Woohoo! You finished another year of homeschooling! It’s such a good feeling to complete the year and look forward to summer! Time to celebrate! Pat yourself on the back and give yourself some time to just relax and enjoy some time off! You earned it!
Wait! One more thing, before it gets too far past the end of this school year, I want to encourage you to take a little time to evaluate your school year and thing about what you liked and didn’t like about the year. I know, you just want to be done, but this will help make planning the next school year out so much easier. (Trust me, it’s much harder to remember what you want to change if you wait too long to think about it!)
Ask yourself the following questions: (you can even talk with your children about some of these questions)
- What worked well in our daily schedule that we should remember to implement again?
- What didn’t work well in the daily schedule? Make a note of it so you don’t try it again.
- Are we happy with how the school year went?
- Did we accomplish the goals we set? Were our goals achievable or do we need to reassess them?
- Is there anything I should read this summer to help me grow in my teaching skills? (teaching resource books are listed below)
- What could we do to improve our school days for next year?
- Was our home environment well set up for homeschooling, or do we need to make some changes for next year?
- Are there any resources that we need to get before we start school again next year? (such as a printer/copier, another bookshelf, a globe, a teacher’s resource, etc.)
- Have our children grown in character and in their walk with God?
- Are our children spending their free time wisely, or do we need to consider making changes there?
- What caused me to feel frustrated with homeschooling in this last year? Is there anything I can do to change that so it doesn’t happen again?
- Were there any academic subjects that need extra focus for any of the children next year? (Look at the annual achievement test scores for more guidance on this)
- What curriculum did we all really like using and would want to use again if possible?
- What curriculum did we dislike enough that we want to sell it and never use it again?
- Did the curriculum we used fit my teaching style preferences?
- Did we learn anything about the children’s learning styles that we should consider as we buy new curriculum for next year? (for more on learning styles, see my two-part post from 16th and 18th, 2015, called “Understanding How Your Child Learns“)
As you go through these questions, pray and seek God’s wisdom and direction. Ask Him to show you what you need to change and what you might want to work on in regard to your children’s academics, and also regarding their character and walk with Him.
Maybe some of you are on top of things and have already done some of this, but for those like me who were just squeaking by to finish the year out by this time of year, I hope this list of questions will be helpful as you think about the next school year.
Some Great Reads for the Homeschool Parent: (includes affiliate links)
“The Way They Learn” by Cynthia Tobias
“Smoothing the Way” by Mary James (includes DVD)
“Educating the Whole-Hearted Child” by Sally & Clay Clarkson
“The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling” by Debra Bell
“The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens” by Debra Bell
“The Christian Homeschool” by Gregg Harris
“For the Children’s Sake” by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
“Charlotte Mason Companion” by Karen Andreola
“Home Schooling 101: The Essential Handbook” by Mark & Christine Field
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