In my mind, a successful year goes far beyond tests results, awards won, or pages covered. Homeschool success comes in unconventional ways… The days we spent hours snuggled together reading and crying together over a book. The days we tried an experiment… and failed! The times we laughed hysterically while doing our work. Or when we stopped our “work” and focused on being kinder to one another. When we learned in non-traditional ways — on trips with friends, in co-ops, at the beach, in the kitchen, and from those long (sometimes week-long!) tangents! On the days the kids dove into their own projects. During the times we “just googled it” because we were interested in finding out more. A “successful year” comes from knowing we worked hard, laughed hard, delved deeply into new areas and came out the other side enriched by what we learned.
As we finish off the year (this week!!) here are some questions I’ll ask myself… perhaps they’ll be of use to you too! 🙂
Did the kids learn new things?
Did the kids (and did we parents!) make some good friends this year?
Did the kids grow in expected and unexpected ways?
Did we address behaviors that needed some change (yes, including our own!!)
Did we make changes to the curriculum when things weren’t working? (Did we learn to be flexible and not quite so hard on ourselves as educators?!!)
Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the right direction. ~Al Bernstein
Did we grow closer as a family? (How?!)
Did we add to our (educational) game collection? 🙂
Did we (yes, including the parents!) read good books this year (and/or learn how to read or learn letters and letter sounds?!)
Did the kids make it through a challenge/struggle and learn from it?
Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom. ~George S. Patton
Did we try a new curriculum (or co-op) that went especially well?
Did we go on a variety of field trips?
Did you have a particular goal you hoped the kids would meet (such as improve their writing, master certain math skills, etc.)? Did the kids meet this goal? Think back to where the kids were last year… then marvel at the changes!
Was there an experiment or school activity that we’ll all remember for years to come? If so, why?
Did the kids do something amazing athletically? (learn to ride a bike, score their first soccer goal, run their first 5K, try a new sport, etc.)
Did the kids make mistakes and learn from them? Did we make mistakes and learn from them? Did we take it all in stride (hopefully laughing at our worst mistakes?!)
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed. ~Michael Jordan
Do the kids have a passion? Have we kindled the flames and given them opportunities to grow these passions?
Did our family contribute to the community? (By volunteering, helping in a co-op, keeping in touch with family & friends, participating in our churches, neighborhoods, & local communities, helping out (and learn about) the wider world?)
Do the kids like school more now than they did in September (or whenever you started the school year)?
Do the kids feel a sense of pride about what they’ve accomplished? (And do you?!)
Did the kids learn how to learn? Did we as educators learn more about how this happens and how we can facilitate learning?
Did the kids grow academically? socially? musically? athletically? artistically?
Did we make good memories?
Are the kids happy?
Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. ~Albert Schweitzer
I sure find it fun to write posts like this… it really makes me think hard about how our homeschooling is going… and what we are *really* accomplishing. 🙂
See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! ~Liesl