Families who first embark on the journey of home education often wonder how to create homeschooling goals. Thankfully, homeschooling is an educational option that allows for much flexibility in how your kids are taught, and gives you—the parent—the freedom to manage your children’s learning paths. Managing your children’s education, nonetheless, is quite the undertaking. With a few simple, goal-planning steps in place, your family will be better prepared to direct your homeschool journey.
Understand Your Family Mission
First things first: be aware of your family mission. Creating a family mission statement, specifically for homeschooling, can certainly help you in planning homeschool goals. For example, if your family’s mission is to give your children as many opportunities to explore the world around them, you may include field trips and travel as a major part of your experience.
Or if your family would like to emphasize technology and engineering, you might enroll your kids in local and online tech classes, provide opportunities to tinker with robotics, or choose to integrate apps into your daily routine. Are you a music-oriented family? Do you travel frequently? Do you enjoy building and woodworking?
Where you live also plays a role in the way you choose to homeschool. Do you live on a ranch, in the suburbs, or in the middle of the city? Culture, location, interests, and family traditions all play a significant role in forming your family mission.
You may even choose to create a mission statement to further emphasize how you would like to see your homeschool played out, or you might just want to keep it in mind, referring back to it from time to time as a reminder of why you’ve decided to homeschool.
Develop Personalized Goals for Each Child
Each child is different and deserves an education that fits them best. Just because a particular method or curriculum worked with one child doesn’t mean that it will with another child. Writing down your child’s gifts and understanding who he is goes a long way in serving him according to his own makeup. Take time to think through each child’s learning preferences and unique abilities and gifts. Then make a list of educational goals for your child that year. It could be as simple as having your child learn to skip count by 2s or as complex as honing public speaking skills.
Whatever your family goals, make them personal to fit each child where he is. Revisit your goals and tweak when necessary. One important thing to remember about goals is that they can be changed. In homeschooling, all plans are subject to change, so never be afraid of change.
At times you might need to rework your homeschool goals to fit new situations. Kids are always growing, maturing, and going through continual metamorphosis. As a parent, you likely feel that it is your job to support their growth by being encouragers, motivators, and a listening ear. If after a few weeks your child conveys to you that a certain subject is extremely hard for him (algebra, for example), this is a perfect opportunity to tweak your educational plan for him by changing curriculum, locating a tutor, or finding additional resources or methods of teaching material so that he can learn it more easily. This requires flexibility on your part to change a process in what may be the middle of a school year.
Or you might find that a weekly ballet lesson conflicts with music practice. If music is your child’s strongest suit, making a decision to eliminate ballet may be necessary in order to focus more fully on music if that’s the greater goal for your family.
The key here is understanding your family mission and your child’s unique giftings while remaining flexible enough to tweak a goal when necessary.