There is just something about a clean slate. A new beginning. The January page on a brand new calendar. A blank journal, ready to be filled with ink. I love the opportunity to start again, to re-evaluate, to fix mistakes (and make new ones), and the idea that others around me are doing the same, simply because the calendar page has changed. Yes, it helps to be in good company.
I feel the excitement for change especially this year as I am in the throes of my 8th year homeschooling and it really is true what they say: Pat yourself on the back and celebrate when you get your school/life schedule all tidy and perfect because it won't last. Everything and every child is constantly changing. All. The. Time. And you will find yourself overhauling certain things or adding other things to make your schedule work better, more efficiently, more for the good of the whole. I admit, there have been years when not a whole lot changed. But this year I am finding myself re-evaluating everything. My Kindergartner is suddenly ready for bigger things, my eldest is becoming more and more independent (can I get a hallelujah?), and my middle daughter has developed an insatiable love for writing overnight that I cannot and will not quench, so I am rearranging her school schedule to allow her more time for that.
I like to balance our school curriculum with plenty of time for my children to focus on the academic and physical activities that they love. For instance, my oldest is working on a model of Leonardo da Vinci's Ariel Screw, a Morse code reader, and growing her own avocado plant, while my middle daughter is learning how to sew, dappling in photography and photo editing, and has been tinkering around with leather crafts, and my Kindergartner has just acquired a pet bunny and a new scooter and a new interest in the programs offered at Code.org. I intend to allow them plenty of time in their school schedule for these educational endeavors. They also received backpacks for Christmas and can't wait to go backpacking, so I will be trying to fit in some family hikes during the day and weekends as often as I can.
To assist me in creating their new schedules, I gave them this questionnaire, so that THEY could tell ME what was important to them. I could guess and come up with a pretty accurate list, but I wanted to give them an opportunity to tell me some new things. I also wanted them to do some good old-fashioned reflecting on what they could do to accomplish goals, and coming up with a word that describes last year, etc. You may use this Free PDF Reflection and Goal Worksheet in your school or home classroom and feel free to share it with others. Just click on the link or the picture below!
One of my favorite things about educating our children at home, is tailoring their education for each one of them, personally! I hope this assists you with your students in the same way.
Happy New Year!