By Danielle Barfoot, mom to a boisterous teen and freelancer who writes about parenting and education. She writes regularly for Impaq Education, a curriculum provider for home education.
(Almost) everyone is familiar with the three R’s of education: reading, ‘riting (writing), and ‘rithmetic (arithmetic). As an undoubtedly challenging year comes to an end; it’s time for homeschoolers and their parents to shift the summer focus to three different R’s – reflecting, reimagining, and relaxing.
Homeschoolers: let’s shift the focus this holiday
This year presented previously unimaginable challenges to families everywhere. Whether you are an experienced home educator or whether you chose homeschooling as a result of the pandemic, now is the time to reflect objectively on the 2020 academic year.
- How did you and your children manage homeschooling this past year? Reflecting on the events of the past year will allow you to gain a new perspective on them and the advantage of becoming more strategic and intentional when preparing for 2021. If you plan to continue homeschooling your children next year, now is an excellent time to consider which aspects need to be modified and which can be omitted altogether.
- Take stock of your accomplishments. Considering the unprecedented global events of 2020, you probably ended up with a long list of things you weren’t planning on doing – perhaps home education was one of them. But you rose to the occasion and handled them all. So, congratulate yourself on a job well done!
- Get your children involved. Reflection is a great way to process feelings and share ideas. Have everyone write down some things they learned, what they are grateful for, or ways they have grown this year. This exercise is helpful as your children may have overcome specific obstacles or learned new skills without even realising it.
Use what you learned this year to review and readjust your approach to home education. After all, one of the benefits for homeschoolers is that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution – it can be customised to accommodate your particular situation and tailored to meet your children’s needs.
- Reconsider your approach to teaching your children. The pandemic has encouraged innovation in many sectors, including education. It has proven that children can and will learn outside the constructs of traditional schooling. As the year winds down, why not use this time to reimagine what approach best suits your kid. How can screen time work in your favour? Read here.
- Some of the upsides of home education include:
- focusing on your children’s different learning styles and strengths,
- incorporating and leveraging technology,
- nurturing your children’s natural curiosity and interests,
- encouraging a love of learning in whatever shape or form, it presents itself.
With all of this in mind, how can you do things differently in 2021? Also read: A successful start to your (home) school year!
Coping with the pandemic and all its consequences may have left you feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and anxious. While there are still some COVID-19-related regulations in place, now is the time for family, friends, and fun!
Whether you are off on a family vacation or staying home, the key is to take some time to rejuvenate your body, mind, and spirit – and to allow the rest of your family to do the same. Use this time to slow down and enjoy the simplicity of life. Have a picnic, read a book, spend all day by the pool or at the beach, go for a hike, have a nap, treat yourself to a massage – the list is endless.
Taking time to relax and recharge over summer will put you in a better frame of mind to take care of the people who depend on you in the new year – whatever it may hold. Also read: Cool ways to beat summer boredom