As the new year arrives, I often find myself assessing where we are currently and where we want to be. What goals did I have for myself or my family last year? Did we meet or exceed those goals? What changes need to be made?
Sometimes I find it necessary to reevaluate our homeschool methods and make changes. For my family that means we are going to start using Illuminations Year 6. I have been playing around with the schedule grid, and I think I have tweaked it to nicely fit the educational needs of all four of my children. Yippee! I’m so excited to start using The Mystery of History Vol. IV and all its add-ons as the history spine for Illuminations Year 6.
Often times we simply need to take time to reflect on lessons learned, trips we took, and activities we completed. Occasionally I need to spend energy reorganizing school supplies and school areas to be more conducive to learning.
I find it helpful to jot down the goals I have for different areas of my life. I write out things that I want to accomplish in several areas:
- Bible study
Sometimes a goal will carry over from the past year if it is something that I want to continue working on.
For homeschool I assess where my kids are and make adjustments based on my goals. Remember that homeschool is about so much more than book learning. Often I write down goals that are not academic such as working on a specific character trait or mastering household tasks.
I also decide what needs to be changed and what can remain the same. Some changes might include adjusting the dinner menu or working out a carpool schedule to help with transportation.
One goal is to have one day each week that is completely unscheduled. That means that there are no extra activities on that day— no ball games, no sports practice, no outside commitments. It is very easy to quickly become so over-scheduled that there is little time left to relax and recharge. It’s nice if that day happens to be the same day of the week each week.
Maybe the kitchen, which is our central hub for all things homeschool, needs to be thoroughly cleaned and organized. During our busy days of homeschooling, things get messy. Pens and pencils are found in random hiding places. Notebooks need to be cleaned out. What happened to all of the scissors and glue?
During a new year, I assess whether we need to purchase some supplies —glue, tape, markers, paper, etc. But first I do my organizing because I’m likely to find many of these supplies out of their rightful storage places.
Another area that I like to organize is my time. Many moms wear many different hats, and in order to get everything accomplished, we must keep our time a priority. If I fail to plan time to work on certain projects, then those projects will not get completed. In order to make them a priority, I have to schedule time to do them.
This year I printed a planner for myself. I am not typically a paper planner type girl, but I have found that as my kids have grown older and as we have become busier, I need something to keep us going in the right direction. This planner has calendar pages for the month view as well as pages for me to keep track of home, school, extracurricular activities, and my blogging ideas.
With several children needing to be driven to their different activities, I have found it necessary to write things down. While sometimes I feel like I’m supermom, I actually have forgotten important events. I also keep the activities updated in my iPhone calendar so that I can tell at a glance where and when a certain child needs to be. This is especially helpful if I’m not sitting at my computer or with with my paper planner in hand. Sometimes I write down the days’ activities for all to see. This helps the kids to know what to expect for the day and also helps them manage their time so they can accomplish what work they need to do in order to participate in the days events.
What new goals do you have for your home and homeschool?