I have a very important meeting today. It’s my parent-teacher meeting. You know, the one to which parents are summoned in order to discuss their child’s plan for the school year! Those meetings are vital to the child’s success, so it is important that I participate in this type of meeting as a homeschool parent.
In our home, August is parent-teacher meeting month. It is a time for planning–and that includes a quiet table, cup of coffee, and opportunity to reflect on my role as both mother and teacher. The kids have chuckled over the years about the fact that I talk to myself all the time, but this particular time is so important. Simply put, it is my time to evaluate our educational goals and the goals for our children’s emotional and social growth from the perspective of a teacher.[bctt tweet=”Evaluate educational goals and emotional and social growth. #HomeSchool #PlanningYourHomeSchoolYear” username=”thsc”]
In my opinion, there is nothing quite like the smell of new curriculum and the feel of the crisp, new pages. My boys laugh that it smells like a slow and painful death–a death to the freedom of summer! However, I feel revitalization, a clean slate if you will, in the pages.[bctt tweet=”Nothing quite like the smell of new curriculum: A fresh start! #HomeSchool #BacktoHomeSchool” username=”thsc”]
Regardless of where we ended academically the previous school year, August is my time to evaluate our successes, renew our procedures, and move forward with the ultimate goal of making education fun and fulfilling.
5 Simple Points for a Parent-Teacher Meeting
Whether you are a new home schooler or a seasoned veteran, here are some simple points anyone can implement into their own parent-teacher meeting.
- Review time. Many studies have a review of the previous year built into the first few lessons. Consider using this time of review to get a good feel for the flow of your day or week. By making a preliminary schedule of only the first four to six weeks, you can allow yourself flexibility in case of unforeseen conflicts without having to reconfigure the entire year. We also reevaluate over the holidays to ensure our spring schedule will help us end our year on time.
- Incorporate discussion time. Yes, academics are very important. What is possibly more important however is the time you spend in conversation with your children about things that are important to them. If you proactively set aside time in your schedule for this important exchange, you won’t be left looking for free time in the day, which makes it more enjoyable for everyone. Some might say that a parent should not have to find time to talk with their children. I agree to a certain degree, but what I am talking about is devoted time to listen. Perhaps over lunch or a special errand. Making this a part of the daily or weekly schedule can be refreshing for parents caught up in workbooks, long math lessons, meal preparations and laundry, among other things!
- Milestones of development. When your children were young, the pediatrician focused on their milestones of development; sitting up, crawling, feeding themselves, walking, etc. As parents, we are still called to monitor our children’s milestones both academically and socially. Add time to your schedule for simple skill mastery such as learning to follow a recipe, do laundry, or mow the lawn. Social graces such as cell phone etiquette, table manners, and the lost art of a handwritten thank you note are all things for which you can set aside teaching time. As students get older, tasks such as managing a checkbook, balancing a personal budget, or creating a resume are all skills vital to success.
- Outside activities. If your home school support group is as active as ours, there is no way you can do all the things that are offered and still have time to complete your studies. Determine how much time you will allot for outside activities such as sports, church programs, volunteering, or classes during your planning time so you will not feel guilty about saying no to the pressure of last minute extra curricular activities during the year.
- Be Still. Quiet meditation time is vital to the success of anyone’s day. Schedule time to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, prepare your mind, pray or spend time in God’s word, enjoy a meditation track or just be still. Your children will benefit from a peaceful start to the day and you will, too!
They say the best things come with a well laid plan. Take time to stop, think, note, and execute. I’ll be praying for each of you as I enjoy my cup of coffee, prepare for our school year, and watch the milestones unfold. I’d love to hear how you kick off your year as well.
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