Encouragement Homeschool

Regaining our homeschool pole position

homeschool pole position revised

This school year has been one of our bumpiest. We started out running and had many days/weeks even months of schooling behind us, and then life just got in the way. Even though life happens every day, the circumstances that we experienced were truly unexpected. Because of that, I lost steam and it seemed easier to allow the children to read some books, complete a few worksheets, and call it a day.

One of the reasons that we homeschool year-around is because of the flexibility it allows us. I also take advantage of the year-around homeschool schedule, because sometimes, I just like to take a break. Well, we took a break and now we have lost our homeschool pole position. I am not going to say that we are behind. I have kept us up at a decent pace, but there is much for us to complete before we can officially begin our new school year.

I never like to look at our school as keeping up with the public school system “Jones’,” but I like to keep up with the academic plans I make each year, because it has been a good guide for ensuring my children are where I believe they should be academically.

Over the past few weeks, I have jumped back into the race and have come to realize that we did not accomplish much of the work I had on schedule for the school year. There were so many extras that I wanted to include this year. Some we got around to like adding more history, and others never came to fruition like bringing science into our classroom on a regular basis.

While I regret that we were unable to introduce several subjects into our classroom, I have made plans to focus on where we are and where I want us to be to regain our homeschool pole position. Some of the steps I have made include:

1. Not being so hard on myself.
At first, I felt guilty, because I do not want to limit my children in what they have the opportunity to learn. I regained my confidence and realized that I am a good teacher and that my children are still receiving a good education in our school. So, I quickly let the guilt go.

2. Focusing on and planning to complete the subjects that are of true importance to us in our school.
For us they are Bible study, language arts, literature, math, physical education and writing. All of the other subjects that I want to eventually add on a regular basis like fine arts, history, and science will come, but for now or at least the next few months, we are sticking to the top six, which should keep us quite busy.

3. Plan for a new school year.
Although my focus is on completing the work for this period, I am excited about what is to come for the new school year. With that excitement comes the belief that we can cover everything. What I plan to do is again focus on our top six and then add the other subjects according to the importance of that subject in our school. We cannot do everything and I realize that now, so I will focus on the most important subjects and add as we are able to throughout the next school year.

Although homeschooling is truly not a race, there is a pace that I want to continue to ensure that I am providing my children the best education that I am able to during their years with me. As a teacher and a parent, I want my experience to be just as pleasant as I try to make it for my children. Less pressure equals less stress.

How about you? Are you maintaining your homeschool pole position? Do you find you put too much pressure (adding more subjects than needed at one point) or are you pacing yourself just fine?

 

Although Jennifer now lives in Small Town, USA on the southern part of the map, she will always remain a California girl. She is a Christian, wife and homeschool mother, who has been blessed with three beautiful children (a.k.a. the ‘Wild Bunch’). Her homeschool style is still being determined and Jennifer is just thankful that she and her children are able to stay-at-home and learn together. Jennifer is a writer, who enjoys reading (as do her children), running, too much time on the computer, sewing and taking lots and lots of pictures (just ask her children). She is also a lover of food and can be found in her kitchen whipping up something delicious and vegetarian. Oh, she never forgets dessert. Visit Jennifer at Milk & Honey Mommy, Facebook, Twitter.
Read more of Jennifer’s articles at Hip Homeschool Moms.

About the author

Jennifer

Jennifer now lives in Small Town, USA, but will always remain a California girl. She is a Christian, wife and homeschool mother of three children (a.k.a. the ‘Wild Bunch’). Jennifer is a writer, who enjoys reading, running, too much time on the computer, sewing and taking lots and lots of pictures (just ask her children). She is also a lover of food and can be found in her kitchen whipping up something delicious and vegetarian. Oh, she never forgets dessert. You may find her writing at her personal blog, Milk & Honey Mommy and for West Tennessee families at Kid Madison, a blog for kids, teens and families and at Homeschool Roster, a listing of events and news for homeschoolers.

4 Comments

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  • We school year around, also. We started out of necessity, after life tossed me a curve ball. I had to quit schooling for two months. Two whole months! I was a disaster, and felt guilt and shame that I had to quit schooling, because something had to give. When I finally got back to normal life and started back to schooling we focused on math and literature/reading. I started with a literature guide, but dropped it since it seemed to steal the joy of reading great books. We added more subjects as the year went on, to get back to normal. The only thing that has caused me some trouble is there is no one month when we are done. I don’t think my children care, it’s probably my public school education coming out in me.

    All of that said, I really am enjoying the year round schooling! It has made learning an everyday event, part of our daily life. I really love that. I had burn out this April, I really just wanted to be outside riding my horses, so this year I made a school schedule that includes planned time off. December will be off from regular school focusing on family and our religious studies, the week of the Fourth of July, we are always with family, and the month of Aprill, next year will be very flexible.

    • KB,

      I’m glad that you let the guilt go, because it does have a tendency to cloud our focus. We also don’t have one full month where school is not part of our lives, but my children don’t seem to mind. Learning is part of our everyday lives and I have found that periodic breaks throughout the year (one, two or even three weeks) is enough before we are ready to return to our regular schedule.

      I have also always wanted to take some time off during December to focus more on family and religious studies and will ensure that happens this year. Enjoy riding your horses. It sounds like a wonderful way to spend some time off.

  • What most families discover is that their family’s educational needs cannot be met by a single curriculum… and that blending several homeschool programs and approaches can increase effectiveness. This eclectic homeschool approach allows the optimal education for children being homeschooled.

  • Schooling year round definitely helps for those bumpy weeks when you just know that if you don’t take a break you’ll crash. It’s also great for those too-hot-to-go-outside weeks during the summer when there really isn’t anything you’d like to do that involves leaving home. Getting a breather and then getting back in position is your best bet! 🙂

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