On Friday I was featured as a guest poster for The Homeschool Village. You can read my article here or pop on over and show them some love!
As the long drawn out days of summer begin to come to a close, if you are like me, you are beginning to plan for the upcoming homeschool year. Before you start buying all of those new glossy books and stocking up on notebooks and pencils, I encourage you to spend some time in reflection on your past homeschooling year.
If you dutifully and prayerfully reconsider your past year, chances are that there are a few key elements in your days that caused conflict and difficulty. Did the grammar program that worked so well for your daughter seem like drudgery for your son? Was there difficulty in establishing a daily routine? Were you not able to engage in all of the subject areas you had planned?
While you may already have a few points of concern regarding your last year, knowing where to begin in your evaluation can be quite overwhelming. Hopefully the following questions will be of helpful guidance:
- What is your child’s learning style?
There are three different learning styles: visual, auditory and tactile/kinesthetic. While it is common for a person to embody more than one type of learning style, approaching lessons in your child’s main learning mode can help to maximize their educational experience and ease frustration for both parent and child.
- What is your teaching style?
It is equally important to understand your own teaching style. Do you like to facilitate in your child’s learning allowing them to take the lead? Are you better at delegating what needs to be accomplished and laying out the path? Do you thrive on being able to demonstrate and give examples? Knowledge of your own teaching preferences are important to note when creating and delivering instruction.
- Are there any areas of weakness?
Noting the areas in which your child needs improvement will help to guide your focus for the upcoming year. If you know your child is a confident and accomplished reader but lacking in addition and subtraction skills, clearly you can see what subject should be targeted.
- What are your educational goals for each child?
Keeping in mind your end goal for your homeschooling journey is vital in planning your curriculum for the upcoming year. Whether you are intending to send your child to school in the future, planning to homeschool through the high school years, or hoping for your child to attend vocational school or college, there are clear and set expectations that must be meet for each. Failing to meet the requirements could be detrimental to your child’s future.
- What curriculum just simply didn’t work?
There are certain books that served your family well, and there are others that were met with much less enthusiasm. Discovering why those books were not a good fit for your family will help to ensure that a wiser choice is made for curriculum in the next year. Don’t forget to ask the children, often their opinions are very insightful!
- Where do you find support?
At first glance, this may not seem imperative to your next homeschool year. Let me assure you that it is just as important! Networking with other homeschool families allows you to be connected to a greater community and allows for the sharing of resources and information. Whether it is a local support group in your neighborhood, an online homeschool forum, or a favorite homeschool blog, find and seek out places you feel connected and use them to their full potential.
While this is not an all inclusive listing of questions, I hope that it will be of some benefit along your homeschool journey. Enjoy these last few sunshiny days of summer. Happy Planning!
Holly lives in the Deep South where you are sure to find at least one monkey jumping on the bed. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and at Three Sided Wheel, where she blogs about home education and creating Catholic culture in the heart of her home.