Welcome back... Did you get to create any smart educational goals - and create a goal for one of your children that was Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-based?
I would love to see what you came up with....
Now.. for Lesson Two:
When you begin homeschooling, you're looking for some advice and it is really tempting to follow what seems to be working for another family.
There's just one problem! You are not that family!!
It's true, that some things will work well for you and it may save some planning time right now - but it's important to find out what's BEST for your unique family and to do what you have decided.
Are you ready for the best advice that you’re ever going to get?
So, as you begin, please remember - you really need to set your own goals and follow them for your particular family. Yep - it will take some hard work, and so you'll need to put your blinders on and work towards the goals that your family decides upon.
"Working against yourself and working to someone else's goals is probably one of the greatest ways to experience burnout, frustration or disappointment."
This is probably the most important advice you will need to remind yourself about through all your homeschooling years. It is not only tempting when you begin to homeschool to copy someone else's plan - but it is a temptation that you will face over the years.
The best thing is to create your plan... according to your goals!
Then, you can relax and feel confident in what you’re doing and will avoid homeschool burnout and the disappointments that come when you compare yourself to others.
You may wonder whether setting goals is really an important exercise or just a waste of time. Let me give you some reasons why I believe goals will help you in your homeschooling.
Firstly, without setting goals, you can aimlessly do everything!
We can easily be swayed by all the curriculum packages and lovely
materials we see around us. If we are not sure of our own goals, we can easily
follow along and pick and choose materials and continue to load up our children
with "excellent content", but without direction and prior knowledge
of where we are going and why we are adding on curriculum upon curriculum.
Secondly, without setting goals, you can aimlessly do nothing!
Without goals, you can allow the day to follow day, month to follow month, year to follow year, without a plan. It doesn't mean that you aren't hoping that education will happen, or that good character traits will be formed, but at the same time, you are not actively pursuing it. Will you look back at those years with confidence that you were guiding and training your children? Perhaps not.
Thirdly, without setting goals, you can do wonderful activities, but not know why!
You can end up doing someone else's goals, or be swayed toss and forth by the latest homeschooling fad." For myself, I know it is very easy to do what my good homeschooling friend is doing; or decide to let my children choose their entire curriculum because that was what I read in the latest article or at the latest conference. Working against yourself and working to someone else's goals is probably one of the greatest ways to experience burnout, frustration or disappointment.
The upcoming Homeschool Vision Course is designed to help you plan your homeschool – from the big picture homeschool vision right to the specific educational goals.
In order to help you in a concrete way, we will develop big picture goals and then continue to narrow the focus to the specific goals and see how it works out in your home - for your children.
Here is my plan and by the end of the Course - you will have an action plan to:
This will be available for those who enrol in the Homeschool Vision course and will be completed together in the context of our private, DYH Connect Group.
So, if you have agreed that setting a vision for your homeschool is a really important thing to do - you might now start to feel overwhelmed and think, "I don’t know how to do that.. I don’t know where I’m headed! "
Relax – because that’s what we’re about to do together – step by step.
However, before we actually begin to set your vision, we will need to take a step back and consider what a wise parent would do.
A wise parent is one who will look into the heart of their child, watch them, talk to them, discover who they are, build a relationship and try to understand them the best that they can.
As they do that, they seek to find a way to help them to be the person that God has created them to be. As busy parents, it is difficult to stop and consider, but taking the time to know and understand your child is a precious way to spend time. As you watch them grow, develop and experience life, you will find ways to develop that child to help them to grow and blossom and achieve the goals which God has in store for them.
This was first brought home to me at a Homeschool Conference where Chris Davis spoke about Michelangelo, the sculptor who said, " I set free the angel in the marble". One of our roles as parents is to provide a real education which "consists not just of head knowledge, but also heart and spirit knowledge and that it is built more on relationship than on relaying information." (From "I Carved the Angel from the Marble" by Ellyn Davis)
What makes your child's heart leap? What excites them? What do they want to study and find out more about? Are they inspired by the lives of others? Do they thrive in a busy environment or need to be left alone?
The journey of homeschooling is not so much about topics, subjects and learning resources or "curriculum" - the real education is getting to know your child and helping them to be the person God has created them to be.
We're almost ready to begin...
The course will be entirely focused on creating your own Homeschool Vision and setting goals.
It will include:
Together, we are going to explore exactly what it takes to write your homeschool vison and goals and then do it - share it - comment - improve - and use it!