Are you embracing the flexibility of homeschooling to make things better? It sounds like a huge overhaul, almost as big as those first questions you had about curriculum and socialization. It’s actually not. Simply adjusting these three things as needed can get you back on track and/or head off future problems. Continue reading »
Reflecting on Homeschool Progress
As homeschoolers, we don't always take the time to reflect on progress in our homeschools. It's good to review progress on a micro level, but also on the macro level. Reflecting should also be a big part of homeschool planning in order to not repeat past mistakes.
We might review end of year test scores, attendance records, and reading logs, but we can improve the homeschool dynamic in our home by also reflecting on the less tangible aspects of progress. Hopefully you will glean some helpful thoughts in these posts about reflecting on your homeschool progress and allow them to guide you as you make your future plans.
If you attended traditional schools growing up, then your teachers usually held parent-teacher conferences and had teacher “in-service” days. That meant no school for the students and a day for teachers to review, plan, and prep lesson plans. They meet with parents to discuss students’ work and progress and answer questions. Well, what about us homeschooling parents? We’re parents and teachers. How does this work? Continue reading »
Is yours one of the many families whose “school year” has a beginning, an end, and then a break before the next year begins? Schooling at home is something to celebrate, and when the end of the year arrives, it presents an opportunity for joyful recognition and reflection. Here are some ideas for ways to make it memorable and special for your family. Continue reading »
Preparing for a new school year is challenging, even for veteran homeschoolers. There are many things that you may want to do now during the summer, such as reviewing the past year, evaluating your curriculum needs, preparing a game plan, creating a budget, and developing a schedule. As you are aware, being a parent and teacher is tough enough, so to eliminate the extra work and stress, start planning ahead. Both you and your children will benefit from your forethought. Continue reading »
For many homeschoolers, November marks the midyear. For year-round homeschoolers it may mark the year end. Either way, during this busy season, make certain you set some time aside to review your progress to see if a change in your schedule or curriculum should be on your radar. Continue reading »
Some states require end-of-year evidence of progress for homeschooled kids in order for them to homeschool in subsequent years. There isn’t actually any evidence that this improves homeschooling outcomes (and many homeschoolers believe it interferes with the educational process), but it is the law in some parts of the United States. Using an evaluator may be one of the options you can choose if you are in a state that requires evidence of progress. A homeschool evaluation can be a more holistic approach than standardized testing. An evaluator can use a “whole child” approach that takes into account accomplishments that do not show up through testing. Continue reading »
I am going to be a math curriculum expert before this whole homeschooling thing is over.
Yep, we are now on our third math program in four years.
This isn’t how I planned it, but then, does anything in homeschooling go according to plan? I would have liked to have begun a math program in Kindergarten and stuck with it, at least through the sixth grade. That would have helped me be able to avoid repetition, progress more efficiently, and be able to keep a more accurate assessment of exactly what she was mastering. Continue reading »
Homeschooling parents are sometimes asked about how often they test their children. Some do give tests that are associated with specific text books or curricula. However, many never give tests, and others only assist their children with learning test-taking skills when there is a practical reason, such as preparing for a state-required standardized test, a college readiness test such as the SAT or ACT, or helping a child prepare to enter a more formal learning situation. Continue reading »
Even though we technically school throughout the whole year, since summer for us is more relaxed, the beginning of June feels like the end of the school year. And, like at any ending, I end up reflecting. I mean, as a homeschooler I’m pretty much solely responsible for the academic well-being of my kids, so I figure I’d better make sure I learn something from each year of teaching, right? I like to think I can be in a better position each year to help my children learn what they need to learn. Continue reading »
You have probably either finished the year or are winding up the year. It’s a good time to reflect on how your curriculum worked for you in each subject (if you use curriculum). Did you find yourself dreading a particular subject? Did your children complain about the curriculum? Did they accomplish the goals that you had set for the year? Continue reading »
Many a homeschooler feels “tested” by testing time. It often feels like standardized tests are a test of us. Of how we’re doing, of our efficacy as homeschoolers, of our success as educators and parents. And it is easy to transfer our own inadequacies and fear of failure to our children at test time. Sure, we want them to learn. Sure, we want them to do well on tests. Sure, it would be great to have high scores to show off to nay-saying friends and family members as “proof” that our little homeschooling experiment really is working. But in order to be responsible homeschool parents, we need to take a true look at how much our focus on standardized testing is about our children, and how much it’s about us. Continue reading »
Springtime usually means “testing time” for homeschoolers. And if you’re at all like me, it is not your favorite time of the year. Although standardized testing is a state requirement for many homeschoolers, it can easily become the most dreaded part of homeschooling. Why? Because many of us feel like test scores are a definitive measure of… well, something. Something, uh, important. Good scores mean we’re doing a good job, and bad scores mean we’re not. Or good scores mean our kids are really smart and bad scores mean they’re not. Or good scores mean our children are learning what they need to know and bad scores mean they’re not. Good scores mean homeschooling is the right thing for our children, and bad scores mean we need to shift to some other educational option. Right? Continue reading »
Many homeschoolers take a break from schooling at least some of the time in December, in order to enjoy the holidays. January can bring a new jumpstart to the educational process, as families “get back into the groove” following traveling, hosting, and Christmas events. The new year is the perfect time to take a look at your homeschool and do some reevaluation – what is going well? What needs to be changed? Continue reading »