Five Homeschool Mistakes I Won’t Make Next YearRhonda Clark
Now that my homeschool year is over, I’ve been reflecting on what went well and what didn’t. I have compiled a list of mistakes I won’t make again next year:
1. I didn’t stick to a schedule.
I started off with a great plan, a wonderful schedule, and a fantastic organizational system. Then, I let everything slide right down into the proverbial toilet. (Guess who’ll be doing school this summer?)
2. I let the monkeys run the circus.
How I ever let them take charge, I simply don’t know. I think a lot has to do with my thinking I’m Supermom and can do it all.
3. I expected too much.
I elevated my aspirations of education beyond what my child could reasonably do.
4. I became distracted by the everyday.
My personal focus and interest in school waned when I became overwhelmed with day to day tasks.
5. No wasn’t in my vocabulary.
I said, “Yes,” to too many non-school things.
So how am I going to prevent these five mistakes from reoccurring next year? Here’s my plan.
1. I will stick to my plans.
Like I said, I had a wonderful schedule and organizational system at the beginning of the year. I had an assignment notebook that I filled every weekend with the next week’s work. Last year, when things didn’t get completed, I just carried them over to the next week. Not this next year.
NEW RULE: If schoolwork isn’t completed Monday-Friday, Saturday work will be assigned.
I will make it clear, that my weekend won’t be ruined. I did my work and I’ll enjoy a couple of days off, but the offender will sacrifice free time. There’s plenty of time during the week to accomplish the assignments.
2. The monkeys will no longer run the circus.
There will be a plan and that plan will be worked. I’m ringmaster of this big top, and I’m going to start acting like it. This house will be cleaned (by the monkeys), and they will know their place. If they happen to forget, I’ll get the lion tamer’s whip after them.
NEW RULE: You will follow the rules of the house or suffer the consequences.
The main way to keep peace and order around here is with systems, routines, and lists. Creating a master list of chores will help the monkeys understand their place and what’s expected of them. It will also leave less time for them to be lazy.
3. I will not overload my monkeys with school.
Actually, it’s just one monkey. I’m homeschooling only one now, but she has learning disabilities and I pushed too hard. I forgot that homeschool is supposed to be customized per individual (something I preach regularly), but I expected too much from her. I’ve scaled back my expectations and her school work.
NEW RULE: Set my monkey up for success in school—not destroy her love for learning.
She does love to learn, and has high aspirations of being veterinary technician. My objective is to encourage this success, not force too much too soon. Her education road may be a little longer to travel than others, but that’s okay.
4. I will not be distracted by an overwhelming chore list.
Being overwhelmed by all the daily task caused me to shut down this school year. I just couldn’t keep up with all the housework, homeschooling, errands, activities, and meal preparation. This is one reason my cute little monkeys took over.
NEW RULE: Family members will be responsible for household chores.
By scaling back what I do daily, as well as implementing a new basic chore system over the summer will allow all of us to acclimate easier when the new school year arrives.
5. I will say no more often.
Last year, we started the year off with several outside activities. I just couldn’t refuse these great opportunities to get out of the house and socialize. We all burned out very quickly.
NEW RULE: Only one outside activity of my little monkey’s choosing.
By reducing the selected outside activity to only one will reduce my time on the road, and increase our time actually doing school work which is the goal of homeschooling.
Now that I have my basic plan already in place, I can start planning that fantastic curriculum without the mistakes from last year haunting me.