Whether you’re heading for the home stretch in your homeschool or are only a few months in (like our family who homeschools by calendar year), it can happen at any time – you take a look at your homeschool to realize it’s not going as you expected. Your realize you need to get homeschool back on track. Where do you begin, though?
Get Homeschool Back on Track
When things aren’t going as planned, it’s never too late to turn things around and get homeschool back on track! Here are some tips to help turn things around!
The first step is to reevaluate. If something isn’t working or something needs to be added, it starts with reevaluating your current routine. Maybe you’re doing too much? Too little? There is no set answer to these questions. I truly believe each family needs to find what works for their family. There are so many variables with homeschooling – family size, curriculum and style preferences, schedules, etc. As much as I’d like to say “do this,” it’s just not that easy.
So, take some time out. Take a day off during the homeschool week if you need to or choose a day on the weekend to set aside a couple of hours with no distractions to truly evaluate what is working and what isn’t. It isn’t a bad idea to do this every few months regardless. Here are things I consider when evaluating our homeschool:
- Curriculum. Is the curricula you’re currently using right for your kids? Do you need to add anything or take anything away? Is something working for one child but not another? I find it’s always a good idea to ask them, but definitely be specific! I learned the hard way that asking general questions like “What do you like about our school work?” will get you general answers like “I don’t like writing.”
Clearly, that wasn’t the answer I was needing! That came from our oldest son who doesn’t like any writing. So be more direct and specifically point out the curriculum and ask what they like and don’t like about that specific curriculum. The answers may really surprise you!
- Schedule. One of the reasons we homeschool by calendar year rather than a “traditional” school year is because that is the schedule that works best for our family. With our kids’ special needs, taking a break for the holidays then trying to pick up where we left off just wasn’t working well, so it just made sense to start the new year at the beginning of the new year!
In addition to school year, factors to consider are number of days per week and even the hours. Are your kids too tired? Are they antsy or bored? Hours may need to be adjusted based on your kids’ sleep habits. Early risers may need to get started right away whereas late risers may need to ease into the homeschool day. I have both, and we’ve found a way for our oldest to get working independently while the rest of us start later in the day. Remember, it’s about finding what works for your family!
Another consideration for schedule is extra curricular activities, field trips, etc. Sometimes the problem with our schedule is we’re actually doing too much! Be sure to consider all factors involved in your schedule.
Using all the information you collected during your reevaluation, brainstorm ideas to make changes. I have found using a homeschool planner to take notes and write down ideas. Again, set aside some quiet time so you can really focus on your thoughts and ideas.
Now that you’ve identified what changes need to be made to get homeschool back on track, it’s time to implement them. Don’t try to rush into the changes and expect everything to just fall right into place. Making changes takes time. Ease slowly into your new routine and be sure to prepare your kids in advance so they know what to expect.
After you’ve discovered what will work best for your family and you get into your new routine, everyone will feel refreshed!
How often do you evaluate your homeschool routine?