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Preparing for January

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As the holiday season winds down, it’s time to start planning your 2014 homeschooling schedule. Maybe you were prepared, and scheduled everything at the beginning of the 2013-2014 year…and maybe, like many, you planned to deal with the “second semester” once it arrived. After all, you have the kids’ holiday break time to get everything ready, right?

Now it’s holiday break time. Christmas is over; New Year’s is just a short step away…and that means that it’s time to start planning. There are a few steps that you need to take before you dive in to planning the second half of your children’s school year.

Evaluate where they are. How far through the curriculum have they managed to get thus far? Are they further along than originally anticipated, or are they struggling to keep up with the schedule that you’ve set? If they’re well ahead, it may be that you need to acquire the next level of curriculum a little bit early. If they’re behind, then you may need to ask what the problem is—and how to address it. Is your son struggling in math? Your daughter having difficulty finishing up a particular grammar unit? Determine why they’re having trouble, and address the problem at hand before it gets any worse.

Ask yourself what has been working for you…and what hasn’t. Do your kids absolutely love working on involved projects, or do they dread them? Do they prefer creative thinking, or assignments that are fairly cut and dried? Do they enjoy having the option to add on to assignments when it’s a subject they are interested in, or do they barrel ahead full force to the next lesson?

Take a look at your daily schedule. If you have a child who rolls out of bed bright and early, ready to learn, then you will likely want to start your school day early. On the other hand, if you have a child who struggles to get started in the morning, starting your school day at nine or ten may be far more productive for your family. What’s working for you and your kids? How can you best capitalize on that? January is the perfect time to revamp the schedule if that needs to be done.

Discuss your children’s interests. What really gets them going? What subjects do they love? Offer some extra focus in those areas as incentive for continued productivity—but don’t neglect the other lesson areas, either.

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