As the peace and joy of the holidays linger, this time of year offers a unique opportunity for homeschooling parents to assess their efforts thus far and renew or refresh their goals for the new year ahead. Those who’ve just begun to homeschool may find taking advantage of the goal-setting vibes of this time of year to be especially beneficial.
So, homeschool moms and dads, take out a notebook and pen, pour a hot cup of seasonal comfort, and consider the following questions.
What are your favorite things about homeschooling?
Kick off your reflection on a positive note and jot down all the things you’re loving about homeschooling. Perhaps it’s forging close relationships with your children, free time, read-aloud time, the freedom from institutional learning, or freedom for the whole family.
Take your time to make note of the tiny as well as the huge things—you’ll want to continue to foster and appreciate those in the new year.
What aspects of homeschooling are draining you or your children?
Maybe a particular science unit sounded good in August but is now dreaded, or an online class turned out more tedious than advertised. Perhaps the morning routine you mapped out is leading to anxiety instead of organized bliss.
One of the greatest benefits of homeschooling is the inherent flexibility. If something isn’t working, it’s time to change. Of course, discernment between a healthy challenge and a soul-sucking endeavor is key here. Identify those aspects of homeschool that aren’t life-giving so that a new strategy can be implemented.
What are your high-level goals for your homeschool?
Review why you embarked on this journey in the first place and why you continue to walk this path. Maybe it’s that your children’s spiritual and character development are first and foremost; supporting the unique talents and interests of your children is the top priority; or maintaining the freedom to travel as a family is key.
Remind yourself why you’re doing this and take note of any new priorities you’ve identified with experience.
How is your day-to-day?
Now zero in on the way that your daily rhythms and routines unfold. How does the day begin? How are the group activities and independent activities? Are you getting outside as often as you’d like? Is everyone getting enough sleep? How are extracurricular activities going?
Considering the aspects of the nitty-gritty may help you identify ways to improve your homeschool experience, making things more efficient or more joyful by focusing on the fine details.
How do you want the new year to be?
Looking ahead, what are your hopes for the new year ahead? What do you want to maintain or enhance? What do you want to change?
What’s your plan?
Finally, identify the actions you’ll take and when you’ll take them.
Go forward with confidence knowing that you can come back and reassess using this framework any time of the year.