It is a fresh start and can be a time to reset and reimagine the remainder of the school year. All of this can be overwhelming. So, I'm hoping to provide you guidance and a starting point with these 3 questions.
1. What specific skills do you or your students need to gain to do what they need or want to do? Here are some ideas-
Skill- I want to continue to grow in my profession so I need to gain more knowledge in the areas of business management.
Goal - Read more books on business management
Skill- My oldest daughter is learning how to verbally process and suggest her ideas kindly.
Goal- Study Logic and fallacies
Skill- My middle son is great at math but continues to struggle with word problems
Goal- Focus on number words and mathematical terms/ definitions
2) What is feasible within your environment?
For example- We have three kids with us all the time ages 12,9, and 5. We typically (COVID dependent) attend 2 co ops a week plus extra curricular activities. We hike 2x a week and spend a great deal of time outdoors on other days. Well, the boys way more than my tween daughter. We have a spot designated to meet the sensory needs of my son yet no specific classroom. My boys are early birds so they start school typically around 7 am. My daughter needs more sleep so she starts around 9. If my son doesn’t get outside by 2 pm, he might as well turn into an angry fireball clearly not able to focus and learn. We have hard wood floors that are in bad shape so we scooter and roller blade all over them. Soon, they are getting redone so... I will have to come up with a new location for our math and reading lessons with my very kinesthetic learners.
What does all this mean- When planning for each kid, I need to be realistic with what works for our family. There is no right or wrong way to homeschool, but it needs to be logistically possible in your specific environment for your specific kids.
3) What activities or occupations does your family enjoy?
For example- Visiting, drawing, nature journaling, handicrafts, READING, hiking, cooking... these are all occupations that we use both as a goal and to meet goals in our homeschool. We hike both because we observe, socialize, and have fun but also because it encourages my older son to visually scan his environment which then influences his reading. We love building with clay because it’s artistic and because it strengthens my sons hands for writing. In OT speak, this is using occupation as a means and an end. In homeschool speak, this is education.
What does this mean?- Look for the activities that work in your environment, satisfy or promote the skills you decided upon in #1, and add beauty to your day.
Hopefully, these three questions will help you set goals for a very successful homeschool semester. Collins Academy Therapy Services is always available for private consultations help set and accomplish goals! Set up your consultation today
American Occupational Therapy Association. (2020). Occupational therapy practice framework (4th ed.). American Occupational Therapy. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.74S2001
Law, M., Coober, B. A., Strong, S., Stewart, D., Rigby, P, & Letts, L. (1996). The person-environment-occupation model: A transactive approach to occupational performance. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 63, 9-23.
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Sarah is an OT and home school mama whose zone of genius is bridging the gap between OT's and homeschool parents with resources to help them both thrive.