Mid Year Checkup

The year is approaching its mid point and this means many events and activities will demand our attention and jostle our schedules. The most celebrated and time consuming holidays in our calendar year will occur within the next 50 days. How does this affect your homeschooling family? Do you scale back on schooling time to see family and friends, volunteer, or enjoy the wonderful festivities this time of year offers? I encourage you to make the most of these activites but please take time to add one homeschooling item to your list; the mid year checkup.

Mid year checkups do not have to be arduous affairs or time consuming but they are vital to gauging where your family’s learning has succeeded and what changes you wish to make for the months ahead. The approach I used was to sit down with each child and discuss projects they had completed, areas they were seeking helping with and subjects or projects they wished to add or delete for the balance of the year we had planned. Our family schooled year round, so I might have had these discussions at other points in the year, but there seems to be something in our human makeup that likes taking stock of the past calendar year and going forward into the new year with a refeshed point of view and plan. Remember if you find your child is losing interest in a project or course of study they have chosen don’t panic. Assess why this has happened because the reasons can range from the project or subject just turned out to not fill educational needs, the child has progressed faster through the material than had been planned or the child is overwhelmed and scared. Often the first and third reasons can require more time to discover, but no matter what the underlying reason is as the teaching guide you want to reassure your child that it is acceptable to feel disappointed or challenged. This is a great opportunity to learn to refine goals or see how the goals can be reached employing new methods. What this does is offer you and your child opportunity to take control of any learning situation, be creative and feel good about the months ahead.

Don’t forget that learning opportunities are abundant this time of year while planning events, shopping and especially while cooking. Children love to be an integral part of what is happening and I believe this lowers stress, teaches cooperation and creates memories that will be a part of your family life for years to come. Giving our children the gift of creativity and knowledge while celebrating fills them with the certainty that learning and life can be wonderful. Best wishes as you enjoy family and friends this holiday season.

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