also household tasks, overall family schedule, and life in general. For example, everyone can chip in with chores. At the end of a busy day, you might have each child help clean up by putting away things, the number of which matches his/her age.
We understand that homeschool schedules often leave little time for meal planning, so we’ve created some Pinterest boards to assist you with Homeschool Lunch Ideas, along with quick and nutritious Dinner Ideas.
Once the holidays are over, it’s a good time to get a handle on homeschool organization so you can have a fresh start for the new year. Children work best in a clean and organized environment.
Go through those piles of papers and determine which to keep and which to recycle. Invest in some low-cost shelving or storage drawers to store books, binders, and supplies.
Be sure to check out our Homeschool Organization Pinterest board for additional ideas.
Check Your Progress
While many families progress at a slow, uncertain pace during the first few weeks of homeschooling as they get used to the curriculum and schedules, your family should be settled into a comfortable routine by now.
Review the progress your children have made in each of their subject areas. Does their progress align with your scheduled school year? How close are you to achieving the milestones you established? Are you on track to complete the school year at the time you intended?
If your children’s progress is not quite where you expected, should you modify your schedule? Or, should you modify your expectations? Try not to compare your schedule to that of traditional schools. Homeschooling allows you to work at the pace that suits your family’s needs and interests. Days filled with joy and piqued curiosity are more important than checkmarks beside every lesson detail for each day.
Remember that our Education Counselors are available via phone or email for free consultations to help you with planning and scheduling. Our experts can also provide some insight on how your child is progressing and how to get back on track if needed.
Once you’ve had time to reflect on all of the above, it’s time to focus on areas where you can make improvements.
Do you need to be more patient with your children? Do you need to establish clear homeschool classroom “rules,” set boundaries, or develop a new approach to dealing with behavior issues?
How is your schedule working for you? Do you need to decrease the number of outside activities you have scheduled for yourself and your children?
Finally, be sure to take time to discuss potential improvements with each of your children. What suggestions do they have to increase efficiency and productivity? What would they like to do better in the new year and how do they plan to accomplish those goals?