This year has been a bit on the crazy side for us as a family. We have transitioned into many new things. Some have been harder than others. But I think what has taken the hardest hit has been our schoolwork. I feel like I have failed. We have tried to stay on schedule and I even thought at times we were, but no such luck. It has been a bit of an eye opener for me though and that is good. I have learned of some of our weaknesses and some strong character traits in my kiddos, as well as myself.
The real question though is “Where do we go from here?” It is time to get serious as I have teens that are entering high school and the game changes. We now have transcripts. We now have to think about graduation requirements. This in itself can be very overwhelming for everyone involved.
Thankfully, not all of the kids are behind. But here is my reality… I did not know where any of them were. I was so busy with work, running kids to activities, and whatever else, that I was disengaged from their schoolwork. Although, we have an independent curriculum when there is no parental accountability there is a tendency to go there own way. (Kinda like their mama;) )
Here is what we have done to get back on track…
5 Steps to Overcome a Year of Homeschool Fail
- Assess each child and determine what level they are. For me, this required going back through the entire year and gathering all of their work and test scores. I wrote everything on a very large chart tablet so I can see where every child is in one place.
- Illicit help. After looking at the assessment and being totally overwhelmed, I knew I could not do this by myself. The older kids needed some serious catching up in some subjects. I had to lay aside my pride and get it done! Thankfully, my Aunt Linda…who is awesome by the way, asked me how she could help. She is a retired teacher that has started her own tutoring and homeschool services. (For all you locals, here is her site http://www.oldschoolhousetutoring.com/) She has helped move my older kids up to grade level and has done some testing as well. Of course, not everyone has an awesome Aunt Linda like I do, but we do have friends and relatives that we can call on. Maybe do some co-oping with some friends or ask your mom to help for an hour or two a week. Sometimes, our children just need a change of scenery.
- Make a realistic plan. After looking at all of our gaps, I made a plan of how to get caught up by fall. Part of the plan is to continue our school schedule through the summer. Every year I say we are going to go through the summer, but inevitably we don’t because of our crazy schedule. But this year because I am working, it has been easier to stick to our routine. If your kids are older, involve them in making the plan and setting some school goals.
- Stick to the plan. There are days that nobody wants to do schoolwork, but we cannot give an inch. I have used electronics and fun summer activities to motivate the children to get their schoolwork done.
- Inspect what you expect. In other words, be engaged! This has been my real focus. I want to make sure I am holding each one accountable and encourage them each day in their assignments (Some require more encouragement than others 🙂 ).
I am going to be real honest with you. Homeschooling is hard. It is a lot of work and requires mom to be very disciplined. But it is worth it! You can do it! Don’t give up! Your children are worth it!