Okay folks! We’ve made it halfway through this year. It feels good doesn’t it, to have such a big chunk under our belts?!
Or does it?
Some of us might be feeling like we are rocking this homeschool thing. Others of us might be feeling like we haven’t gotten far enough. Maybe we feel like our progress is lacking or we need to put the nose to the grindstone right now.
And maybe we’re right.
Feeling the mid-year pressure is normal this time of year. I usually start to feel it after we return from our holiday bliss. After a couple weeks off school, the need for a return to routine is very obvious. I’m usually quite ready to get back at it. About a week or two after that, the missed spelling words and having to repeat instructions for the same math concept yet again gives me pause.
Wait, how do they not know this yet? Haven’t we gone over this multiple times?
It can be a little disheartening–realizing there’s things we’ve been working on so hard that haven’t yet sunk in. Here are a few things I do to remedy that feeling. Because being the mama and the teacher all at once can sometimes cloud my judgment on our progress.
- I listen to my kids play. The conversations between my kids when they play is almost always something to marvel at. Things that we’ve learned and read about come out in conversation–sometimes when I least expect it. Eavesdrop. You might be surprised about what comes out of your children’s mouths.
- I ask my kids to read aloud from a book they’re loving. We all have more passion about things we are truly interested in. Maybe we just need to hear our kiddos in an area they are really excited about. Sit in on your child’s next chapter of Harry Potter or Pippi Longstocking. You might be surprised at how well they’re reading. I know I have been!
- I look back at September’s (or last spring’s) journal work or math pages. There’s nothing more eye-opening then what’s black and white on paper. You know how you don’t notice how much your kids have grown until you look back at old pictures or they spend a few days at Grandma’s house? Well, it’s the same with comparing old papers. You are sure to see some amazing progress.
- I take a look back over my old lesson planning pages. I’ve started doing something life-changing this year. Each evening, I’ve started recording exactly what we covered or accomplished that day. Sometimes there’s a lot to list and sometimes not so much. I’ll write down things like: baked cookies and talked about fractions, watched Little House on the Prairie and discussed famines, finished a math lesson, went through flash cards four times.
This record-keeping tool has been so great to look back on. But if you haven’t been journaling what you’ve done each day, look back at your lesson planning pages. Or even your calendar. It’s a sure bet you’ll see dates for zoo visits, field trips, lesson plans for math and language arts. Look over those lessons and make mental check marks of what you’ve accomplished. It’s a great feeling to see all of that on paper!
After you’ve taken some inventory on where you kids are, you might still feel like there are some areas that need work. This is totally normal! There probably are areas that need some attention.
So give those areas all your attention for a while.
Push other things aside for a while and only work on multiplication tables or nouns. Hang out there till it clicks or improves. As homeschoolers, exercise this amazing freedom that we have – to focus on the problem areas. Exercise all the learning areas – visual, auditory, hands-on. Immerse yourselves in the problem area till you see improvement. You will.
A good homeschool mama is a conscientious homeschool mama. You are doing an amazing job.
This post is linked to the Hip Homeschool Hop.