Thursday, April 20, 2017

5 Days of Knowing You Need Change in Your Homeschool: Day 4

Changes in our homeschool can seem like such a big deal, but they don't have to be when you know what to look for regarding changes in your school.  This week I am sharing our personal story of the changes we have made in our homeschool over the past year or so to make it much more successful.  I hope sharing our story helps you as we walk through piece by piece knowing when and what to change in your school.   Monday I shared about knowing when things need to change in your homeschool and some signs that I saw that led me to change things in our school.  You can read that post here.  Tuesday I shared about deciding what to change in your homeschool and you can read about that here.  Wednesday I shared about planning the changes in your homeschool and you can read about that here.  Today I am going to follow that up with:
5 Days of Knowing You Need Change in Your Homeschool: Day 4, A Glimpse of Normal Blog
All week long we have been talking about making changes in your homeschool and now it is finally time to implement those changes.  Let's put them to use and get headed towards a school that works for you and your family.  Here is how we implemented the changes we made in our school so that it started working for us again.
  • Develop a Plan - Yes, I do know we did this yesterday's post, but just in case you missed it, get a plan together before you try to make changes.  I am truly a "plan on the fly" type of girl and I get it, but this style and method doesn't usually work well long term for homeschooling.
  • Pick a Start Date for Your Changes - Like I mentioned yesterday, in my opinion it is best to start the subjects you made changes to after a break of some sort.  This break can be the weekend, a Holiday break, or after summer break.  Just be sure to pick a date and stick to it.
  • Get You Materials Ready - Since you have done all this planning, don't forget to get the materials you intend to use ready and have them available on your start date.
  • Introduce the Changes You Made - Let your student know what changes you made, what you expect from them with the changes, and be excited to try something different.  This will get your student(s) excited too.
  • Get Going on The Changes - Whatever changes you made, get them going.  Dive in and see what happens.  
  • Be Patient - The changes may not seem to be working at first, but give it a little time.  You know the saying, "Rome wasn't built in a day,"  this applies to your school too.  You can't just try the changes one day and determine they aren't working.  Give your students time to adjust while you adjust too.  
  • Don't Give Up - Sometimes change overwhelms everyone involved and that doesn't mean the change you made is bad, it just means you need more time to adjust and that is okay.  Buddy is way better at adjusting to change now than he was just a few years ago.  So even if what you have planned doesn't seem to be working, don't throw it out the window, just make what ever tweaks you need and keep trying.  
  • Adjust as You Go - I had the first few weeks of our unit study for History ready to go with our new school year last fall.  Buddy was excited to be studying the Civil War and learning about a topic that interested him, so he worked faster than I had thought he would for the first couple of weeks.  I had to quickly plan out the next steps we would take on our studies to adjust for him working faster.  Later on we were studying Gettysburg and for that I had him put together a newspaper as his project about it.  This ended up taking him longer than I planned because he was really planning it all out and perfecting his newspaper.  Again I had to adjust and move back the next subject I planned to give him more time to work.  I was okay with it because he wanted to do a really nice job and I could tell he was taking it step by step and not just dragging his feet.
  • Repeat - Keep planning out a few weeks at a time so that you are working ahead, but still able to monitor progress as you go.  In the past I totally would have told you to plan out the whole year and have it ready, but that can be completely overwhelming for you the teacher when you need to make changes.  So I suggest planning just a few weeks ahead at a time.
This is the process I used when I implemented changes in Buddy's school.  It is the same process I will use as I make changes for Little Miss for school too.  Taking school step by step and adjusting as necessary helps when it comes to making changes.  Don't let it overwhelm you because I know that if I can do it, you can too.  I have faith in you!

This week I am participating in an Annual Blog Hop with my friends on the Homeschool Review Crew.  It is our goal this week to fill you with encouragement and we are all chatting about homeschooling.  We each got to pick our own topic so I can't tell you how excited I am to read what everyone is blogging about this week.  Click the link below the button to Hop on over to the next blog and read more encouragement.  Don't forget to come right back here tomorrow for more.
5 Days of Homeschool Annual Blog Hop - 2017

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