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, tutor and school education.
There are several tasks home education parents can accomplish over the summer holiday to prepare for 2020. While it is tempting to wait until January, completing these tasks now will help you ease into the new academic year.
1. Celebrate 2019:
Your child has worked hard – and so have you! It’s important to celebrate their accomplishments, so why not do something fun to recognise them for a job well done and to commemorate the end of the academic year. Have a graduation ceremony, throw a party or enjoy a special outing. Mark the end of 2019 and make way for 2020.
2. Tie up loose ends:
If you have any tasks or exams left to mark, do it now and record the marks. Also, finalise any administrative tasks related to your child’s education. Then sort through your child’s work to decide which samples to keep for their portfolio and recycle the rest. If you want a record of some of the things your child has done throughout the year, take some photos and create a scrapbook or album once again preparing for 2020.
3. Evaluate the past year:
Now is the time to evaluate what worked and what didn’t during the year. Is the curriculum working for you and your child? Do you feel like your child is learning? What skills must your child focus on in the coming year? Don’t forget to ask your child for input. What did they think about the school year? Are there any changes they would like to make next year? Listening to your child’s feedback will enable you to craft a tailored learning experience.
4. Consider whether you need help:
Are there subjects you struggled with this year? Or will there be subjects that you can’t handle in 2020? It’s okay to admit if you need help – you’d be amazed at the number of people who are ready and willing to support you. Enlisting the help of a tutor is easy – start researching your options now.
5. Clean out your space:
Whether your homeschool space takes up an entire room or just a cupboard in the spare room, now is the time to clean and reorganise it. Gather everything – papers, projects, books and supplies – and put it in one pile. Then tackle it all at once. Consider what you already have and look for ways to reuse it before buying anything new. (It’s good for both the environment and your pocket.)
6. Consider next year’s schedule:
You don’t have to plan out the entire 2020 academic year; just covering a few basics will relieve a lot of stress as January approaches. For example, when will you start the new academic year? Will you be adding a new learner? Have you considered how they will fit into the mix? For peace of mind and to see how everything will fit together, map out at least the first week of the new academic year in detail.
Use the summer break to relax and recharge. And if you are stuck for things to do this December – especially now that you have all this free time! – here are a few ideas.