I have a new (free!) Mid-Year Homeschool Assessment Packet to share with you today! You might be doing this kind of evaluation and planning over the winter break, but I wanted to share this packet with you sooner than later.
This Thanksgiving break, I took the opportunity to really reflect on our homeschool year so far and assess how things are going. This was a natural time for me to do that because we have had two big science and history units come to an end… I really needed to get a good plan for where we’re going next and what holes we have at the moment. (More about that later!)
I also spent a lot of time organizing our homeschool room. There was a lot of cleaning and organizing to be done here, for sure!
I spent quite a bit of time combing through our shelves and pulling out curriculum that we’ve outgrown and tried to find the gems that we “should” use, but haven’t yet. This really gave me a lot of inspiration.
I also made a new working space in the part of the room that used to be our Writing Workshop area. (LD is so cute in that picture! He’s taller than me now and has much longer hair!) These days, we’ve been doing our writing elsewhere and I wanted to take advantage of this free space. I needed a place (other than the dining room table!!) where I could spread out my books. I can guarantee, you won’t see that shiny black surface for very long. It will soon be covered with books and papers!
I put together a small spiral planner and spent quite a bit of time planning out the coming month or so. I found that the 3-ring notebook was a bit too bulky and I wanted something smaller that I could carry around a bit more easily. (I bought the TruBind Spiral Binder (affiliate link) about a year ago and use it *all* the time!! I love it, love it, love it! For many years I used our comb binder, so I was reluctant to make the switch, but I’m so glad I did! Enough about that, though!!)
You might be doing this same thing over the holiday break at the end of Dec – beginning of January. I thought I would share some of the things I thought hard about.
- How is this year going? What are the kids’ favorite things about homeschooling? What is mine?
- What are our biggest achievements so far? What are our most memorable homeschool moments?
- What makes me feel like we’ve had a “good” homeschool week? What makes the difference?
- Do I feel organized from day-to-day, week-to-week? Do I use a planner regularly? Do I need to schedule my days better?
- What areas of our homeschool life leave me feeling stressed?
- What subjects or units have not gone as planned? How can we improve?
- What field trips did we do? Which ones stand out? Do the kids get along well? Do they bicker much? What can I do to help these dynamics?
- Do the kids work hard? Do they ever have an attitude? Do they complain? Are things too easy, too hard, too boring, too monotonous?
- How is our homeschool social life? Do the kids have good friends?
- Are we over scheduled?
- Do the kids get exercise daily? Do they move around enough throughout the course of the day? Is there something we could add in once a week that would be a fun activity to get more exercise (racquetball, swimming, roller skating, bowling, indoor soccer, laser tag, hikes in the woods, museum trip, basketball, Wii Fit, indoor trampoline exercises, fitness DVD, Simon says, yoga)?
- Do I get enough exercise? Do I sleep enough? Do I get enough time to myself?
- How is the house? Are chores going well? Does everyone pull their weight? How can we all pitch in?
- Family fun: What do we do for fun in our family? Will we remember these special times in five years? How can we add in more meaningful & memorable activities?
In the picture above, you’ll also see some of the (colorful/black-white) pages from our free Homeschool Planner and Discovery Journal.
I have pages from the Free Printable Calendar 2017-2018 School Year as well. I printed out 4 to a page so that I can just glance at dates/events. I have these in our online calendar, but sometimes I need to know things at a glance. A paper calendar works well for that.
And, if you are interested, you can download the Mid-Year Homeschool Assessment Packet here. It too is FREE to download! Hope it’s useful for someone other than just me!!
P.S. I just wanted to add in that it wasn’t all work this holiday weekend! We had an amazing Thanksgiving meal and played lots of games. DD and I played four complete games of Settlers of Catan (I actually beat her for once!), went for long walks, watched a couple of shows and spent lots of time snuggled with books! It’s not always work and homeschool-related around here!!! I cherish the family fun and relaxation time too!
If you are planning out your homeschool curriculum for next semester, you might be interested in these:
Free Curriculum Resource Guides: I have a series of free curriculum resource guides that are between 30 and 50 pages. These share some of the units and topics we covered at various grade levels (though I have three kids and we often do history and science together, so the age ranges are flexible!)
Creating your Own Homeschool Curriculum: Kindergarten, Grade 1 (a 50 page free resource guide)
Creating your Own Homeschool Curriculum: Grade 2 – Grade 3 (a free resource guide)
Grade 6-8 Resource Guide is coming soon!
That’s about it for today! I hope you had a lovely break!
See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter. You might also want to check out some of our resources pages above (such as our Science, Language Arts, or History Units Resource Pages) which have links to dozens of posts. You might want to join our free Homeschool Den Chat Facebook group. Don’t forget to check out Our Store as well.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.