Another school year has ended. Congratulations! These last few months might have seemed overwhelming but you did it! Now, relax and take a deep breath…
Eight years ago the Lord directed me to start the Homegrown Homeschool Co-op. Our family has enjoyed our weekly classes and the friendships that we have made throughout the years. Our group provided hands-on learning with science labs, creative history classes, and fun field trips. Each year, beginning in January, we begin to plan for the following school year. All the moms gather together, with yummy food and calendars in our hands, and begin the planning process. I’ll admit, I LOVE to plan for our group.
As the leader of our group, I spend several days fasting and praying prior to our first meeting. During this time the Lord always speaks, in His still small voice, to my heart in regard to the direction of our group. I will never forget the Lord speaking the word Change into my spirit. I thought “how strange.” Little did I know that our nation would be in a crisis and our group would not be allowed to meet for our spring semester. With our current crisis we have had to re-evaluate and prayerfully consider the direction for our group for the 2020-2021 school year.
Change is hard. It is hard on all of us, but sometimes it is much needed. For our family we chose to spend these past few months evaluating our homeschool. We needed a fresh new perspective.
Our first step was to figure out where we were and how homeschooling was working for us as a family and for each individual child. We needed to take the time to speak with each child and revisit their learning style, their strengths and their weaknesses. We began with a few questions…
Is the curriculum that we are using to advanced or not challenging enough?
Is the curriculum engaging?
Is our life schedule working for us?
Are our children motived or stressed out?
What is our homeschool philosophy and our ultimate goal for our children?
Was our homeschool reflecting our hearts or were we just going through the motions?
Were we enjoying learning lifestyle or rushing to fill in another blank?
Are we cultivating a loving atmosphere where children can learn and grow or had we filled our scheduled with so many “fun activities” causing stress?
Were our children inspired to be lifelong learners?
This is where Walter and I spent most of our conversation. We realized that life was getting too crowded with so many good things that we had no room for the best things in life…like family time and building strong relationships within our Tribe. We also had to admit that we needed to go back to our original homeschool vision…allowing our children to do well in the basics yet giving them freedom to explore their interests.
We also had to consider our schedule. With both of us working full-time jobs we needed to realize that, although we considered some wonderfully awesome curriculum, we simply did not have the time to invest teaching it-allowing us to get the most out of it. So we made a list of what worked, what we failed miserably at, and realistically the time in which we had to invest.
After a time of reflection, we realized that we needed to switch up some curriculum and our scheduling. This is the beauty of homeschooling. Flexibility is the key to success!
Then we started researching various homeschool curriculum. There are so many choices! I longed for a Homeschool Convention…but alas, it was not to be. So my internet searching began. I spent time speaking with other homeschool moms, ordering sample curriculum, and watching lots of YouTube videos. After much research, we narrowed down our choices. Now it was time to talk with our kiddos. We like to allow them a few options as they are the ones having to produce the final work.
With all of our discussions, books reviews, online class options and more freedom to choose we are starting to see some long lost excitement in our children. I love listening to Caleb as he talks about starting his own business which leads him to want to take finance classes. He absolutely hates to read but is now wanting to read all about how Duck Dynasty started their own business while standing strong in their faith. Victoria is our farm girl! She loves her new Agriscience curriculum and even has Caleb on board to help her build her own greenhouse. The greenhouse goes along wonderfully with Peyton’s study of botony (which he chose!) Caleb is raising meat chickens while Victoria is digging deep into her research on breeding her sheep. Yes, the love of learning has returned!
Although we will not be having a formal co-op this school year, and some major changes were made within our homeschool, I am excited for our upcoming homeschool year.
Don’t be afraid of change. Embrace it. Go for it! You might be overdue for a fresh perspective.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder,
not obsess, not imagine. Just breathe! Have faith
that everything will work out for the best.
Here is a few of our favorite curriculum picks...and I'm only beginning!
Stayed tuned as I share my 2020-2021 homeschool plan!
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