Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Looking Back at the First Quarter

This post may contain affiliate links - using affiliate links from Homeschool Coffee Break helps fuel this blog and our homeschool - thank you!

Looking Back at the First Quarter on Homeschool Coffee Break @

A quick look at my calendar revealed that this Friday is the official end of the first quarter of the school year. Granted, it doesn't really affect us, because we don't even have to submit quarterly grades, but it reminded me that we need to take a look at where we thought we should be by now and compare it to where we really are. It's a good time to take stock and see how we're doing. Is the schoolwork getting done? Am I keeping up with record-keeping? Are the curriculum choices working out? Is our schedule and pace realistic?

Looking Back at the First Quarter on Homeschool Coffee Break @

This is the first year I haven't had any K-8 students at all, so it's the first year I don't have to do a quarterly report card for anyone. In the past, though, since I was doing a first quarter report card for the younger ones anyway, I did a sort of mock report card for the high schoolers, and it was pretty instructive. I don't know if I'll get a mock report card done for Landon or Kennady, but I am updating the lesson plans and assignment lists and taking a hard look at whether they are keeping pretty close to the pace or not. And boy, we really do need to take a look at how we're going to get back on track, because October was a tough month. We had almost two entire weeks lost or severely interrupted when we traveled unexpectedly to visit my mother-in-law before she passed away, and then returned for the memorial service. We had a full week of greatly reduced school expectations (although this was planned!) when my family was here visiting last week. Plus the occasional sick day or other distraction along the way, and frankly, I'm a little surprised we stayed on course at all!

Looking Back at the First Quarter on Homeschool Coffee Break @

I remember reading a couple of articles at the beginning of September that suggested that the beginning of the school year was a good time to make new year's resolutions and in a way, that's what's going on when I set out my expectations for our homeschool year. Just like the resolutions made at the beginning of a calendar year, the goals I set for our homeschool are most effective when there is some way to measure progress. I can't say I wrote down specific New School Year Resolutions, because I didn't, but they might have gone something like this:

Be realistic. There are only so many hours in a day, and some of them need to be used for sleeping. There will be good days and bad days. There will be interruptions and distractions, sick days and unexpected field trips, missed alarms and long lunches. There will be books that we read much faster than we'd planned on, and there will also be lessons that take way more time or repetitions than we'd expected. So...

Stay flexible. I try to build a fair amount of wiggle room into the lesson plans, and allow more time than we might need. I'd rather be ahead of the schedule than fall behind. (I'm pretty sure I'd rather be ahead - it so rarely happens that I'm not sure I know what it feels like.) Be prepared to just roll with it when things don't follow the original timetable, and adjust.

Expect the best. Which has two meanings. First, stay positive and believe that we can get through tough spots and that everything will shake out okay. And also, set high standards. Give our best effort on everything we do.

Those goals? I feel like we did pretty good. The more specific course goals? Not so sure.

Looking Back at the First Quarter on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Looking Back at the First Quarter on Homeschool Coffee Break @

Science - right on track, yay!
Math - not so much.
Grammar/Composition - Landon's grammar course has suffered, but both kids are in decent shape for Composition.
Literature - it has taken both kids much longer than anticipated to get through the novels they were reading, and that's partly because of all the interruptions. I think we'll be able to adjust and get this back on track pretty easily.
History/Geography - Landon has kept on with History so it looks like he is only just over a week or so behind, which is about what I expected, given the interruptions. Kennady is a little further off the mark, but I think she'll be able to catch it up without too much trouble.
Electives and everything else - Kennady ignored her Health course, and Landon took quite a pause in Drafting because he ran out of paper! Other than that, the elective courses are right on target.

Remember my attempt at Getting My Homeschool Organized? It's a good thing I did it when I did, because it gave me the head start and good basis to get things back in order now!

Getting My Homeschool Organized on Homeschool Coffee Break @ - Finding out that this is National Get Organized Week forced me to take stock of what needs organizing in our homeschool.

I need an afternoon cup of coffee to help me focus on updating the assignment lists.

Looking Back at the First Quarter on Homeschool Coffee Break @

How has your first quarter been? Leave a comment and let me know!

 Don't miss a coffee break! Subscribe to Homeschool Coffee Break by Email!

 ©2006-2015 Homeschool Coffee Break. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.


BARBIE said...

Homeschooling and working full time has been hard. I am realizing this will be a transitional year for my 7th grade by. We have been doing mostly 6th grader work, except for science. I am having him assessed in Reading my Sylvan Learning Center tomorrow. It's been challenging but we are hoping to get him on track and head strong into next year.

Post a Comment

I love comments! It's like visiting over a virtual cup of coffee.