Have you come to the end of another year of homeschooling and are questioning where you’re headed? Or maybe it’s part way through the year, and you hate every choice you made six months ago?
Could you need a homeschool reset?
Perhaps you’re like me and the homeschool you once had no longer exists, and you’re trying to determine whether you should strive to return to that time or forge a new normal in your homeschool journey?
Whatever the reason, sometimes we need to have a homeschool reset. A clean slate upon which we can envision a new direction and create a new rhythm of learning at home.
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Homeschool Reset Starts with Why
The first question I feel I need to revisit on my homeschool reset is why do I homeschool. Has that reason changed over the years?
So why have you chosen this alternative path?
- You think you can do a better job
- Your child has needs that weren’t being addressed in school
- Bullying and violence
- Belief in individual freedom
- Testing and other stress-related factors
- Religious reasons
It’s hard for me to remember after all these years why I initially decided to homeschool, but my reason now is primarily a belief in individual freedom and that school as we know it isn’t necessary or even beneficial.
So I think we should sit down and write out all the reasons we homeschool. Everyone’s list will be different, and these beliefs will help guide us in creating the homeschool we desire.
Consider the Who of Your Homeschool
Next, we should think about our children individually. My family has changed a lot since my oldest was 6. She is now almost 16 and will be taking dual enrollment classes at the community college.
I have five more children at every stage of development with their own personalities and preferences.
As I think about each child I am considering what skills need work, what are they interested in, and what do they like to do. All of this should be taken into consideration when making choices about your homeschool.
What good would it be to choose something you knew some of your children would hate?
But in addition to your children, you also need to think of yourself. What do you like and what do you dislike? Are you more energetic in the morning or afternoon? Maybe even in the evening?
I would argue that your preferences regarding homeschooling are even more important than those of the children.
Mom sets the atmosphere of the home, and if you hate a resource or topic, it will only make your homeschooling journey difficult.
What Vision do you have for your Homeschool
So considering why and who is involved, the next step is to reflect on how you anticipate those factors coming together. What are your priorities?
Here are my priorities:
- Enjoying my 16-year-old as she embarks on new educational journeys that will eventually launch her into adulthood
- Helping another child mature and find her direction
- Giving my younger children the free play time I feel is so valuable, which has become more difficult as the activities of older children have increased
- Limited screen time, but access to ample resources (it’s an oxymoron, I know)
This is my big picture; this is what I want our days, weeks, and year to look like and include.
Creating or Revising Your Homeschool Rhythm
After this process of wiping the homeschool slate clean and looking at my current needs and wants without the shoulds and preconceived ideas of homeschooling, what do I want to create?
How can I use this reset to create a new vision for my homeschool?
Maybe you realize you don’t need a new vision, just a little revising. A tweak here or there will get you back on track.
For me, I’ve been living as if it can be like it was five years ago, but it can’t. We’ve changed and grown, and I need to imagine a new rhythm that will work for this season instead of lamenting what used to be.
What Will Be Needed
What will be needed for you to create this new rhythm? What changes will you need to make?
- Do you need outside classes or do you need to cut back on outside commitments
- More or fewer field trips
- Does your method require examining
- Has your child grown tired of a resource and is ready for a new challenge
- Does everyone need to get up earlier or should you adjust your timing
It could be anything; it’s all on the table.
Our schedule consists of two days out of the house, so I feel the need to make those other three days substantive, but I also realize we all have a bit of introversion and need some time to recuperate. How can I make these two aspects of our homeschool work together?
Perhaps Tuesday morning after a full day at co-op should be a documentary time when we can all take our time to rest and get started on a new day and week. Maybe I should have more independent work that they can complete at their pace? This is going to take a lot more thought.
The Importance of Contemplation
Whether it’s our health, diet, relationships, or finances, there are times we need to evaluate our situation and determine if we are where we want to be. Are we moving closer to our ideals and goals?
We also need to decide if the areas we are unhappy with are within our control. It may be that we are dealing with some circumstances we cannot change.
But by doing a complete homeschool reset, we can evaluate where we are and if the path we are on is likely to get us where we want to go. Is our current path bringing us joy or draining our enthusiasm?
My hope for you and I is that we take the time for a homeschool reset when needed. Don’t just accept your homeschool atmosphere as inevitable.
We can all take the time to create the atmosphere of learning in which our entire family, including mom, will thrive.
Once I get mine sorted out, I’ll let you know my plan.
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