(Almost) everyone is familiar with the three R’s of education: reading, ‘riting (writing), and ‘rithmetic (arithmetic). As an undoubtedly challenging year comes to an end; it’s time for home education parents to shift the focus to three different R’s – reflecting, reimagining, and relaxing.
This year presented previously unimaginable challenges to families everywhere. Whether you are an experienced home educator or whether you chose homeschooling as a result of the pandemic, now is the time to reflect objectively on the 2020 academic year.
Reflection allows you to contemplate the events of the past year to gain a new perspective on them. Thinking specifically about how you and your children managed homeschooling this year will allow you the advantage of becoming more strategic and intentional when preparing for 2021. If you plan to continue homeschooling your children next year, now is an excellent time to consider which aspects need to be modified and which can be omitted altogether.
Of course, reflection also allows you to take stock of everything you have accomplished this year. Considering the unprecedented global events of 2020, you probably ended up with a long list of things you weren’t planning on doing – perhaps home education was one of them. But you rose to the occasion and handled them all. So, congratulate yourself on a job well done!
Finally, why not get your children involved? Reflection is a great way to process feelings and share ideas. Have everyone write down some things they learned, what they are grateful for, or ways they have grown this year. This exercise is helpful as your children may have overcome specific obstacles or learned new skills without even realising it.
Reimagining is about using what you learned this year to review and readjust your approach to home education. After all, one of the benefits of home education is that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution – it can be customised to accommodate your particular situation and tailored to meet your children’s needs.
The pandemic has encouraged innovation in many sectors, including education. It has proven that children can and will learn outside the constructs of traditional schooling. As the year winds down, why not use this time to consider your approach to teaching your children?
Some of the upsides of home education include:
- focusing on your children’s different learning styles and strengths,
- incorporating and leveraging technology,
- nurturing your children’s natural curiosity and interests,
- encouraging a love of learning in whatever shape or form, it presents itself.
With all of this in mind, how can you do things differently in 2021?
Coping with the pandemic and all its consequences may have left you feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and anxious. While there are still some COVID-19-related regulations in place, now is the time for family, friends, and fun!
Whether you are off on a family vacation or staying home, the key is to take some time to rejuvenate your body, mind, and spirit – and to allow the rest of your family to do the same. Use this time to slow down and enjoy the simplicity of life. Have a picnic, read a book, spend all day by the pool or at the beach, go for a hike, have a nap, treat yourself to a massage – the list is endless.
Also read: Cool ways to beat summer boredom
Taking time to relax and recharge over summer will put you in a better frame of mind to take care of the people who depend on you in the new year – whatever it may hold.
By Danielle Barfoot