Dear homeschool parents,
You did it! You made through 2020, the year that has been filled with unexpected challenges and has required extra fortitude. Take a moment to think about the good work that you have done this past year, all the meals prepared and lessons taught and worksheets graded and improvised activities to counter boredom, and…all of it! Let me also say that just simply bearing the weight of 2020 is accomplishment enough. And you did it. 2020 finally came to a close.
2021 is Here
We don’t know what 2021 will be like, and we can’t promise you that it will be easier. But we can promise you that Demme Learning is here to support you in any way that we can. And we also have some advice for you for finishing out the remainder of this school year.
1) Take a Break
Seriously. You’ve earned it. We know that you have hours/days to log, and math curriculum (hopefully ours!) to finish. But you have more than earned some time off. Try to take at least a few days, maybe even a week or two, to step away from the schoolwork and just breathe. If you are feeling guilty about that idea, consider playing games as a family, that way you are experiencing some relaxed fun alongside the learning.
2) Consider Scaling Back
Every new year we make lofty goals for ourselves about all the things we’re going to accomplish. And it’s tempting to overcommit in a burst of enthusiasm. Now is a good time to think about scaling back. Maybe you can stretch a curriculum over two years instead of trying to cram it all in one. Maybe you can cut a couple of the extracurriculars that seemed like a good idea at the time but are adding way too much additional stress. Find ways to simplify your schooling in a way that allows you and your student to breathe, and to lean into those moments when spontaneous learning opportunities arise. Also, it’s totally okay to play a nature documentary and count it as science for the day.
3) Focus on Review
It’s hard to learn a lot of new things when we are dealing with stress and anxiety. So if these past few months have been challenging for you and your family, consider focusing on reviewing already learned material to a much greater degree than learning new concepts. This can also be a great time to guide your student into connecting areas of study together, showing relationships between what they learned in history and art, or math and science. Picture a wall being painted; review is adding in layers of paint to reinforce the color. Review isn’t simply about not forgetting already learned material, it’s also about adding texture to our understanding and reinforcing the speed at which we can access that knowledge (this is why memorizing math facts is so important!) When you do approach new material, slow down the pace significantly so that you can build the kind of deep understanding that will serve as foundations for learning more later.
Parents, the work that you are doing matters so much. And we think you are an underrated hero! Keep up the great work, and know that your time and effort will lead to great things.
We hope that you had a great holiday season and that you find plenty of time to celebrate the small wins as a family.
Take good care,
The Demme Learning Team