Spring Cleaning Your Homeschool
Now is a great time for some spring cleaning. I am not referring to tasks like vacuuming, washing, or dusting although now is a great time to declutter your homeschool space. What I mean by spring cleaning is taking a break from what you are doing and evaluating your homeschool before moving forward. It is time to clean up.
A surface-level cleaning is a good place to begin. Think about your homeschool overall. What is working well? Are there areas in your homeschool that are a source of frustration? Identify the good and the bad. You are looking for the big picture.
Once you have the surface-level cleaning done, you can move on to a more thorough cleaning. Now is the time to dig into the specifics. How is your curriculum? How much have you finished? Are you on track to finish within the time you set for your school year? Do you need to allocate more time to certain subjects to finish the material, or would you rather modify your original expectations?
Think about each subject. Are your children learning the skills and ideas that you had hoped they would? Do your children enjoy the materials that they are using? Do you? Sometimes we inadvertently choose resources that do not serve us well. If that is the case with some of your subjects, it is all right to admit it. It is difficult to stop using a curriculum or resources that you have spent money on, but don’t force a square peg into a round hole. If something is not working for your family, accept it and move on. Similarly, do not expect the same curriculum to be a good fit for multiple children. Each child has unique needs. What works for one may not work well for another.
If you do find that something feels like it is not working well, spring is a good time to make a change. Maybe you need to switch books, or maybe you just need to focus on other topics. You can come back to your current book next year if you want to. Think about whether you could modify the current curriculum to better suit your needs. Maybe you could substitute hands-on activities for written work. Or you could use library books, games, or videos for variety or to fill in gaps in learning.
Maybe you have already finished a curriculum or will finish it soon. How do you want to fill that time? Do you want to add another subject or a unit study? With spring usually comes warmer weather and the ability to add more outside activities. Are there field trips that you would like to schedule? Perhaps you could go hiking with other homeschoolers or meet for outings at the playground. For families that have been somewhat secluded during the winter months, more social time in spring is something to look forward to.
The final step to your spring cleaning is to set some goals for the remainder of the year. To me, spring always feels like it passes quickly. Before you know it, summer will be here. If there is anything you definitely want to get done during this school year, make sure you plan it now. Be careful not to cram too much in though. Spring is a wonderful time to relax and have some fun with your family as you look forward to summer. Enjoy the season, and I wish you much success with your spring cleaning.
Heidi Kinney is a freelance writer from Massachusetts. She has been homeschooling her children since 2007. She shares homeschool resources and lessons at SharedLessons.org, and inspiration for runners at WhySheRuns.com.