When You Need a Homeschool Review Year

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Do you take review years in your homeschool? We do!

There is no shame in taking some time to review. Some years you just need to backtrack and work on important skills. You are not getting behind or forfeiting progress. You are building a solid foundation in the basics before you move forward. 

A few years ago, Curly and I had a math review year. We had nearly completed Right Start Math Level B, but I felt that her math skills were not yet solid in additional and subtraction. So I looked through the book and picked a lesson that was well-before the mid-point of the book. We started over with that lesson and worked through the rest of the book for a second time.

I cringed when I made the decision because I feared that we would fall behind. However, I found the opposite to be true.

After that year of extra math work, Curly started Level C the next fall. She plowed through the math book with ease. Her math skills were taking off and I credit our success to the time we spent reviewing and reinforcing those foundation skills from the previous book.

This year I made decided we would take time to have another review year, but this time for spelling. 

This subject area is another one where Curly seems to struggle at times. We use Phonics Road for most of our spelling lessons (and I do like it). But after progressing halfway through Level 3 last year, I decided that we needed a break and a change of pace. We also needed a way to review what we had learned before jumping into the second half of the Phonics Road level.

That’s when I decided that we would try All About Spelling since it teaches spelling in a similar fashion to Phonics Road.

So far this semester Curly has gone through Levels 1 and 2. At the end of November she began Level 3. I’m hoping we can complete through Level 4 this school year before we switch back to Phonics Road for a while.

I have seen an improvement in Curly’s spelling already after using All About Spelling this year. And we have both enjoyed the change of pace that the review has provided. Spelling is less stressful this year and Curly has fewer complaints about spelling time.

I’m hoping that the year that we spend reviewing will shore up any weak spots in her spelling skills before we start more forward progress. It’s not worth moving forward when you know your child is struggling to keep pace. This is the beauty of homeschooling – adjusting the pace of your school work to fit the needs of each child.

The time I’ve spent doing reviews or even redoing a certain curriculum has never put us “behind.” No, the reviews that we have done have increased my kids’ confidence in their learning abilities and encouraged them to face new learning challenges once we restart new material. 

If you ever feel that your child is struggling, losing confidence, or not mastering the material, take some time for a review – either by redoing lessons in the same curriculum or by trying a new learning approach with a different curriculum. I can promise that you will be glad you took that time to build a firm foundation, setting the stage for success in future learning challenges.

Spelling Can Be Easy

4 thoughts on “When You Need a Homeschool Review Year

  1. We do that quite frequently especially if we switch programs from one year to the next because they all cover a little something different. I find we sometimes trip over something one program assumes we already know. Or when we start say division and realize that subtraction seems to have completely skipped his memory, though we may not spend the whole year as much as a temporary look back for a couple weeks. Definitely one of the things I love about homeschooling. I don't push him forward unless he actually understands it, where school (in the case of spelling) kept moving him forward because he was doing well everywhere else, compounding the issue of failing spelling

  2. Well, it would depend on the age of the child I was homeschooling and what level they were in.

    I would look at Phonetic Zoo from IEW if I needed them to review independently.
    Logic of English teaches phonograms in a similar fashion to AAS and has a solid program.
    Spelling Power is another program that is Orton Gillingham based.
    Rod and Staff is always a phonics-based program.

    So, I think I would look for a program that is based on phonics and phonograms and not a program that simply introduces lists to memorize.
    I would probably choose between Rod and Staff and Logic of English only because I have friends that use those programs and have spoken highly of them.
    I would also include some dictation to further reinforce the skills being studied.

    Another program that is a different approach is the one from Spelling You See. It is very visual.
    I like what they do; however, they do not teach phonograms but letter teams. Some of them are things like (gg or es). These are not teams working together but follow various spelling rules. So, I like the idea of the program I would just change it to where we marked actual phonogram teams and then discussed spelling rules. The program is colorful but I found it did not teach rules or things. So I could see it being used as a review but for us it would not work as a program without the detailed instruction of an Orton-Gillingham based method.
    I might consider this program just tweaked to fit the AAS rules and teaching methods. It would be good review with the copy work and the markings to help a visual learner.

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