I’m a pretty organized person, but this last school year snuck up on me, and due to poor planning on my part, I did not set realistic expectations for myself, or my girls. The end result, was unplanned school over the summer. Yes we are STILL schooling. Though we are finally embracing the theory of year round schooling, we didn’t intend to in the first place. Part of the delay was caused by an unexpected move, but I’m certain things would have been smoother if I had set some goals.
Looking back, I have a pretty good idea as to what went wrong. Here’s what I’m asking myself, before I do anything for the coming school year. I urge you to evaluate last homeschool year before making any decisions or plans for next year.
Take a look at the curriculum you chose. Was it teacher intensive or need too much prep work?
How many kids did you school last year, and what grades and subjects did you combine to save time and extra work?
What time of day where you and the kids most productive?
What did you and the kids absolutely love, and what can you do without?
If you AND the kids could assign a letter grade to both execution and success of this past year, what would that grade be?
I have a tendency to set too many goals for myself, and sometimes I set very high standards for my girls. The greatest thing I’ve learned while homeschooling, is to be flexible and to give grace. Honestly, neither word was a big part of my vocabulary until this journey began. This year I’ve physically written goals for each one of us.
I plan on discussing each goal with my girls before moving forward. I’d like this to be something we are both striving for.
There are multiple reasons why we chose to homeschool, however; making sure our children had a Biblical world view was at the very top. We want to meet their spiritual need, before their intellectual need.
What are the spiritual goals you have set for your kids?
My oldest homeschooler will be starting the 10th grade in the fall, but would like to graduate a year early. My job is to guide and work with her as she sets out to achieve this goal. We’ve mapped out a mock schedule to help her get there in the next two years.
You may have little ones, that are just learning how to read, or kids that struggle with math (mine do).
Set small attainable goals, and celebrate the victories as you get there.
I have lots of these. I’m always trying to complete at least 37 projects at a time, but to be honest, I’m not always satisfied with the end result. This year I’ve cut my list down to the bare minimum. I want to finish strong, not exhausted!
What do you want to achieve by the end of the school year? In which areas do you need to grow?
I think it’s funny how many of us embark on this homeschool journey, because in addition to educating, we want to spend quality time with our kids. Yet, we fill up so much our time with classes, play groups, sports and field trips. Don’t get me wrong, these are all good things, but remember mom always said “too much of a good thing, can become a bad thing”.
I encourage you to purposely set family time aside. Remember it’s ok to say “no” every once in a while, or even all the time. We are all busy homeschool moms, some of us even have full-time jobs outside the home. It’s OK for you to want to spend some time with your family. We will understand.
Finally, (keeping flexibility and grace in mind) draw out a simple ‘plan of attack’. Don’t forget to ask yourself if this is a realistic expectation.
Did you set any clear homeschooling goals last year? How did you do in the end?
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