As you wrap up your homeschool year, it's important to stop and take some time to evaluate how the year went. This will allow you to figure out what worked and what didn't and give you a better basis for making decisions on how to do things in the next homeschool year.
What exactly do you need to evaluate?
1. Your child's schoolwork.
Look through everything your kids have accomplished during the year. What have they learned? Were your learning goals met? Did they struggle with anything? Were they bored or challenged?
Take note that you also need to check your state laws about homeschool evaluations. Some states may require assessments to be administered, such as standardized testing, portfolios, or an evaluation by an education professional.
2. Your curriculum.
Just because you’ve been using a particular curriculum for a number of years doesn’t mean you should stick to it forever. It’s important to evaluate a curriculum every year to see if it’s still continuing to work for your family.
Assess if your children enjoy using it or if they’re struggling with it. Ask yourself how it’s helping you teach the lessons. Remember not to be a slave to the curriculum because it’s only a tool.
Also take into consideration what you plan to teach in the next school year. If it’s not going to be covered or addressed by your curriculum then that’s something you need to think about.
3. Your schedule.
Assess what worked and didn’t work about how you scheduled your homeschool. Then, assess how that affected your business and household too. Is there anything you need to tweak to make things work better for your family?
Remember though that situations in both your life and business can change. Your schedule last year may not work for the next homeschool year. So, anticipate any changes that may happen and decide how you can create a schedule to adapt to these changes.
4. Your teaching methods.
Maybe nothing’s really wrong with your curriculum or schedule. Maybe you’re just struggling on the teaching aspect itself.
Assess the teaching methods you’ve been using. You might find that it’s just not aligned to your kids’ learning style. In this case, you just need to figure out how to adjust your methods not just to lessen your teaching struggle but also to help your children learn better.
5. Your extra-curriculars.
Do your kids attend co-op or outside classes? See if these are activities that they still need or want to continue moving forward.
Sometimes, kids outgrow a co-op when they are no longer a good fit such as when they become older or develop other interests. It might be time to make changes if this is so.
6. Your workload.
You’re already doing a LOT as a Homeschool CEO. It’s important to assess how YOU are feeling too. How are you holding up? Are you thriving in your current set-up or do you feel too overworked and overwhelmed?
If it’s the latter, don’t give up. Homeschooling and managing a business can be a challenge but it’s definitely doable. Just take time to sit down and make some changes on your workload, whether it’s in your homeschool or business.
As you do all these evaluations, don’t forget to talk to your kids and ask for their opinions. Since they’re the ones being taught, their voice is important too.
Also, remember to look for the positives. You and your kids got through a whole year homeschooling! That alone is a win.