Even if your year didn't start out with a kiss at midnight in Time's Square and a page full of resolutions, many people make resolutions on New Year’s Eve. Whether or not you are a resolution, promise-making parent; the start of a new year is the perfect time to sit down and reevaluate how successful your homeschool is in terms of accomplishing your most important goals. Why not make some homeschool resolutions for a new year.
At the start of each school year, most homeschooling parents begin to feel excited at the opportunity to start fresh. Maybe it brings back memories from your own childhood of how new school supplies felt in your hand or even how they smelled. They were a symbol that marked new beginnings.
Now that you are the teacher, those new beginnings often fade fast as children begin to balk at your best laid plans that looked so fabulous on paper back in August. January is a great time to ease back into the rest of the school year with new ideas.
Below are some ideas for reevaluating how successfully your homeschool is staying true to your most important goals:
- Do you have a mission statement? A mission statement is a written, or typed, summary of what you hope for your homeschool to accomplish. If you don’t already have a mission statement, now is the time to sit down and write out your deepest hopes for your homeschool. Start by jotting down why you began homeschooling in the first place. A mission statement is a fantastic tool to pull out on those days when you feel discouraged.
- Most days, do you feel satisfied or frustrated? Take a look at your day-to-day homeschool life. Do most days come off without a hitch, or are there consistent points of contention between you and your children? If there is always at least one battle that wears you out, stop the endless cycle of frustration in your house. Even if your homeschooling system worked on every other child in your family; if it’s not working for one, it will create chaos for the others. Step back and take a look at how you can change your approach.
- Take an honest look at the end result. Some families love, or are required to take, standardized testing each year just to make sure their children are “up to par”. Whether or not you agree with the state and federal standards, there is some amount of reassurance to know where your child ranks with others. Annual standardized tests, in this regard, may be just what you need to assure you of the job you are doing. For other families, standardized testing does not fit at all within their philosophy of education or is not an option for one reason or another. Even so, it is still important to take an occasional look at how your children are responding to the education you are providing for them. It may not be important to you that your seven-year-old is doing second grade work, but it should be important to you that he or she is progressing forward at his or her own pace.
What are your homeschool resolutions this year? Please comment below to share with other fellow homeschoolers who are on the same at-home journey and may be in need of revamping their approach or, perhaps, in need of encouragement that they are on the right path.