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5/21/2009 10:30:13 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru the Early Years Newsletter

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HSLDA's Homeschooling Thru the Early Years Newsletter
May 2009: Lessons Learned--Finishing the School Year
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Dear Friends,

Wow--can you believe the school year is coming to a close? Just as you
might refer back to the map on a long journey to evaluate your
progress, check your timing, hunt for rest stops, determine if you
need help with directions, etc., you'll want to pause to evaluate your
family's progress in this home education "journey."

Consider where you started--how far have you come? Are you still
traveling in the direction you intended? Is this where you expected to
be? If not, was this a deliberate shift or a missed turn? Are you
happy with where you find yourself today?

As you make choices for the coming year, you might consider what
worked well for you--and what you will definitely change! Here are
some questions you may want to ask yourself as you evaluate your
family's journey this year:

> Am I satisfied with how our year progressed? Why or why not?

> Is my spouse satisfied with how our year progressed? Why or why not?

> What improvement would I like to see for next year?

> Did we set goals for our family this past year?
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6571

> Did we meet our goals (intellectual, physical, spiritual, social)
this year?

> Were our goals realistic and achievable?

> Thoughts about our goals?

Was our home/space adequately organized?
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6572

Suggestions:

> I need a notebook/planner/calendar to keep our schedule.
> I need to define/refine our routine.
> The children need more supervision in accomplishing tasks.
> I need to de-clutter our space.
> I need some additional organizing tools.
> I need to have more realistic expectations of our household.
> I need to set up learning or working centers for various activities
in our home.

> Other thoughts about home organization?

> Have I spent time learning what is important to my child?

> Have we enjoyed being a family? Why or why not?

> Have we spent time learning more about God and His plans for us as a
family and as individuals?

> Have I spent time quietly with the Lord to refresh my spirit?

> Do my children see my joy in this home discipleship/education?

> How have I motivated my children to learn this year?

> Have I been consistent in establishing clear standards of behavior
and following up with appropriate consequences for
compliance/non-compliance?

> Have my children mastered the foundational skills
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6573 they need at this level to
progress further? What should we do next?

> Do I understand my children's strengths and needs?

> Do I understand their learning styles and my teaching style?

> What life skills have our children learned this year? What are they
ready to learn next?

> Have we grown in character?

> Were our materials consistent with our worldview?
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6574

> Were our materials consistent with our goals?

> Were our materials consistent with our children's learning styles
and ability levels?

> What do my children enjoy in their "spare" time and how can I
utilize this, if appropriate, to help them learn? If not appropriate,
how can we work on that?

Of the educational materials, resources, games, reference resources,
etc. we have provided this year, which have we actually used? What
should we obtain or use more? What worked and what did not?

General thoughts:

> What will I do again next year?

> What will I definitely change?

Heading into the home stretch
Maybe you haven't quite crossed the final hurdle of the year yet. "The
Teaching Home" offers suggestions for a strong finish in their latest
e-newsletter, aptly entitled "The Last Lap."
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6575

Get the records in order
While the children's work from the year is fairly fresh in your
mind--before you kick into high gear for next year--take some time to
sort through the mountain of paperwork that has accumulated (where
does it all come from?!) and get your recordkeeping in order.
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6576

Enjoy summer's teachable moments
Many families use the summer to get a head start for fall with some
relaxed studies or exploration of new interests. After all, in a
lifestyle of learning, every day has teachable moments! For ideas on
how to make the most of those moments, check out Cindy Short's and Sue
Welch's suggestions for summer activities at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6577 .

And whether you are looking forward to relaxing at the beach with the
sound of the surf in the background, or listening to the tree frogs
chirp in time to the porch swing's creaking, here are some ideas for
making the most of read-aloud time with the whole family.
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=6578

Wishing you a great summer (hey, maybe we'll pass each other on the
interstate!),

Vicki Bentley
HSLDA Early Years Coordinator


"Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if
we do not grow weary." --Galatians 6:9 NASB

"Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans shall be established."
--Proverbs 16:3 NASB

"May the God of peace. . . equip you with everything good for doing
his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus
Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." --Hebrews 13:20-21
NIV


The Lessons Learned family evaluation is adapted from the "Lessons
Learned" chapter of Home Education 101. Used with permission.
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For us, good customer service is both an art and a science
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our members say about us:

The freedom HSLDA allows me to have as I homeschool is wonderful!
They handle the law and I get to dedicate the time to my daughter.
- National City, CA

HSLDA members since 1993, our membership is just as important to
us as our children's curriculum. Thank you HSLDA for all you do on
our behalf! - West Valley, NY

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1941

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