New Year and Homeschool

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Do you want your new school year, even if it is mid-year, to begin with, a bang instead of a blah?New Year and Homeschool – Great Expectations Episode 458

Do you want your new school year, even if it is mid-year, to begin with, a bang instead of a blah? In this episode, Felice Gerwitz shares her more than thirty-two years of homeschool experience with you!

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Why is it that our expectations rarely if ever are realized? We have such high hopes of accomplishing so much, our kids learning at the speed of light and everyone happy and getting along well. How can we change this and still have expectations that are realistic? Link to mid-year evaluation –

Here are some expectation hacks for your homeschool:

  1. Give yourself time to plan what you want to teach and how. Are you using books, an online curriculum, or certain classes or are you doing it yourself? Whatever method be sure you have time to plan.
  2. Schedules that work for you. So many people have great ideas on ways to schedule but if it doesn’t work for you well – it isn’t any good! Routine schedules worked the best for my family. We knew what needed to be done each day, had it on a check-off list and went from there.
  3. Take a day to catch up weekly if at all possible. Friday is a perfect catch-up day for all of the school work that did not get completed, test-taking or crafts, art, or music. It is also a great day for field trips not necessarily planned with a group, just your family as a reward for work completed timely.
  4. Reward system – in life we have rewards for everything but many homeschool families think using a reward system is unnecessary. I disagree. My kids received stickers, small paper ribbons, and the like for completing books, or milestone activities like completing a reading list. We also had pizza and a movie on Friday evenings for a good week of school. The kids loved this.
  5. Being present. Kids know when you are not paying attention or on a device instead of focusing on them and their school work or needs. Use school time specifically for school and save the distractions for before or afterward. This teaches the children that they are important to you and also sets an example. Character is caught not taught.
  6. Give the children examples. If you want them to read the Bible, be reading the Bible when they wake up in the morning or in the evening. If you want your children to learn to speak a foreign language learn it with them. You will be surprised at how enthusiastic the children are when their parents participate.
  7. Healthy competition. I’m not talking about pitting kid-against-kid, but I am talking about encouraging your children to strive for their best. My kids made everything a competition and I truly believed it started with the example I set. Walking on the beach turned into a race. (More on air.)
  8. Self-competition. Allow the children to beat a previous score in math, or memorization work, to improve their writing or art skills. These are ways to encourage your children to keep improving and moving forward.
  9. Memorization work. Very important when the children are younger and their minds are sponges but still works well with any aged children. Greek and Latin roots, Chemistry periodic table, multiplication facts, etc.
  10. No matter how smart or accomplished your child is without good character their lives will be difficult. Good character is one of the number one job skills required by employers. They want people they can trust, that they can count on and that will be honorable.

You can add to this list, but be sure to keep your expectations to what is reasonable to accomplish in a year. If that is difficult you may want to teach in blocks of time. There are all types of methods for teaching and scheduling and finding the one that fits you and your family is ideal.

Realize that it is okay to change. We went from books and workbooks to unit studies in the middle grades back to books in high school. Depending on what you want to accomplish with your family there is no one size fits all. Each child is different and in our quest to just get done we overlook the greatest gift that is right in front of us.

The biggest gift you can give your children is the desire to learn. After schooling there is work and family for our children, that is the end goal, right?

What are your children’s gifts? Is there something you can look at encouraging even if it does not turn into a full-time job someday? Take the time to talk to your spouse about your children and then ask them what they like doing. Who knows a hobby can turn into a lucrative side business!

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