The start of a new year is around the corner, and with that new year comes the excitement of making a fresh start. Your homeschool may not need a complete do-over, but you likely need a reset to get out of the mid-year slump. This is the first post in the Refresh Your Homeschool Series. This series will help you hit the ground running on January 1st.
Today, we are going to cover one of the hardest parts of getting over the homeschool slump. We need to carve out some distraction-free time for ourselves so we can think and write. It's time to evaluate how your year and homeschool has gone so far.
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Ready? Let's Get Started!
Most of you are about mid-way through your school year, and I'm sure you have a mental list of things that you want to change. Get that list out of your head and down on paper. It's time to focus on things that aren't cutting it for you and your family. Grab your favorite notebook and pen and get ready to write. Write down everything you have thought about, good and bad. If you have wanted to try a new program or hate any of your current lineup, it's time to jot it down. Here are some ideas to get you going.
Is your curriculum working for you and your family? Did you start the year committed to a spiral math program only to realize that you and your child are bored to tears? What homeschooler hasn't had a program just not fit their family? It happens. Don't be afraid to write it down and flag it as a no. On the other hand, if you have a program that your child loves and gets excited over, jot it down. You're not limited to writing down negatives. Write down things you want to try, want to try to do without, and things that do and do not work with your curriculum.
While you evaluate your curriculum, have an honest look at all of your subscriptions and apps. Do you actually use all 5 of those reading apps that cost $10 per month? How about that educational subscription box? Some subscriptions are absolutely worth it, but others are a drain on your pocketbook. [click_to_tweet tweet="Did you know that the average person wastes about $500 per year on unused subscriptions?" quote="The average person wastes about $500 per year on unused subscriptions." theme="style2"] I bet you can think of something else to do with that money.
I am sure we all enter our homeschool journey with a mental image of how our homeschool will look. For some, they start out with a plan to have a very structured school at home approach. Others may think they will be whole life unschoolers. What tends to happen is people and philosophies change. Some families find they do better with less structure and others need a bit more to make their life easier. That's one of the beauties of being a homeschooler. We can always adapt our homeschool to meet our needs. Re-evaluate your homeschool philosophy and make sure your program aligns to your needs.
Routine and Schedule
Could you refresh your homeschool through a schedule or routine change? What we do at the start of the school year does not mean it continues to be a good fit. If your toddler has after lunch meltdowns, it's time to reshuffle your schedule. Do math with your older children in the morning and move read-aloud time to the afternoon. Is a morning basket not your thing or have you wanted to try a morning basket? Write it down. Think about your hectic and peaceful times of your day. Is there something going on that contributes to the stress or calm?
I am a planner and I stress over my plans. I could never fly by the seat of my pants, but, I do struggle by being one of those people who plan too much. I need to ease up and relax a bit. My family could definitely benefit with me being more flexible. Are you like me? Do you plan too much? Perhaps you don't plan at all and need a bit more structure. If there is something about your planning style you feel you need to address or that works great, put it on paper.
How could you possibly refresh your homeschool without a look at your homeschool organization (or lack thereof)? Write down things you see in your homeschool area that needs a bit of an overhaul. Do you have a dedicated space for all of your library books? How do you keep track of all of those scrap bits of paper with ideas jotted on them? Is your curriculum and reference material stored in an area that is easily accessible? You want your space to work for you, and you need to write down what works well and what doesn't work. This isn't applicable to only those with a dedicated homeschool room. If you are using your kitchen, I know there are things about your kitchen that may or may not fit the needs of your family.
The six ideas I have given you should get you started on your homeschool evaluation. Don't limit yourself to my suggestions; keep on with your own ideas and inspiration. Do keep in mind that you do not need to make change for the sake of change. The goal is to make sure you acknowledge what works along with acknowledging what doesn't in your homeschool.
The next part of the refresh your homeschool series will focus on how to make a plan of attack to help you and your homeschool create a fresh start for the New Year! If you're a subscriber, go grab the free Refresh Your Homeschool Printable from the Member's Area. If you aren't a subscriber, what are you waiting for? Go sign up for the email list and access your copy today!
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