After graduating the two oldest of our eight kids, I know full well that time does indeed fly and, because of this, that I need to be intentional in how I parent and educate the rest of my kids while they are still at home.
From creating a homeschool mission statement to planning our daily and yearly homeschool schedule, I want to make the most of my time. That is why every year I do a mid-year homeschool assessment. This is where I step back from the day-to-day and look at where we are, where we are going and try to see if they line up with where I want to be heading!
What is a Mid-Year Homeschool Assessment?
Basically, a midyear homeschool assessment is taking a systematic look at our academic progress, how our schedule is working, how our home life is flowing, as well as taking note of our spiritual growth and relationships.
For a more in depth look at how I do our mid-year homeschool assessment, read this post.
Academic Homeschool Assessment
Every year, I plan out curriculum choices for our kids. You can see what we initially chose here:
At the last minute we scrapped our plans for 2nd, 5th and 6th grades and switch to our local Classical Conversations Co-Op. You can read more about our first impressions with Classical Conversation here.
Although this program is rigorous, it is flexible. You can learn more about Classical Conversations and find a group near you by visiting the Classical Conversations web site. For our elementary aged kids, we only add Math and reading instruction, if needed. Since we are now a little over half way through our school year with CC, we have a lot of memory work to do. Some weeks are awesome and some are not so awesome. Isn’t that how it is with any homeschool curriculum?
Our high school aged kids are doing mostly online classes with a little Kahn Academy thrown in for better understanding. We have made changes to their curriculum as well and have decided to try Time for Learning for Government and Economics this semester. Both high school kids have differing degrees of dyslexia and learn better by hearing than through print, so we are hoping that this video curriculum will be a good fit.
Homeschool Schedule Assessment
Every year I make a homeschool schedule, we run with it for a time and then, once it becomes a routine or rhythm, we get a bit relaxed. Inevitably, we begin to veer off the tracks and need to get back to following our schedule closely for a time. Right now we are in the ‘need-to-get-back-to-the-schedule’ phase. The main reason for this is that without inspecting what I expect, assignments don’t get done and come to mid-year, we have only completed one third of our curriculum. Not a rigid schedule follower, I like to keep our schedule open for real life learning. Unfortunately, that isn’t what has been happening lately. It’s just laziness and lack of discipline, so back to the schedule we will go.
Reality Check: Am I beating myself up for this situation? No. In years past, I would have. I would have doubted my ability to homeschool and dramatically questioned my kids’ character. However, I have learned over the past 19 years of homeschooling that we all struggle from time to time. There are lessons to be learned besides academic (like self-discipline, accountability, etc). We are always learning something around here – even if it isn’t from a curriculum!!
Home Life Assessment
Now this is an area where we are actually making steady and sustained progress. This is probably because my kids are getting older. Does anyone else find it amusing that I am constantly amazed at how easy it is to parent and homeschool my remaining six kids? I know I do! Eight years ago when I only had 6 kids, I was singing a different tune for sure!
Lately, our chore and work routine has become pretty solid. I rarely touch the kitchen except to make dinner or snacks here and there for my little boys who are still a bit young for maneuvering in the kitchen. Laundry chores have been handed off to the kids. Everyone has their areas of the house and yards that they are responsible for. I mainly direct the kids to do their chores and, ideally, inspect what I expect.
Spiritual Growth Assessment
One of my greatest joys in homeschooling is the blessing of being able to implement Deuteronomy 6:7 into our every day. Weaving faith and godliness into our daily lives comes so naturally and sparks interesting, heart-felt conversations most days. I have often said that character training should be considered a subject. Some days it seems like the only subject!
Some families seem to have super tight knit families whose kids are best friends. While our kids are each others’ best friends, they sure do fight a lot! It can be easy to look on these times as a failure in our parenting. When I notice my kids fighting a lot, I do take note of my recent parenting. Am I too busy, not praying and reading the Word with my kids, are there other stressors in our lives? Assessing our relationships is so important – I am constantly assessing this with my kids. So yes, my kids fight but they also love and care for one another as they learn to deny themselves (with differing degrees of willingness).
There is no perfect homeschool. We are all learning and growing, falling and getting up.
How is your homeschool year going?
Free Printable Mid-Year Homeschool Review Printables from Upside Down Homeschooling
The Homeschool Mother’s Journal
If you are here for this week’s Homeschool Mother’s Journal, Welcome! and please add your link below. Our featured posts from last week are:
5 Things I have Done Online to Make my Offline Life Better from Servant’s Life
5 Ways to Get Back to the Swing of Homeschool After Winter Break from Home is Where You Start From
Focusing on Progress, Not Perfection This Year from Vibrant Homeschooling