As you close out another year as a virtual schooling parent, you may well be breathing a massive sigh of relief. You survived the year! Your child has passed their current grade; they’ve finished all of their coursework; and, as an added bonus, they actually learned something, too. Take a deep breath, and then, before summer sets in and your ability to accomplish anything diminishes drastically, ask yourself a few questions.
Do you want to do this again next year? Is virtual schooling working for your child? Is he or she learning well in this very different type of classroom setting? Does the schedule work for your family, or is it turning your life upside down? Would you be happier with your child back in a traditional brick and mortar public school, or traditionally homeschooling? All of these are questions that you need to ask yourself each year before you push forward to the next one—because if it’s not working, then you don’t want to keep putting all of you through it.
What went really well this year? Did you have a great schedule that worked well for you and your family? Find the perfect way to teach a particular lesson? Win a battle with your kid over their least favorite subject? If so, make note of those things, and write them down. You’ll want to employ them again next year.
What went really badly this year? Were there things that just didn’t work for you? A scheduling conflict that drove you insane? A daily activity that was more stressful than it was worth? Sit down with your child and brainstorm ways that you might make next year better.
What do you want to do differently? This question doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing as the last one. Sure, there are things that went very, very badly that you don’t want to do that way again—and you’ll remember those. There are also things that you just want to try a different way. Maybe you want to get all of your schoolwork done in the first four days of the week and make Friday your “supplemental” day, so you can do more things that all of you enjoy. Maybe you want to figure out a way to be trapped in the house less, in spite of Class Connect sessions. Maybe you want to work in more independent lessons. Think about the changes that you’d like to make and what it might take to implement them.
How can you make virtual schooling more efficient? Maybe you prefer a morning schedule, getting everything out of the way as soon as possible. Maybe you are a bad, bad Learning Coach, and you need to keep your kids more accountable. Look at the ways you need to improve over the course of the next year. Start planning now, and you’ll have a better chance at success when the year begins!