I absolutely cannot believe we are past Christmas and already on the slippery slope of New Years.
The last half of the year was a haze of doctors and health concerns that have thrown us completely off track. Our daily routines were almost nonexistent at one point and truth be told, I cannot remember the last time we did every single thing on our learning lists for the day.
The good news is, eight years in, I have learned two simple and effective strategies that help us get back on track after the holidays and into the new year.
My first tip is don’t add anything new for the New Year.
I repeat – do NOT add anything right now. (I am sharing all my reasons, as well as my homeschool plan for January today at Simple Homeschool. Please join me there for more about how a new year brings nothing new for our homeschool.)
I use this time of year to complete a Mid-Year Homeschool Assessment.
Why Complete a Mid-Year Homeschool Assessment (especially when I already feel overwhelmed)?
I find a mid-year assessment to be the best tool to help us get back on track in the new year. It actually saves me time in the long run because I am able to be more proactive in our approach. It makes me less likely to freak out that we are behind and start slinging worksheets and new curriculum all over the place. (Trust me, I’ve done it. It’s not pretty!)
What To Include In A Mid-Year Homeschool Assessment
I am 100% certain that this list should vary by family. Having said that, here’s what I typically include in my assessments mid-year.
1. What is my child most interested in right now? How can I incorporate this into our learning?
2. What’s the worst part of our learning? Can I do away with it entirely? If not, what might be another approach to make it easier?
3. What is the one life skill my child needs to work on in the back half of the year?
4. How can I focus more on my child’s natural talents and strengths?
5. What is one fun thing I can do one on one with my child next month?
The Best Thing About Completing A Mid-Year Homeschool Assessment
The very best thing about taking the month of January to complete a mid-year assessment is how much more energized and motivated I feel. The last half of the year feels like the first. We begin again, motivated and excited to learn.
Happy New Years to you and yours!
I wish you tons of grace and as much time as you need to make your child’s learning meaningful and fun.
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.