It’s hard to believe, but the earth has, once again, completed a full circle around the sun! 365 days goes by faster every year!
This is a perfect time to look back at your home school performance and successes over the past year and identify some New Year’s resolutions aimed at setting new goals and (dare I utter the words?) – striving for a new style of PERFECTION!
The trouble with making resolutions is – we ALMOST ALWAYS break them! And quickly! We all know that the best way to never see the inside of a fitness club is to buy a year’s membership in January and then vow to work out at least 3 times a week…right? The next step happens in March or April when we’re calling the center to find out if we can get a refund because we aren’t going to keep our resolution.
In the next few paragraphs, I’m going to drop 10 ideas for making your home school curriculum work harder for you in 2023. I harvested these from all over the Web – if you’re interested in 20 or 30 more ideas for resolutions for your home school, check the Internet – LOTS of great ideas there!
Here’s the one solid suggestion I’d like to make: Don’t wind yourself up writing 6 or 8 or 10 resolutions and then getting into a fight with yourself trying to make them all happen. Take some pressure off yourself and choose just one or two of the items in my list and strive to do just those really well.
- EXAMINE YOUR OVERALL APPROACH: Review what you actually accomplished over the past year and decide whether you think your approach worked or needs a re-make. Adjust your curriculum choice accordingly. Sometimes this means slowing down in one area so your kids can move forward on a subject area that’s been a bit more difficult for them.
- CREATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR INVOLVEMENT: Check out home school activities in your community to find more ways your kids can be involved. Look for volunteer experiences for your students. Use the resources of your local library to set up interactions with other homeschool kids.
- READ MORE: This includes you! If you’re a devoted reader, odds are your kids will be, too! Create ways to get your students to read every day. Sit down and read with them! After-a-while, daily reading will be a habit that will serve them well throughout their lives.
- SPEND MORE TIME OUTDOORS: Nature provides a huge variety of opportunities for educational experiences. Hold some of your classes outside in your back yard or in a park! Weather permitting, try having a books-and-electronics-free nature class once a month!
- PLAN A MONTHLY FIELD TRIP: Team with other homeschoolers and create a fun group outing! Great places to go might be:
Your State Capitol
Local fire stations
Local police stations
& TONS of other great places in your community!
- ADD AN ART HISTORY PROGRAM TO YOUR CURRICULUM: A great way to do this is to use outside educational opportunities. Arrange for your child to attend an art history class at your local community college or “shadow” a docent at a nearby art museum.
- TRY INCLUDING A FOREIGN LANGUAGE PROGRAM: Learning to speak and write a foreign language can help your child learn how to build connections with people around the world, to understand other countries and cultures, and, in the long term, open up exciting job opportunities. Most homeschool curriculum vendors sell language programs. (For a great source, visit https://globalstudentnetwork.com.)
- OFFER YOUR KIDS A CHOICE OF CURRICULUM PROGRAMS: Do your research and show your student(s) three or four core options. Once they’ve made their choice(s), discuss the pros and cons of those choices and then, based on the discussion, choose your new direction. (To access 8 great curriculum programs on one site, visit https://globalstudentnetwork.com.)
- INCLUDE MORE YOUTUBE PROGRAMMING IN YOUR SCHOOL DAY: Try teaching an entire subject using YouTube! Select a topic that fits into the curriculum your homeschooler has selected and assign them to use YouTube to find supplemental resources. Ask them to write a one-page report about what they found and how YouTube was a helpful research tool. Discuss.
- USE MORE HANDS-ON EXPERIMENTS IN YOUR SCIENCE CLASS: Set a goal of including one new experiment per month. Do an Internet search for science experiments that can be completed outside a formal lab environment. You’ll be surprised at how much is available!
ONE HOMESCHOOL MOM’S ADVICE
“Find a better balance between that which is demanding and that which is significant. Instead of feeling sorry about what I haven’t done well in the past or stressing about what I need to get done with my kids for the future, I want to focus on the right now. I want to enjoy the right now. Every moment. Even the hard moments. I want to drink in each moment fully, with a realization that all of our moments are numbered. Busyness is the enemy of joy. And I really, really want joy.” (SOURCE: My New Year’s Homeschool Resolutions (thehomeschoolmom.com)).
This should be the primary New Year’s resolution for your home school. You’ll never get these moments, days, and months with your kids back, so make the most of your time and stay happy!