This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Do a Homeschool Mid-Year Reboot. This post is running concurrently on the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.
We may be separated by miles due to Covid, but we (Sabrina, Vicki and Kym) have found each other for a first podcast in the new year! Just hearing each other’s voices as we recorded was a reboot to our spirits! We SO miss seeing each other IRL!
Speaking of reboots and January! January is a great time for homeschool families to review, recalibrate and reboot their goals and curriculum! So let’s talk about it!
So what happens when we get to the middle of the school year and things are not working so well?
Plan as we might, life happens, or curriculum is a bad fit for our teen, or the co-op or digital class is just not working, or unexpected other opportunities came up that pushed some curriculum into the background. This is just the way things work! It’s okay, well really, it’s pretty normal.
So what do you do when you need to homeschool mid-year reboot?
Remember: you can do this! Here are some steps:
FIRST: Take a deep breath!
As Sabrina always says, “Never underestimate the power of a deep breath!” A deep breath gives you a chance to pause and lower your stress limits.
Second: Remind yourself it’s okay to recalibrate
It is not a failure to recognize that something may need adjusting in your homeschool. It’s not a failure, it’s wisdom!
As Kym always says, “Pray: first, last and always!” This may sound cheesy, but really: pray!
Fourth: Evaluate options
What is it that you need to change in your homeschool mid-year reboot?
- Do you need to change the schedule?
- When life and other things have trashed the schedule, bring the family together and talk about it. What is going on for each person? How long will it last? What is more realistic for the rest of this school year?
- As Vicki always says, “Remember to get your teens’ buy-in.”
- Do you need to tweak the goals for your homeschool high school? Talk about it with your teens:
- What are your over-aching goals for each teens and for the family? (Goals for character, academic, career/future focus)
- What are the highest priority goals?
- Have your written your goals? (Write them…and rewrite them when necessary.)
- What have you and your teens learned this year that is requiring a goal change?
- Have you gotten your teens’ buy-in on the goals?
- Check out this Homeschool Sanity episode on following through on goals.
- Are you having a curriculum fail?
- Sometimes a curriculum just does not work. It is difficult to toss the curriculum when you have invested time and money in it. However, it is hard for teens to learn well when they are miserable.
- Remember: There’s not ONE right way to homeschool high school. So, know that it is okay to reboot the curriculum when what you have is not working.
- Remember: There is value in your money, but there is more value in modeling letting go and being flexible when necessary.
- Are you finding your teens needing to level-up or level-down the rigor of a course?
- College-bound teens need to show a high level of rigor for their core courses and key electives on their homeschool transcripts. One way to do earn that rigor is with a highly challenging curriculum. This is wonderful when the curriculum is a good fit for the teen. However, by homeschool mid-year reboot time, your teen may have found that the text is above their interest or capacity (time-wise or learning-wise).
- One thing that you can do is work with your teen to level-down the text and level-up the logging (get a college-prep curriculum instead and add logged hours in meaningful learning activities to increase the rigor).
- What about a club, co-op or class that is just now working for your teen?
- In these cases, there will be an impact on others. This is challenging because you do not want to create bad feelings or extra work for others. However, there are times when stepping away is most important for everyone’s health. Sometimes, however, teens need to learn the fortitude and resilience of sticking with something they are not loving. The way to handle this? You and your teens pray and discuss.
- Remember: Grace is the thing that is most important.
- Remember: Character development is a high priority. Which character trait is God working on with you and your teens?
- If you need to make changes, communicate well (and graciously) to your teens and to those in the club, co-op or class.
- What if your teen is just having a bad year and nothing seems to make your teen happy? That your teen is just miserable?
- Communicate with honesty and grace.
- Concentrate on what is working.
- Be honest.
- Pray, of course.
- Remember: Teens may have more going on than their behavior lets you know about. Sometimes, there is underlying anxiety or depression (or they might be experiencing some form of bullying) that is making it hard to concentrate or get un-stuck. In those times, you can’t wish it away or ignore it away. Get the support they need. (This is role modeling that getting help when needed.)
- If you need to have a tough or exploring conversation, get some food and if there is a social-distance-safe friend who can help with the conversation, bring them in. Then gently talk together.
- Sometimes in a tough, tough year, you and your teens will need to pull way back on curriculum and spend a month or so on electives and logged hours. This can sometimes rebuild confidence and love of learning.
Remember, if things are tough, neither you nor your teens are failures. God doesn’t make failures. Breathe, pray, recalibrate. Homeschool mid-year reboot: You CAN do it!
- For more ideas on adjusting at mid-year check out this post.
Join Sabrina, Vicki and Kym for an encouraging discussion on ways to redo and recalibrate the homeschool year.
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