One of the biggest things homeschool moms worry about throughout the school year is whether or not they are on track. I don’t believe that you’re ever behind as a homeschooler. However, I do believe that completing monthly homeschool checkups is helpful for you and your children.
You’re probably thinking one of two things after reading that last sentence…
- I already spend weeks researching curriculum, hours planning and grading for our homeschool.
- How am I possibly going to find time each month to complete a monthly homeschool checkup?
I completely understand. I am a busy homeschool mom too, so I know just how busy you are and how little “extra” time you have. Yet, I also know that if you take just a little time each month to check up on your homeschool it will save you an abundance of time throughout the year.
Why Monthly Homeschool Checkups are Important
1. They say that it takes 21 days to create a new habit.
Most of the time we view that as a good thing because we use it to set goals. It can also apply to bad habits. By taking time each month to take a deeper look into your homeschool you can ensure that bad habits aren’t sneaking into your homeschool. If they are, you can nip them in the bud before they completely take over.
Adjustments to your homeschool will need to be made from time to time. That’s why I personally don’t make detailed homeschool plans more than a month out. If you plan your homeschool monthly you can complete a homeschool checkup at the same time.
3. Both dependent and independent learners need accountability.
Dependent learners need less accountability than independent learners, but you still need to look over their schoolwork without them around. This will allow you to see places they shine and where they could use more help. Independent learners need to know that someone is checking up on their work. It will keep them honest and likely push them to do their best because no one wants to redo schoolwork.
How to Complete Monthly Homeschool Checkups
- Review student’s schoolwork
This is one of the most important parts of a monthly homeschool checkup. Take time to review each of your student’s schoolwork and critique/grade it. Ensure they’ve completed each lesson completely to the standards that you have in place for them. Keep your eye out for lazy students just barely answering questions or writing “?” in place of an answer.
- Discuss the current curriculum
Including your student’s opinions as part of your homeschooling journey will encourage them to be more vested in their education. During your checkup, take time to chat with your students about the curriculum they are currently using. Ask what they think about it, their likes and dislikes, what they’d enjoy more of and what they’d like to drop from their schedule.
Remember, you are the teacher. Just because you’re discussing curriculum with your students does not mean you have to do what they want. I recommend using the feedback they give you to identify “fluff” and remove it if necessary.
- Evaluate your homeschool schedule/routine
Sometimes the schedules/routines that we design for our homeschool just don’t work for us. However, it is wise to try them out for a season because it takes time to get used to new things. If you find that your family is still struggling during your monthly homeschool checkup, you should evaluate it. Ensure you discover what isn’t working for you right now during your evaluation.
- Tweak future plans
Most homeschool moms make some sort of plans for their entire homeschool year. For some it is just choosing the curriculum you’re going to use all year, while others make detailed plans for the entire year. Based on the review of your student’s schoolwork, the discussion of your current curriculum and the evaluation of your schedule/routine, you’re now fully prepared to make tweaks/changes to your future plans.
Trust yourself. That is essential for every homeschool mom’s journey educating her children. You know your children best. God chose you to be their mom.
Take all of the information you’ve gathered during your monthly homeschool checkup and the feedback you received from your children and determine the next best step for your homeschool. Don’t second guess yourself once you’ve made a plan. Try it out for a month. Then it will be time to reassess again and you can make additional tweaks if needed.
Our life’s journey requires change all the time. So, don’t think you’re doing something “wrong” or that you haven’t figured this homeschooling thing out yet. Change is normal. It is a part of life. Embrace it and grow!
How often do you complete homeschool checkups?