Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Middle of the Year Evaluations

The middle of your academic year is a good time to start evaluating where you are, and where your want to be at the end of the year.   Be honest, and realistic with your goals for the rest of the year.

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Likewise, this is a great time to start making notes of weak areas you see in your children’s education.   This doesn’t mean start picking them or YOU apart for any short comings.   But you do need to pay attention and see if there are any gaps.    Spotting areas that need work is easier than you might think.

Listen to your kids.     Lindsey is great with telling time.  However, I’ve noticed she’s been having a harder time with her math because it’s asking her things like “If it’s 3pm in Anchorage, AK what time is it in Nashville, TN?”   Telling time isn’t the issue,  not knowing the state abbreviations IS the issue.   We need to focus more on geography.

Olivia loves history and writing reports. I find that if I give her a creative writing assignment that involves anything to do with history she’ll turn in a 6 page report. Handwriting a 6 page report for her takes f.o.r.e.v.e.r!!   She needs to learn to type.

Listen to your husband.  If he says “I told Jimmy to double recipe and he was lost”  listen to him.   He’s not an emotionally tied to the things you’re pouring yourself into and he can see it more objectively.  Sometimes kids know how to do the work on paper, but we need to teach them how to apply what they’ve learned to real life.

Listen to your gut instinct. Nobody knows your child as well as you do. Even if they have “passed” the course, you know if they really understand the material well enough to move on. Don’t fall into the trap of “pushing them through” when they need to review or redo. I’m sounding a bit Seussical there, huh?

Remedial work, retaking a class or even backing up a grade (or more) is not a sign that you or your child can’t do this homeschooling thing. Rather, it’s a sign that you have their best interest in mind, and are brave enough to say we need to back up and punt.

Don’t listen to everyone else.   Just because another homeschooling family is doing three co-ops, speaking fluently in Latin and have 2 kids on the junior Olympics team, it doesn’t mean you need to do that.  It also doesn’t mean that you have failed.  It means they are NOT YOU.  This is ok, you are ok, and your kids will be ok.

Next year will be here soon enough.  Jot down a few notes and be creative in how you can address those areas. 

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2 comments:

  1. Joesette,
    I so appreciate this post, it hits home for me so hard. I have been following your blog now for quite awhile but I do not post. I apologize for that, I don't mean to be a "lurker" per say but because I am a new homeschooling mom, I'm completely LOST in every way and having a difficult struggle with wondering if I can even do this. Your last bullet said it best for me and hit home for me the most. I feel that because I am not doing anything at all like others who homeschool, that I shouldn't be homeschooling. Financially, I am in a hardship. I cannot afford to purchase curriculum and books like most do. I cannot afford field trips, nor do I have a car to get there. I cannot do co-ops as much as I would like to. It's just HARD. On top of that, I am very sick and live in chronic pain, so some days, Its hard to school. I hear a lot of flack from my family and most days, I just want to cry. So thank you for letting me know that I hopefully will be okay.
    Hugs,
    Jo
    Joann6274@gmail.com

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    1. Thank you for your comment, and I'm glad you found it encouraging. We are all walking different paths, but we tend to think our path needs to look like everyone else's. I'll be praying for your health, your provision and your peace of mind. You CAN do this!!

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