You can plan your homeschool year all you want before it starts, but until the year is actually underway, it can be hard to know exactly how it will go. That’s why, a few weeks into the new school year, it’s a good idea to take an objective look at how things are going in your homeschool.
Analyze your curriculum choices
Sometimes the curriculum that looked so great on the shelf doesn’t end up being such a great fit for your family. It’s okay to admit that things aren’t working for you. Remember that the curriculum is designed to serve you. You don’t need to feel like a slave to it, and simply making small tweaks to its setup may be all you need. However, it’s also possible that you’ll need to scrap it entirely and move on to something else. Be open to doing whatever best meets your family’s educational needs.
Are some of the things you planned for your kids just not hard enough? If your students are simply coasting through, add some challenges. You don’t want to overburden them, but it’s also good for them to learn how to rise to a challenge. Consider adding in an extra subject based on your child’s interests, incorporating hands-on enrichment projects or providing extra reading related to your topics of study.
Scale back as needed
Education is great, but overburdening your children with more work than they can handle will just stress everyone out. If schoolwork is taking up more of your time or sanity than is reasonable, perhaps it’s time to cut some things. Save one subject for a slower time of year, assign fewer math problems or switch some answers to oral instead of written.
Evaluate your time management
How you and your students use the hours given to you makes a big difference in the success of your school days. If your days aren’t running well, it may not be a matter of the assignments you’re giving out, but rather one of how you’re managing your time. Are you starting too late in the day? Are your kids getting off-track when they switch from one subject to another? Are you letting the computer suck you in? It’s not too late to break bad habits and form new, helpful ones.
Look for the positives
Even if the year has gotten off to a rough start, surely there are some things that are going well. What are they? Make a list of the positives and celebrate them. Congratulate your kids on the great work they’ve been doing, and give yourself a pat on the back, too. Every homeschooling year will have its rough spots for both students and teachers, but a few words of encouragement will go a long way toward turning things around.