For years our homeschool lacked vision. We floated aimlessly, approaching some end goal, but unsure of exactly where we were going, or what we wanted to accomplish. I felt scattered. Then one day it hit me, homeschooling is like any other area in life. To succeed you need a vision. It was at that point I started setting my yearly homeschool goals. Recently though, I have realized that I need to go further. What is my end goal? What do I want for my children, in the long run? I felt like I was still shooting an arrow in the dark. It was with this in mind that I decided to set some long-term homeschool goals.
How did I set these goals?
- I took a good, hard look at my core values. Which of these do I want to pass on to my daughters? Morally, who do I hope they will become? What do I think it means to raise a firefly?
- I thought about life (real life, not textbook life), and everything a person needs to succeed.
- I examined my kiddos interests. What sparks them to life, education wise? What are they interested in knowing more about?
- I considered all the things that I wish I would have learned, and all the experiences I wish I would have had. What did I miss? Not even necessary things, even the “just because” things. Because sometimes life has to be about more than just work, there’s always time for a little fun right?
- I created a plan, in order of importance.
What did my long-term homeschool goals achieve?
-They gave me priorities.
We are a Christian family, so our faith is a top priority for us. While I realize my children will eventually have to make their own decisions on morals & religion, I want to give them the best foundation I can. This foundation is the top thing I want them to take away from their home education. Knowing this, I can set our learning with this as a top end-goal, and we can focus on this first.
(THINK: What is most important to you?)
-They gave me clarity.
By focusing on what we wanted to achieve, I have been able to embrace the things that matter, and let go of what doesn’t. Often curriculum is full of needless “twaddle,” and the only purpose it serves is to check off a box. Will my 2nd grader ever need to know what they eat for lunch in Antarctica or the lifespan of a penguin? Well, I guess it’s possible, but probably not. Will she need to know how to make change at the grocery store? Yes!
(THINK: What do you need to know to survive in real life?)
-They highlighted our interests.
These goals allow me to focus on what “sparks” my daughters. When a child is intrigued, an education goes from boring to extraordinary. They also allow me to experience things I felt like I missed the first time around. Of course, I know it’s not about me, but an interested teacher usually makes an interested student.
(THINK: What interests your child? What do you regret missing in your education?)
So now, what are our long-term homeschool goals?
1). To have a solid foundation – I want my children to understand the importance of our faith, and to possess a strong moral character. I hope one day they add value to this world, and that they pursue their callings with everything in them.
2). To raise competent adults – It’s a hard situation to think about, but I hope one day my children can survive without me. I want them to know how to make their own lunch, boil their water, and balance their checkbooks. I hope they can run their household, and even their own business if they desire to do so.
3). To spark a love of learning – I want my children to study things they are passionate about, but I also hope to spark some new interests. Think of all the great literature you have missed or all the amazing places you have never even seen. The whole wide world is out there waiting to be experienced. I hope to spark a love for learning in my children so deep that it never lets go.
4). To learn about our history & instill a sense of patriotism – My husband is a US Army Veteran. If he was willing to die for our country, then I at least want my girls to learn to respect it. I also want them to appreciate everything that has happened to get us where we are.
So these are my long-term goals. What are yours? Maybe you have a preschooler, and you haven’t put too much thought into the future. I get that! I’ve been where you are.
Unfortunately, the future came quicker than I wanted it to. Plan your long-term homeschool goals now. Write them down. Then on one of those terrible days, you can look at them and remember exactly why you are in this homeschooling business.