Well hello 2017. You seemed to have arrived at the blink of an eye and tried to catch me off guard at first, but after much planning and thought, I’m ready to take you on.
2016 was without a doubt a roller coaster. It was definitely a time for firsts. It was the first year that I was part of the Homeschool Review Crew team (which I loved); the first year I really worked on getting my YouTube channel up and running and the first year that I homeschooled more than one child, and wow was it different. I honestly don’t see how all you amazing mamas that have multiple children do it all in a day. I often find myself over-whelmed and struggling to find enough hours in the day.
With taking two weeks off in December, I feel that I’m starting 2017 refreshed. I took the time off to organize, plan and revamp a few things in our homeschool.
Reminding myself that it doesn’t all have to be crossed off.
Lists. I love my lists, but I’m also terrible at feeling like I’ve failed if I’m not able to mark everything off my list in a day. I’m not saying that a new year is going to magically change my way of thinking. In fact, I’m going to have to remind myself daily that the focus of homeschool is about the learning process. Enjoying the look in my son’s eyes when they “get” it, and the joys of spending all this amazing one on one time with them. Learning needs to be fun, not viewed like a chore to cross off our lists.
More Hands On Learning
This is something that I struggle with. I’ve tried adding more hands-on in the past and honestly it can become over-whelming for me. Trying to plan the activities, set it up and then the clean up can be very time consuming. However, I’m determined to add it more this coming year. It also helps that currently our Friday school load is on the lighter side and that’s the day I want to incorporate more hands-on activities, field trips, tea time poetry reading and so much more.
Field Trips and Activities:
I’ve already set down with my handy dandy planner and have started planning field trips, campouts, road trips, historical outings and so much more. Last year we did those things but they were never planned and were always on a whim. There was also times when we simply didn’t do them at all because they weren’t scheduled. This past year we barely went camping, only had a few hikes and I can count on one hand other activities. This isn’t good, especially when we enjoy the outdoors. That’s why I’ve already starting planning those awesome times that our family loves.
Reevaluating Our Current Curriculum
This is something that I have been currently working on. Over the past few months, I can easily see what’s working for my kids and what isn’t. Remember, a curriculum that worked for one child might not work for the other and that’s alright. I have recently switched our History, Science and Language Arts curriculum simply because it wasn’t working for one reason or another. These were all amazing curriculums, just not right for my kids personally. I’ll be sharing those changes in a different post and explain more on why I changed them.
I also have set aside a time slot where I want the boys to play math games and spend a little extra time learning their math facts. My oldest will also be spending 30 minutes reading from a book of his choice.
Organize, Organize, Organize
I admit that our homeschool area can look like a tornado has came through it by this time. Now has been the time to toss out, file and get it all together. Starting the new year with a clean, fresh start. Did you know that right now you can take part in the Homeschool Organization Challenge. This challenge is designed to not be over-whelming which is perfect for the busy homeschool family. I have spent a good week getting our homeschool ready to go for the New Year. I’ve copied, binded, filed and lesson planned. I’m determined to get this New Year off to a good start with a fresh, new routine.
I also just yesterday printed off and binded (yep, I love binding) The Organized Homeschool Life, written by Melanie from PsychoWith6. It’s almost like Fly Lady meets Homeschool Mom. I’m looking forward to implementing this into my homeschool year to stay organized as well.
Set Goals For Yourself:
Yes, this is a post on setting goals for your homeschool, but don’t forget to set goals for yourself. After all, you’re a very important part of the homeschool. I’ll be putting up a post breaking down my own personal goals for the year, but for now if you need more inspiration on how to start laying out your own goals, be sure to check out an awesome FREE Goal Planning Workbook from Creative Homekeeper. It was a big help for me when laying out my goals for the year.