How is it that I have 2 high schoolers now?! And a preschooler?! We are starting our 12th year of homeschooling, y’all. Wow! If you’ve been following me on social media or on the blog here for any length of time, you’ll know I am big on homeschool GOALS. Setting long-term goals for home education way back in the beginning has, I think, been the difference between loving this homeschooling life, and giving up on it many times over.
Gosh, time flies. The new school year is really here. We’re starting late, and, still, I feel like it snuck up on me.
And so, as we do every year, we’re taking stock of where we’ve been and where we’re headed as we head into 11th, 9th, and pre-K with our kids.
As a family, we’ve been busy breaking down those long-term goals into our homeschool goals for 2020-2021, and I wanted to share the biggest ones with you.
The first goal we have for our school year is to make more time for learning that includes the preschooler.
Up to this point, the focus has been on doing school with my teens and giving the youngest something to keep him busy. This year, we’re integrating him more into the actual learning by choosing topics that even he can learn something from, and having the teens work with him on his preschool activities.
He can “assist” with science and art projects, and, though we’ll spare him any of the details of WWII, he can help find places on the map and prepare food from around the world. The preschool resources I’m using include lots of hands-on projects and even some games, so a big sibling can do some of those with him while I work with the other teen, or do some of my own work!
This is huge for us because it moves us toward our overall goals of family bonding and fostering lifelong learning and curiosity.
The second goal we have for 2020-2021 is to get back to writing on a regular basis as a routine part of daily life.
A long-term goal for our homeschool is to give our children the tools to communicate intelligently and professionally. Looking back over the last few years, we realized that we’ve built adequate skills, but making further progress in this area got put on the back burner.
I’ve done a lot of thinking and planning around writing for this year. Part of that involves my learning more about curriculum and tools I can use with my kids. The September focus of The Triangle Homeschool Village University is Language Arts in our homeschools. As I’ve researched, I’ve put together a page of links and created a journal printable to help you brainstorm ideas around this subject area.
CLICK HERE to get your free 1-week trial of THVU membership and grab these printables while they’re still available!
My primary means of working on writing in our homeschool will be journaling, continuing the grammar exercises we started as part of our quarantine routine, and committing to WriteShop lessons at least 3 times per week.
The third homeschool goal we have for this school year is to be very intentional about giving my kids time to pursue their interests.
One of the speakers from the 2020 Carolina Homeschool Conference spoke about how our out-of-the-box thinkers need to fill their creative cups before they have the desire and energy to pour into their more mundane academic work.
This was a real lightbulb moment for me and caused us to completely overhaul our planning and scheduling. Instead of giving my kids a daily schedule that puts all their academic work in boxes first, and schedules their interest-led pursuits in the blocks that are left, we blocked off interest-led time and then filled in academics around it!
I know, I know… this sounds crazy and undisciplined, and something in the back of my mind nags “but that’s not how real life works!” But in reality, it’s just a mental shift, and not necessarily a practical one.
When we sat down and laid out our days by blocking off time for my daughter’s crafting, and my son’s auto tinkering first, it turns out they wanted to do that in the afternoons when the academic day seems to drag on and turn to drudgery. This left the mornings for their must-do assignments, and now they’ll (hopefully) be more motivated to work through that to-do list knowing that they have an uninterrupted block of their own time to do what really lights them up.
The scheduling change also means my big kids won’t need hands-on instruction in the afternoons, which is generally a better time for me to get out and do fun things with the preschooler. I really think this is going to be a win all around and I’m excited to kick off our year this way! I’ll be sure to report back on how that goes for us!
There’s nothing like sharing your goals with a list of nearly 1000 virtual friends to make sure I stay accountable and actually work towards completing them, huh?! Yikes! But there it is.
Have questions about how to set some homeschool goals for your family?
Share in the comments one of the homeschool goals you have for the 2020-2021 school year! Why did you set that goal? What’s your plan for staying accountable?