Why do you need New Year’s resolutions for your homeschool? I’ll be honest: I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. In fact, several years ago I resolved not to participate in the seemingly pointless, tradition of sharing with friends all the ways I was going to make my life better in the coming year. What a set up for failure, right? I mean, all these ads and sales for healthy foods, supplements, weight loss products, exercise equipment is enough to prove that resolutions don’t last; otherwise all these things would be in your face all year long.
But today I’m not talking about exercise and diet resolutions; I’m talking about resolutions for your homeschool. Are there changes you’d like to make? Things you’d like to do differently? Do your kids have ideas about what they’d like to add to their schooling? Now is the time to regroup, recharge and resolve! Making New Year’s resolutions for your homeschool is important and here’s why:
Making Resolutions for Homeschool Helps You to Take Stock of Things
Mid-year, (or right around mid-year depending on your schedule) is the perfect time to take stock of things. Revisit your mission statement. What has worked so far? What hasn’t? Write the successes and failures down.
Helps Kids Take Ownership
It provides a chance to involve your kids in the creation of their education. Ask your students to answer these questions too. Kids can participate in these discussions at any age. In our home we have “team meetings” and discuss things like this. I have found these discussions to be very eye-opening and my girls bring more ideas to me than I ever would have thought of myself.
Look at Your Road Map
Making new year’s resolutions for your homeschool gives you a road map of where to go next. If you are anything like me, you want your kids to have wonderful experiences. Isn’t that why we homeschool after all? Jot down all the field trips you want to take, all the places you want to see, all the things you want to do aside from the actual academics and make a list. Plan these out on your calendar for the first part of they year.
Writing these ideas down together with your kids really helps provide a starting place. I am a big fan of lists. I like to make lists, I like to cross things off of my list, and I like to take about list-making. Sometimes though, I get caught up in my pretty lists and forget about why I started making them in the first place. Here’s how to avoid that trap.
Keep it Simple
Don’t do anymore than is suggested above for now. Start with the suggestions above and make three lists of resolutions for your homeschool:
- What Has Worked So Far
- What Needs to be Changed
- Things We Want to Experience in the New Year
Celebrate the things wrote down on your first list! Remember them. Write all these down somewhere else and save it. Refer to it often! See our post about sticking to the plan (or not!) here. This is what I’m talking about! We need these reminders. Don’t forget them!
Chart a New Course if Necessary
Look closely at what needs to change. Don’t be afraid to admit it or do something about it. No homeschooler ever hasn’t changed things up. Most importantly, be sure to find out why those things didn’t work. Ask your kids for ideas if you are not sure. So often I’ll think that something I have planned will go over well with my girls, only to find out that their interests are different or that they’d rather try it a different way, in their own style of learning.
One of the biggest advantages that we have as homeschooling families is our freedom to be flexible. For us, this means having the flexibility to take off for a few days to see snow in another state, or to ditch the math lesson halfway through when friends call to see if we can join them for a hike.
Don’t Forget to Plan for Fun
In the beginning of our school year we make a plan for at least the first three to four months and jot down what field trips we want to take. We always include some to the theater, the orchestra and the ballet. What types of things are your kids interested in? Find ways to expose them to these things. There are so many opportunities for us as homeschooling families! We love it!
When you finish your list of resolutions done this way, you will feel renewed and inspired, not guilty and worried about failure! Share with us one resolution you will make this year, whether it be a personal resolution or a resolution for your homeschool. We’d love to share ideas and inspiration!
While I was writing the original version of this post, Kate decided to add her own resolutions to our whiteboard list. A homestead can always use more land and more animals, can’t it? Oh, and cake, Yes, cake, too.