Monday, January 16, 2012

The year is halfway over!!! Part 1

  I think this is that moment in time for everyone where you realize the year is halfway over and chances are, you're not going to make it through your curriculum, or all you intended to study this year.  This can be a feeling of complete panic.  What will you do?  Will your child graduate?  Will you be in trouble with someone, the state, your mother, the national board of registered homeschoolers??  The good news is you're not in trouble (as I am sure you know).   The curriculum police will not come to your door.  You will even be able to move your child up at the end of the year.

I wanted to start by sharing a story from my first year of teaching.  I was terrified that I had to finish the social studies book.  I figured if I didn't, I'd be in big trouble.  As goofy as this sounds now.  I paced the whole thing out.  I had those kids jumping.  It was a 4th grade social studies curriculum where they had to learn about all the regions of the United States of America and the states within each region.  I got through all the regions and we learned about all 50 states.  I was done on time and figured I might be able to keep my job in Georgia.  I remember telling the principal that I had accomplished  this.  She looked at me with sheer amazement.  I told my fellow forth grade teachers.  They smiled, laughed, and said "We're just doing our best.  If we don't get to South Dakota, we really don't think it is a big deal."  I would be lying if I told you I was not surprised.

But honestly, all their students were fine in both classes.  I am fairly confident that it made little difference in the long run.  I pretty much stressed myself out and probably my students for nothing.  You see, most teachers do not get through the whole curriculum in each subject every year.    There are too many other things that come up along the way, they spend more times on certain parts, and there is simply not enough time.  Plus, the secret that I learned from my veteran colleagues was that curriculum are made by people.  They are not sent down from heaven and carved in stone like the Ten Commandments.  They are suggestions.  They are what a group of educators think a child that age should get through in a year.  They also give you more work than you can get through to look challenging and not leave you hanging in April.  They are made by fallible people.  They are really just suggestions.

Next week I will give you some ideas on what to do to sort out what is important.  Of course, they will also just be suggestions.


  1. Very encouraging because NOTHING has gone the way I have planned.

    In fact, next year my son will be going to public school.

    My goal right now is just to get him through first grade so he doesn't have to repeat it or have problems while in 2nd grade.


  2. Angell,
    You are doing a great job! I think the best thing we can do is make plans for our children's education, and then revise them to meet the needs of our children. If we stick to our plans and disregard our children needs, then we are in trouble. The first year is always challenging. Don't despair.

  3. Well said, Becky. :) I think the last few chapters of the book are almost always repeated at the beginning of the next year. Don't sweat the little stuff, but stay focused on the overall concepts.

  4. Thanks Becky,

    I have learned what my son needs and that is structure (I am horrible with structure) and to be taught by someone else. He was in Kingergarten last year and did great! He got 100 on everything and the teachers loved him. He go rewards every week, every month, and then got a principles award at the end of the year.

    But now that he is home with mommy, he refuses to do anything. Everything is a fight. I told him homeschooling is a privlidge. He can lose it. I personally have no desire to homeschool anymore. I want to put him in the school down the street. We just bought our first house in a town that has less than 500 people in's a small rural town. I want him to meet some kids and have friends.

    His behavior and certain "issues" have gotten ten times worse since he's been home. After a lot of prayer and consideration, I now know it's not for me. I was bold enough to try it. There is no one way to educate your child. The people out here are really nice and by him going to school I can meet some of them.

    I told one group and they ripped me apart. I don't understand why women are so one way. Not just with homeschooling, but with breastfeeding, stay at home moms vs. working moms, and on and on. If you aren't doing something the exact same way as them, then you have a problem.

    I'm done lol! My hands are raised...I don't care lol!

    So thanks again for your encouragement!


  5. Angell,

    How wonderful you have a school down the street you feel good about. I often tell people that the best part of living where we live is that we continue to have different options for schooling. I am really glad about that! No situation is ever the best for every child and every family. Choice is a good thing. :-)

    I also believe that you are the greatest living expert on your child. You are in the best position to make good decisions for him, and you are. :-)

    All the best,
    Becky Boerner