Saturday, January 2, 2016

Mid-year perspective!

     The holidays are over and first semesters is coming to an end!  It is time for the ever needed (and sometimes dreaded) mid-year perspective!  Let's face it friends!  a lot of things can happen in a semester!  So, now is the time to see what has been accomplished, what's  working, what's not working, and how to tackle the second leg of this school year!

     I always gather up our curric and take assessment of what is working and what is not.  Making sure everything is still working for us as a whole and as individuals is important.  If you decide that you need to remove some things- do that now.  No need continuing something that either is not right ever or not right right now.  Just put that stuff to the side and deal with it this summer.
     It's okay if things aren't working.  Do not feel guilty!  Do not stress out!  Do not keep using things that are not working just because of money!!!  There are ALWAYS OTHER OPTIONS.  You may need to look online and use a free program.  Or maybe just create your own homeschooling learning journals.  Or maybe you need to purchase other stuff.  Just don't keep torturing yourself or your children if curriculum you are currently using isn't working.

     Now, figure out where you/child are at in the curriculum you have.  I usually look at when I want to more or less be done with school (end of May) and I count up how many school days are left and divide the amount of schoolwork still needing to be done into that.
     For instance.  The older kids' language arts through Queen Homeschool has 180 lessons for 180 days of school.  So I figure that we have about 100 days of school left (that put us mid May- we usually wrap up sooner and do a research project in May).  CH11 is on lesson 114 in her LA book.  So I minus 113 done lessons from 180 lessons and get 67.  That is how many language arts lessons she still needs to do and she has 100 days to do it in.  Perfect!  She will be done ahead of time and have more time to work on her research project!
     Sometimes we tally in ahead on things and sometimes we are behind on things.  Figuring out where you are at allows you the time to make adjustments.  Sometimes you need to do some combining.
     Let's say in history you are 8 lessons behind.  Look and see if there are either some lessons you can skip or maybe some you can combine.  Two years ago we were sooooooo sick in November, December and January.  Needless to say, when I did my Mid-Year check up, we were quite behind.  I was able to combine many history lessons by finding documentaries that covered several history lessons at a time.  We drank tea, blew our noses and watched documentaries.
     Give yourself freedom to lighten up.  It really is okay if you spend a month watching doco's while sick and not doing any writing assignments.  Who has the energy for that!  Let everyone get better and tap into more creative things.  Let them make a lego movie, or color pictures or print off some "color your own artwork" from famous paintings off line.  It really is okay to not do what the assignment is and instead make your own.

     I've had to ask myself that question concerning my my son A10 throughout the years.  He was a very reluctant reader, all boy, and really not ready for "school-school" until this year.  I REALLY WISH I had just relaxed and left him alone.  Actually I wish I had found the do it yourself homeschool journals much sooner because I would have just had him do those... and that's it!... well and math- I'd have had him do that.  
     Anyway, search the internet, read some blogs, talk to friends and see if you need to switch gears and use something different for your homeschooling.

     Let's face it!  Life happens!  Maybe you got pregnant.  Maybe you had a baby.  Maybe there was some series family thing that came up.  Maybe you moved.  Maybe you are preparing to move.  Maybe...maybe...maybe...  Things happen and it's perfectly acceptable to redefine your goals for the year and make adjustments.

     It's easy for everything to get out of control over the holidays so- clean up, and get things back in
I used these when I was only schooling
4 kiddos.  Kids rolled them around the house
to where-ever they/we were doing school
their place.  If your system isn't working, come up with a new one!  Don't have a school room- don't worry about it!  I used to think I needed a whole room and a white board and... stuff.  GAH!  Stuff makes my head hurt.  I want to put it all away and just have a home at the end of the day. School happens all over the house so the lack there-of  of a school room won't harm you.  For a long time I had those three drawer plastic tote things on rollers from walmart for each kid.  The top drawer help that childs stuff like pencil box, scissors, rulers, ect,  The other drawers held their workbooks.
New system!
 Eventually that was not practical.  Now they each have a box that their stuff goes into and they keep them on a shelf.  The new system only holds their book stuff.  Things like pencils, scissors, rulers, etc, go in general bins elsewhere.   My point... Work with what you have and be happy with what you got!

Drinking my favorite tea!  Lavender Milk Tea!

     That's really all I do.  Purge. Calculate.  Organize.  Relax.  At the end of the day.  You need to give your self credit for a job well done.  Even if first semester didn't go as planned, it doesn't mean the year is a bust!  You have a new plan in hand, things are ready to move forward and you can relax before hitting this next semester!

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