By contributing writer Colleen
It’s January. A time to take stock, look at what’s working, and what’s not. And, once you have an idea of what needs adjusting, it’s the time you usually decide to throw out the old and try something new.
What if it’s your homeschool that’s not working, though? You can’t really throw it out and do something else.
Or can you? Maybe…maybe not.
You may not be able to throw everything out — curriculum costs money, and it’s not smart to switch to a new program every time it seems like something’s not working. However, it’s not smart to stick with something that’s not working either.
One of the best thing’s about homeschooling in the first place is that you have the freedom to change things that aren’t working for your child to customize his or her education. But what do you do if it feels like nothing’s working?
Take a Break
Seriously, even if you’ve already taken off the whole month of December, and it feels like you’re completely behind where you should be — stop everything. Take a break and figure out what isn’t working.
It will not do anyone any good to push through something that’s not working in the first place. In fact, you may end up burning out and resenting your homeschool. Not an ideal situation.
While you’re on that break, take some time to sit down and reflect on your homeschool:
- Why do you do it?
- What are your goals for each of your kids?
- What is your ideal schedule?
- What do you love?
- What can you cut?
Write down your answers to these questions in a fresh spiral notebook. Then, ask each of your children to write their own answers in the same notebook. You can ask them:
- Do you like homeschooling? Why? Why not?
- What are your goals?
- When do you feel you learn best?
- How do you feel you learn best?
- What do you love?
- What do you loathe?
Make a New Plan
Even if the curriculum itself can’t change, there’s probably something you can shake up to make everything feel fresh again. Can you try relaxing in the mornings and playing board games or enjoying a leisurely breakfast, and hitting the books harder in the afternoon for awhile?
Or, maybe try taking school on the road. Head to the library a few afternoons a week. Go to the zoo, break out the books and a picnic lunch, then head to see the animals after math is finished up. Go to a playground and have your kids hang upside down while you quiz them on their math facts.
Just choose at least one thing to tweak.
The goal isn’t to revolutionize your homeschool. It’s to break the monotony. To dig out of the rut you’ve fallen into. It’s to keep you from feeling like you need to throw it all out and send your kids off to public school.
Homeschooling can be a challenge — for you and your kids. Take a bit of time to put it all in perspective and change a few things. You’ll all fee better as you begin the second half of your year and head to the finish line.
What are some of your ideas for changing things up?