Friday, January 2, 2015

The January Halfway Challenge

So, I came up with a brilliant plan for homeschool in January.  
We still need to keep things light and not take on more than I can handle right now.  But I don't want things to slow down either. 
Last fall I made each child a list of all their curriculum and told them that this was what they needed to finish in order to "graduate" from their grade.  I told them if it took until April that was fine but if it took until next August that was fine too-- it was up to them how much summer break they got by how dilligently they worked.  This was supposed to encourage them to be more independent.  
With all the interruptions we have had, it was starting to look like we were going to all have a full load of schooling through the summer.  We have done homeschool during the summer in the past and it's not a bad thing, but it's harder in the summer because there is so much going on, so it's good if you don't have to have a full load.  Therefore I really would like to wrap most things up by the first part of June.  Which would mean we ought to be at least halfway through with stuff by the end of January.
And January is a great time to focus on school work because there isn't much else going on. 
Here's what I came up with.  I took a look at all of their books and determined where the halfway point is.  For the most part we are 1/4 to 1/3 of the way through stuff.  But a lot of it is not that hard or time-consuming, and most of it can be done independently.  
I am offering a reward, good only for the month of January.   For every subject that they reach the halfway point in this month they get a treat. 
They are very motivated!  All of them want to get as many as they can.  It is so nice to see them doing extra work for once, instead of the bare minimum. 
I think January is going to be a good month for our homeschool.   This plan has also got me thinking about the idea of having one special thing to focus on each month-- a unit study or another kind of challenge or something.   Some things might be easier to teach more intensely for a short period of time than spread out over a year.  I will let you know how all of this goes!


Aflyonmyhomeschoolwall said...

That's a good idea. I may think of how to adapt that to work in our home, too. :)

Stephanie said...

I LOVE the January halfway challenge. Thank you for sharing it! I am SO going to implement it into our schooling this month. I actually went through the books and figured out where our halfway point is and am pleasantly surprised that we're not far away. It's a miracle!!! I still have one child's math to check, though, and I expect that she's a little further away from the halfway point than the others, though, so we'll have our work cut out in that department. Lol.