So you picked your curriculum and you’re ready to start a new year of homeschooling math. Of course your goal is to start off the year with a lot of excitement and momentum. I think every parent can start off the year with a “bang” but to make the success continue you need to have your educational bearings. Let’s talk about a few things that you want focus on before getting too far into the school year.
The first thing I would strongly suggest parents do is to take an accurate inventory of your child’s current math skills. One way to gather this information is to go through old tests or final exams. Your goal is to have a very specific list of skills that show their strengths and weaknesses. Try to get this assessment done in the first two weeks of school. It will take a little time and extra effort but the payoff will be worth it.
Next you want to take that list of strengths and weaknesses and start to work on correcting your child’s weak skills. Keep improving these weak skills until they are mastered or significantly improved. There are no short cuts in learning math and skills build upon each other so you have to keep striving to improve your child’s trouble areas. When you start a new year of math by spending some extra time correcting old weak areas you will be sending a powerful message to yourself and your child that you never give up- that’s a powerful attitude for success.
When you start a new math course go out of your way to make it exciting and interesting. If your curriculum does not have that “wow” factor it’s up to you to find some material to “pump up” your child’s engagement. You could try to find math games, puzzles or great YouTube videos that help make math fun and interesting. Even if the material is not directly related to your new curriculum as long as its math related it will be of value. It may take some research but there is a ton of free stuff that you can get your hands on to add some “fun” to your math time.
Lastly, to ensure you start off a new year of math successfully you need to set goals. More specifically both you and your child need to each write out separate goals of what you want to accomplish for the year. One example could be “I want my child to correct 50% of their weak skills in the first month back to school”. Or maybe your child would express that they want no less than 90% on all quizzes. Whatever your goals are make sure they are specific, measurable and achievable.
As a homeschooling parent you are the teacher and leader. With the right focus you can lead your child to have a great start to a new year of math. Don’t be afraid to try new ideas you never know how well something works until you give it a chance- have fun and attack that math!