- What has been working well?
- What needs to be improved?
- What needs to be removed from our curriculum?
- Is there anything new to focus on?
- What specific needs does each child have over the next few months?
Pen and PaperI start the process of our mid-year review by writing out the answers to the above questions. I think back on the previous semester with an open mind to identify things that need to be changed. Sometimes there may be a particular book or curriculum resource that I was very excited about, but that my children don't engage well with. I may find that there are some subjects that we never even got off the ground with, and I need to decide whether I will re-commit to working on those or let them drop off the to-do list.
I think about each child and what needs I can identify. Perhaps they are struggling with a certain activity, chore, or skill; perhaps they need extra support in some specific area. I think about each child's current interests and ways that I can direct our schooling to make the most of those interests.
Mentoring ConversationsOnce I have written down my own thoughts, the next step is to have a conversation with each of my children to discuss their goals and desires, needs and wants. This year, we are using this free homeschool compass to record what each child wants to focus on in the coming months.
2016-17 Midyear Review: Things that Are Working Especially Well
From June through November 2016, my kids and I went on a virtual world trip. We "visited" 20 different countries, exploring the culture in each place through books, music, art, and food. We all thoroughly enjoyed this.
Life of Fred Math Books
Although last school year Bedtime Math was my children's favorite math book, this year they are totally into Life of Fred. We have breezed through two books and are already over halfway through a third book. My kids are asking me to read them Life of Fred so often that I'm going to have to order some more books for the coming semester!
Classic Audio Books on USB Sticks
During our daily afternoon quiet time, my children have been enjoying listening to audio versions of classic books. We invested in a couple USB memory sticks that can hold many audio books (as I was tired of burning audio books to CD's), and I downloaded a bunch of free classic audio books from Librivox. My kids have been listening to books ranging from Tales from Shakespeare to The Adventures of Johnny Chuck to Swiss Family Robinson to Book of Dragons.
I had planned to start studying Ancient History this coming semester, but that is going to slide to the next school year. My children loved our World Trip so much that I decided to do a United States Trip for Spring 2017. Some of the resources we are using for our United States Trip are:
- American Tall Tales
- Native American Tales and Legends
- Child's Geography of the World
- State Birds and Flowers Coloring Books
- Draw Write Now Book 5: The United States, From Sea to Sea, Moving Forward