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FEBRUARY 20, 2019

How about that New Start?


The new year is well underway.  The holidays are behind us and we are all thinking about how to finish off our year. This is the time I like to stop and reflect on how our school year is going so far.

New Year Reflections

Every year I like to reflect and write down some things about how I feel our year is going.  During this time I think about our curriculum, what our obligations are and the overall mood of our school year.  I also like to look at our academic goals from the beginning of the year and see how far we have come or still have to go.  Getting a full snapshot of our current situation helps me dissect, evaluate and make informed decisions.

Have kids get involved

I LOVE to sit down with my son and actually have him get involved in evaluating and planning out his education.  I want to set my child up with the ability to one day take full control of his education. Having kids step in and get involved gives them the ability to ask certain questions and find out why things are done like they are.  It also gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment knowing that they had a hand in shaping their education.

Help your kids re-engage

Since my child has had the opportunity to tell me his likes and dislikes, I feel as though my child becomes re-engaged easier.  Configuring what isn’t working or adding more of what is helps him buckle down and finish off the school year strong. It gives a balance between subjects and projects that have to get done with the fun things my son wants to do.

Get kids to love learning again

Getting kids to love learning again can be extremely stressful, especially if they are doing things they don’t want to do or find stressful to do.  After the holidays are over I gradually get the ball rolling into our homeschool year again. I don’t just jump right in where we left off because kids get burned out. It usually takes us about 2 weeks to getting back to full speed and momentum.  I add as much fun extracurricular activities as we can handle. We do more field trips, take some fun art classes or even just simply moving our homeschool to the library or a local breakfast place and get some work done there for a few hours.

Evaluate your curriculum plan

I always evaluate our curriculums.  It can be tough to do because they are not cheap.  Also, it’s hard to stop what you are currently doing and switch tracks.  However, just because you bought a curriculum doesn’t mean it has to run your homeschool.  If it’s not working, it’s not working. No amount of time or energy will make it be a good fit.  Find the right fit and get your kids to love learning!

Examine current obligations

Sometimes we do too much and sometimes not enough.    Getting the right balance of home time and extracurricular time is key.  For everyone that balance looks different. It can also change from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.  Everyone has seasons in life and changing and growing with your children is what home educating is all about.

Create a Plan

After you have done your evaluations and talked to your children about what they want to see added or eliminated, it’s time for a plan.  Creating a plan helps everyone stay on task and finish out the year strong. It helps ensure that everyone is happy and working at full potential.  Being a homeschooling family gives us the opportunity to specialize our children’s education to fit their needs. If we keep that in mind our seasons will seem seamless and our school years will evolve with our children.

Sincerely,
Nancy Parcels
Volunteer Contributor
Nancy Parcels
Nancy is an Orthodox Christian wife and mom to a 6-year-old son and two angels originally from Illinois.  She has been married to a chef for almost 10 years and has homeschooled her son his whole life.  She has a Montessori Certificate in pre-primary education and has enjoyed tutoring children for 15 years.  She is a huge advocate for literacy and the family read-aloud movement and currently uses Classical Conversations. Nancy and her family enjoy the beauty of living in South Carolina!