Back to Back Issues Page
April 25, 2023

In South Africa the past three months was the start of a new school year. The first quarter was therefore an exciting one, as you start off with new books, curriculum, activities, sports and such. The first quarter is the first indicator of whether your vision and plans are realistic. Within only a few weeks you will have a feeling what works for your specific child and situation now, and what doesn’t work.

On a practical level, the main objective of the first quarter is to sort out the homeschool and other activities’ routine, including content and curriculum as you DO what you have planned. A good homeschooling-start in the first quarter sets the pace for the rest of the year. After a few weeks of school and especially during the second quarter (which is now), it is time to clarify the plans you have made in terms of a realistic work volume, a realistic schedule (which allows for enough productive free time), and realistic expectations of what your child can achieve.

Remember that as homeschoolers we do not need to just continue doing things that does not make sense...we can Adapt/Change whatever is not working for the next quarter. This is especially important as we see what is happening over time.

In terms of looking with a parent’s eyes, now is the time that you will also see what is growing in your children heart’s and character and what not?

Like a farmer’s will begin seeing the start of a harvest, but you will also see the weeds amongst the young plants now. And in seeing what comes up, this second quarter is the time to reflect on what needs to change if necessary. If the ‘field’ looks good, then you can continue as is, but if not, changes can, and should be made. Changes can include changing or adapting curriculum, schedules, activities, socials, what input your child is exposed to or anything else in order to grow in your child what you want to see more of. If you think of this as ‘weeding’ it is sometimes difficult and it includes making some hard decisions, which always takes courage :

• Stopping with the curriculum that is just not delivering what you expected
• Stopping that extracurricular activity which is making the week just too full
• Rescheduling a part of book/curriculum or lessons for another year, as your child is proving to be just too young, too unmotivated, or too busy to fit that in right now
• Saying no to that extra income offer, because you cannot afford not to have enough time for your family
• Revising your time to include the important things in life, and excluding the urgent unimportant stuff
• Researching and even adding curriculum or activities which may help or support needed growth in an area you have identified in yourself or your children
• Rescheduling your week’s regular visits, socials and interactions just to leave some margin in your life, this may include sports and out of home activities.

Remember that homeschooling is a long-term process (like farming) – it is your privilege to experiment in what works and what doesn’t but it does take time, sometimes extra time. Time is the key word in home education.

But please remember to DO homeschooling, and not just plan and hope. Do not be afraid to try out new things, to learn and grow with your children. Remember the long term goal is to instil a love of learning, to develop character and to disciple your children for their future. Let them be indicators of how well the process is going as you measure:

• Are they motivated to read, learn and do?
• Are they reading? Learning and doing stuff resulting in quality education?
• Are they happy? Healthy - physically, emotionally and spiritually?
• Or are they bored? Why are they bored and with what exactly?
• Are their character growing in perseverance, patience and kindness?
• Are they frustrated or challenged intellectually with the work being done ? Is it too difficult or too easy?
• Are you satisfied with how things are going? Why or why not ? What can or should you do to change and adapt to improve the next quarter?

If you are feeling especially discouraged because you are not seeing the results you thought you would by now, read Joshua 1:5-9 and see how the Lord is telling Joshua 3 times to BE STRONG AND VERY COURAGEOUS, as He promises to be with Joshua wherever he goes. Let it be a reminder that you are not alone, and God will guide you in decisions as you ask Him for wisdom and direction.

Hope your first quarter has been a good start for your homeschool journey this year, and may you see a good harvest on its way! If not take courage and start weeding...

Until next time, Willemien

The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. Steve Jobs

Want more info?

Homeschooling Guides for Parents→

Need curriculum?

South African Art Series for Children / Suid-Afrikaanse Kuns Reeks vir Kinders →

Omvattend Afrikaans Graad 1, 2 en 3 →

Copyright © 2023, Homeschool Curriculum Guide

Back to Back Issues Page