Tweaking

I'm tweaking. I'm making those little fine tuned adjustments that can be the difference between tears and triumphs during the day. I'm checking our progress (specifically my progress) against the goals we set for this school year.

Although we feel strongly about the effectiveness of a Montessori education, we feel equally strong that it is unwise to choose a course of action without stopping to evaluate what is working... and (possibly more importantly) what is not.

Last year, I will admit I was mostly flying by the seat of my pants when it came to homeschooling. I recognized that, and way back at the beginning of this school year I set myself goals to help me be more organized and intentional. You can read that post here.

I think it is important not to just evaluate our children, but to evaluate ourselves. Our children may be meeting their goals, but are we? How are we doing on this homeschooling journey? As moms, we set the tone for our homeschooling success and failures.

Here is how I am doing based on my initial goals.
  • To be more organized in my record keeping.- I am thus far achieving this goal, the next step is to get my materials better organized (specifically my supply closet)!
  • To use the Montessori curriculum more accurately and use fewer distracting activities.- This is an area we are tweaking. We are finding that there are aspects of the curriculum that are not working for our family (specifically science and history) and are working on a plan for the rest of this year and next year. We have already adopted a Montessori friendly spelling curriculum and plan to continue using Handwriting Without Tears.
  • To focus on presenting the entire preschool curriculum to Caleb.- This is day by day. In all honesty there is nothing I present that he doesn't learn in about five minutes and I'm struggling with pushing too hard (as I believe a 4 year old should not be doing high level academics at the expense of their free exploration time) but not boring him with things he already understands either. I am finding him to be very non-chalant about his schooling. He can do it (and will without argument), but he really doesn't care one way or the other. He has already mastered all of what I had planned for him for this school year and is moving into typical kindergarten and even first grade works. I think challenging him is going to be a challenge for me as we continue on this journey!
  • Increase the faith life of our family through home school and family activities- This is the area I want to work on the most this second half of our school year. We have done some things, but I truly believe we can do more.
  • Find a homeschooling co-op to get involved with- Check. Done. Love them!
I look at this list and I can say I feel good about where we are today. I feel like we are all still learning together. We have neither fallen completely short of our goals nor mastered them completely. That, to me, is one of the best measures of a well-set goal.

Regardless, I will continue tweaking. Remaining alert to changes and challenges that may come about.

How is your homeschooling year going? Do you have goals to measure yourself against? How are you doing? Is there anything you need to tweak?

3 comments :

Lisa said...

Love the post Heidi! I guess I must have needed that today - to find not only where our kids may have fallen short but where we have. That's me! :) I suppose that is the love/hate relationship with homeschooling though - the constant evolution of parents and children. So, thank you. I will be doing some evaluating today myself.

Amanda said...

I am not doing so good... I have no curriculum, I have no schedule, I have to goals. Granted, I am planning on starting this fall, but I STILL feel like I should know more about what we are doing!!!

Can I invite myself to your house for the day? Can I just follow you around?? That sounds pretty pathetic.

Maybe I just need to read your blog EVERY SINGLE DAY and get some better ideas!!!

You are doing such a great job... thank you!

Blessings-
Amanda

Heidi said...

Amanda- Sure you can come follow me around but only if you bake for me :) In all honestly though I don't think we do anything to special or fantastic...its just what works for us. Once you figure out what works for you, you are golden!

Lisa- good luck evaluating! I'm glad the post could be helpful to you! We should chat IA homeschooling one of these days, I looked everything up. Tim does plan to get an IA license so he can act as a supervising teacher next year for both of us (which means you don't have to do standarized testing at all) The biggest difference I found is that 6 is the age of reporting, not 7.