I am constantly evaluating what we are doing and what we could do differently but I spend some extra time considering these things in the weeks that we are off from our regular school routine like the weeks at the end of the year and weeks during the summer. We’ve been off from our regular routine now for about a week and in that time I’ve found a few things that I want to leave behind in 2022.
- Jigsaw presentations on different places on the same day for social studies. I love a good jigsaw activity – an activity where everyone studies something different and then teaches the other people in the house – but having each child present on a different place (it was states in the fall) made for some confusion. Instead, we are going to do jigsaws where each of us study a different aspect of a different the same country and we pull it all together at the end.
- Finishing writing projects all in one week. Our writing curriculum suggests finishing every writing assignment in five days but almost every week we are pushing and struggling to finish the typing on Friday. We only have twelve weeks left in our curriculum but we have eighteen or nineteen weeks in our school year so from here on out we are going to make sure we are working every day and we are being diligent but we aren’t going to worry if a lesson takes us six days instead of five. Who cares if we start a new set of lessons on a Tuesday or Wednesday?
- Organizing binders for the older three. I’ve required the oldest to organize all of his binders for a couple of years now but he is organized by nature. The next two are a bit less organized by nature but it is time that they take responsibility for their own systems. This doesn’t mean that I won’t help them or spend several weeks showing them what I would do, rather it means that I will be spending more time talking them through it and less time doing it for them. Kids are more capable than we give them credit for most of the time and I’m ready to help them realize what they can do.
While our list of things we are leaving in 2022 isn’t super long, I expect that it will make a huge impact on our homeschool weeks. It will allow me to focus more on teaching and supporting than on organizing, planning and straightening out miscombined information.
Keeping the list short also helps us stay in a rhythm even after a break. Many things are familiar and we can jump back in adjusting for the few changes here and there rather than trying to learn a completely new system. For our family, it is always better to make changes slowly so when I can I try to limit the amount we change at one time.
What will you be leaving in 2022? As always, keep it smart. Keep it simple.