10 New Years Resolutions That Will Improve Your Homeschool
By Jen Holmstrom
The new year is approaching! Have you decided on some New Year’s resolutions? It’s always nice to start a year with a clean slate and new goals set. Here is a list of resolutions that are sure to enhance your homeschool experience:
Wake up earlier.
One of the keys to a successful and happy day is to be an early riser. This can be tough for many. It’s easy to get caught up in a routine of late nights and morning struggles. Shoot for a new way. Set your alarm clock 10 minutes earlier every week to help your body adjust to the new time. Keep at it until you’ve reached your golden hour – a time that agrees with you and the morning tasks that need to be done. Be sure to include at least 15 minutes of quiet meditation time. It will help your day go much smoother.
Stick to a schedule.
The struggle is real. As a homeschooler, you are in charge of your own schedule. When something randomly comes up, we can easily rearrange our plans for the day to fit in extras. But it is important to be able to maintain at least some consistency. Your family will be able to master certain areas that are done daily and on schedule. Arrange your schedule to better fit your family and stick to the schedule for at least an entire week. Assess, and rearrange as needed. Luckily homeschooling gives us the freedom to find what works best for us.
Control your temper.
This is one that applies to everyone, but as homeschoolers our patience is often tested. Without a doubt, there will be resistance and strong willed children. Opposition naturally leads us to push back. But when those times arise, it is more productive to give yourself some time to calm down. Instead of trying to think of disciplinary methods for your children… try putting yourself in time out. See how that time to breathe and let the dust settle will help the situation.
Learn something new.
Acquiring new knowledge is invigorating! We focus our time on making sure our children are learning, but when we learn alongside with our children, it can be an enriching experience. Take an art course with them, or learn a new language with them. It is a great bonding experience that will refresh your love for learning and you will be setting an invaluable example for your children.
Reading is one of the most underrated pastimes. Reading a great book can honestly improve your life. Your mind is diving into new thoughts and emotions. You are soaking up some peaceful moments of reflection. Reading can be like meditation for a parent. Quiet alone time is rare, but necessary in maintaining a healthy mind and soul.
Advance a level math.
Both you and your child want to feel a sense of accomplishment. Mastering one subject and moving onto the next is a way for us to prove that hard work is paying off and we are progressing. Mathematics is an easy subject to measure progress. Help your child focus on what they need to work on. Even if it is only mastering a certain type of word problem and it takes all year to do, once the skill is mastered your student will feel proud and accomplished.
Learn 3 new survival skills.
Life skills are becoming a lost art. Many children are growing up without learning how to take care of themselves without the convenience of first world privileges. A nice way to encourage independence and proactive attitude, is to provide ways for your children to learn survival skills. Some homeschoolers have learned how to make their own soap, build a fire, create shelter, or practiced archery. Since these skills are uncommon, they can be a lot of fun to do. Emergency preparedness skills are always a bonus.
Do a service project.
Making service and charity a standard in your homeschool will benefit everyone! Challenge your children to engage in some type of service project this year. They can get involved in the community or make it a private project that they can write about. Spreading cheer and giving joy will be a memorable part of the year.
Enter a competition.
Competition is often seen as negative, but it is very healthy for children to learn about respectful competition. Competitors are encouraged to train themselves, and work hard to their best. Children can learn that competing is not only about winning and losing. It is about reaching the peak of potential. It is also about being a good and respectful opponent. In fact, sometimes the best lesson learned from a competition is how to be an admirable loser. It prepares children to fail and to try again.
Again, the benefits of reading are precious. Children will advance their literacy skills, and when they take in quality books, they will become wiser and more motivated. Studies have shown it improves focus and concentration. So the interest in literature can spill over into other subjects of study.
Don’t get discouraged if you fall off track from your goals. Keep at it! Remember that the only way people succeed is by failing first. The nice thing about resolutions is that they don’t have an expiration date. Resolutions can be set at the beginning of a month, week, or day. It’s never too late to change or improve. Good luck! You can do this!