It’s time for a homeschool mid-year check up! Just like you get check-ups, your homeschool needs them too.
Do you go to the doctor when you’re not feeling well? Hopefully you’re better about it than I am. I typically wait until I feel like I’m dying before I call the doctor and that’s usually one of the worst things I can do. If I would have gone sooner, not only would I have felt better faster, it also wouldn’t have gotten as bad as it did. All those years of not going in for a checkup isn’t the best thing either. What if something was wrong with me and I didn’t know it yet? You would know if you did a homeschool mid-year check up!
A check up could alert the doctor and myself to something that’s wrong before it gets serious. So why do we put them off? It’s no different for my homeschool or yours. Even homeschools need checkups, and doing a homeschool mid-year check up is a must. Why bother? Especially if everything seems to be going really good.
It gives you a chance to review your goals – are you meeting them, or not, or sorta kinda. Maybe homeschool is going great, but could you spice it up a little more? Are your kids really learning? Is everything going great because the work is too easy and not challenging them? Maybe you’ve just found a really great rhythm and nothing needs tweaking. Congratulations! Enjoy this phase while it lasts!
Why do a mid-year homeschool review? By the time you reach the Christmas break you’ve been using your curriculum long enough to hopefully now if it’s working or not. This is the best time during the homeschool year to make change. You can start fresh after the break. There is still enough time to tweak what you’re using if it’s not working for you. Can’t order new curriculum? Then just tweak what you’re using or go back to what was working. Make it work for you, not the other way around!
Review your goals for the homeschool year. Are they obtainable? Have you met your goals? Make some new ones. Look carefully at your kids grades, is the work too hard? Is it too easy? Or is it Goldilocks? Are you having any discipline problems that need to be addressed? This can be a reflection of the curriculum, learning style and many other things. Take time to think and pray over these things now before it becomes worse.
How’s your record keeping? Are you keeping up? If not, take this time to get caught up. Do you like your record keeping or would you like to switch next year? Make notes! Take time to really assess your whole homeschool, the curriculum, classes, projects, extras and make notes of what you’d like to change for next year. Are there fun projects or field trips, movies, anything that you forgot about or would still like to do? Try to see if you can work them in.
Talk with your kids! Ask them how they feel homeschool is going. Are they being socialized enough? Are there things they want to learn that you didn’t know about? Do they feel like they’re struggling anywhere or would they like a little more of a challenge? You’d be surprised at what your kids will tell you when they feel like they can open up to you and they should be able to be honest with you about homeschool. But be prepared, we need to be critiqued too, and sometimes that pill can be hard to swallow. But if we need to make changes, then they should start with us.
Think about a mid-year review like a review at your job. Some companies only do annual reviews and some do both. This gives the employer and the employee a chance to find out the company as a whole is doing and if it’s moving along the projected path. It also does the same for the employee. Are you still heading in the right direction, how’s your attitude toward the company and fellow employees, etc.
It’s really no different for a homeschool. We need to know as teachers how we’re doing. We need to know how our homeschool as a whole is doing and are we still on the path we set at the beginning of the homeschool year? How does the principal of the homeschool think we’re doing? If that’s your spouse, are they fully aware of what’s really going on? And what about our students, how do they feel about the homeschool as a whole, their work, curriculum, attitudes, etc.
Now is the time to fix what needs to be fixed for the remainder of this homeschool year. Above all, take time to pray over your homeschool, yourself as a teacher and your kids as students. Then take time to reflect and review. You could do it a home, Starbucks or do it retreat style and go away for a weekend. Wherever you will have some quiet time. Just remember this is not the time to beat yourself up. It’s just a mid-year checkup!