Dear Cottonwood Community,

As we near the end of another fantastic academic year, it’s time to start looking ahead and preparing for the upcoming school year. In the coming newsletters, we’ll provide you with valuable insights, resources, and guidance to help you get ready for 2023/24. This Friday, we have the Curriculum Showcase, which is sure to ignite your excitement for the road ahead. Preparation, planning, and reflecting on our experiences can go a long way in creating a smooth and fulfilling homeschooling journey. So, let’s explore some important aspects to consider when preparing for the next school year.

Reflecting on the current year is a valuable exercise. Now is also a good time to re-evaluate your curriculum choices for next year. Assess whether your current choices align with your child’s needs and learning style. Take into account their interests, strengths, and areas for growth. Exploring new resources and materials can enhance their educational experience. Don’t hesitate to seek recommendations from Cottonwood Staff, fellow homeschoolers, and online communities. We carry diverse perspectives and experiences that you can glean from as you discover your own path. It won’t look exactly like anyone else’s, so remain curious about what is best for you and your students.

Setting goals for the next year is another important step. Involve your child in this process to create excitement and closure for the current school year. These goals can encompass academic achievements, personal development, extracurricular activities, or skill acquisition. After homeschooling for eight years, I continually bite off more than my children and I can manage and have to rein things in at some point. It’s important to strike a balance and be realistic in setting yourself and your children up for success. Remember, sometimes less is more, and it’s better to accomplish a few goals well than to overload yourselves.

Continuing your own education as a homeschooling parent is crucial. Take advantage of opportunities for personal growth and learning. Join our Book Club with Amanda Bell (Summer Book Club coming soon), read independently, and explore online resources like Pinterest, YouTube, blogs, and podcasts. Attend workshops or enroll in relevant online courses to enhance your teaching approach or subject knowledge. Equipping yourself with knowledge and skills will enable you to provide an excellent homeschool education with confidence. As a bonus, it is great for our kids to see us reading and engaging in our own education.

As our school is focused on parent choice and personalized education, you may ask a question and get 50 different answers from our staff and fellow parents. Someone may recommend a history curriculum they love, and at least two other people will say it wasn’t a good fit for them. The good news is, there is not a one-size-fits-all curriculum. Only you know what is right for you and your children, and it may take some trial and error to figure it out. Always remember that homeschooling is a unique journey that allows you to tailor your child’s education to their individual needs. Embrace the flexibility, freedom, and joy that homeschooling offers.

Wishing you a successful wrap-up of this school year and an exciting and fulfilling planning process for the next!


Kara Parkins