Whether you’re looking back on the first half of the year or focused on the year as a whole, it’s important to reflect on your year to see what worked and what didn’t in your homeschool. Taking stock of strengths and weaknesses is an essential part of growth. It can also be reassuring, especially as new homeschoolers, to see how much progress has been made instead of dwelling on the negatives.
Here are some tips to guide you as you reflect on your homeschool year:
4 Homeschool Reflection Tips
Spend Some Time Talking to Your Kids
It’s amazing what answers we get from our kids when we ask. Spend some time reflecting with your kids, so you can all understand what was good and not-so-good about this school year. Give them a chance to ask questions, too.
Some questions you might consider are:
• What changes do you notice in your child?
• What do you need to do to prepare for next year?
• What are you most happy about accomplishing this year?
• Where do you have room for improvement?
• Did you love the curriculum you used or do you need to make some changes?
• Could you have visited the library more often? Taken more field trips? Participated in more local homeschool group activities?
These are just some general ideas to get you started as you reflect on your homeschool year together.
Evaluate What Your Family Has Learned
Most people would agree that homeschooling is a journey. It’s not just an individual learning path, but the whole family is learning as a whole. Don’t be afraid to look at the big picture. The great thing about evaluating what you have learned is that there is no right or wrong answer.
Write It Down
Even if your state doesn’t require it, it’s always good to keep a written record of your child’s progress. This can be done in transcript form, narrative, or a portfolio combining completed work with photos and narrative of your homeschool year. Do whatever works for you because you’re more likely to stick with it year after year. Keeping track in writing will help you remember and measurably mark progress from semester to semester or year to year. It will also be a nice keepsake when your children are grown. Consider it your homeschool yearbook!
Setting goals in any area of life is helpful, but especially in homeschooling. Choose a goal for the semester, for the year, and even for your overall homeschool vision. What will success look like for you when all is said and done? This vision can help you get through the tough days. It can also keep you on track when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Goals help us to focus. Remember that they’re guidelines, not hard and fast rules. The beauty of homeschooling means that we can adjust as necessary to meet our educational goals in the way that works best for our child’s individual needs and learning style.
Whatever method you choose, spend some time reflecting on your school year. It’s never too early or too late to evaluate your progress, shore up your weak spots, or celebrate your successes.
About the Author
Sara is a homeschooling mom of three daughters. She blogs about their delight-directed, literature-rich homeschool at Embracing Destiny and at The Homeschool Post. She has been a speaker at the Digital Homeschool Convention in 2016 and 2017.