This guest post is part of our 30 Days of Homeschool: The Good, The Bad & The In-Between Blog Series
First, let me start by saying that at this point in our journey I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT HOMESCHOOLING my girls. However, we were not always set on homeschooling. Both of my twins had two wonderful years in a public preschool, and attended our local public school for kindergarten. It wasn’t until we found out that my daughter would be having spinal surgery when she was 5 and would be in rehab for 6 months after that. It made perfect sense to homeschool at that point. I just needed to learn how to set goals for guidance in our homeschool and I want to share with you a few things about setting goals that I have learned along our ten year journey in homeschooling.
You Will Receive Unsolicited Advice
Everyone who homeschools believes in the path they have taken. And like everyone in everything, if something is working for us we want to share it. The best curriculum, how to socialize them, what activities are important, are all things that we have to make decisions about. I recommend that you BLOCK it all out. I have participated in so many discussions about curriculum, that it makes me crazy. It is something that you will have to choose based on you and your child’s learning style.
You Will Receive Some Invaluable Advice
The one piece of advice I receive in the beginning of our journey was from an acquaintance we met while staying at the Ronald McDonald House during my daughters rehab therapy. She told me to write a mission statement and some long term goals. So I did. I named our homeschool Summerwind Academy and said that Here at Summerwind Academy we thank the Lord for our blessings, read lots of books, serve others, and create things in order to live our best lives. It was not fancy or beautifully worded, but I wrote it down on the inside of my planning notebook. My first year, our goals were these five things. Every decision I made, I ask myself if it moved us closer to these goals. It helped guide me. We did not need a full on curriculum, because we were just going to read lots of books.
Your Goals Will Change, But They Will Still Be Your Goals and Can Guide You in Decision Making
Our first year, our goals were for them to learn to read well, participate in volunteer activities, create a nature journal, and read the Bible through. In 2015, my girls were in middle school, I got divorced, and we moved. Our goals for that year were to read lots of books, and to survive the divorce. Last year my twins started highschool and our goals have changed. I set the goal that they would be prepared to enter college, even if they chose a different path. I listed out their high school graduation requirements and a list of possible electives. When we choose activities and opportunities we use this as a guide.
You Will Have Life Challenges During Your Homeschool Journey
When life happens, homeschool changes to teaching life lessons, and I have learned that IT’S OK. When we had to travel for my daughters therapy, sometimes we were out of town for weeks at a time. Our goals kept us focused, we still read lots of books, we helped other families who were suffering at the Ronald McDonald House, and we visited the zoo and the aquarium many times. When we found out that my dad had brain cancer and would only be with us a few more months, they read books to him, learned how to make juice smoothies for him, and ride the bikes that he got them. During these times many people feel like they are getting behind or their kids are not getting the education that they need. I would encourage you to LET IT GO. My daughters and myself, learned life lessons during these times, when life happens.
In an effort to provide full disclosure: My girls are not geniuses, musical savants, or walking trivial pursuit games. They are both very well rounded individuals. They are both going to graduate high school very well prepared to start college if they choose that path. I say if they choose, because right now it seems like they are both on the path to being entrepreneurs. I am proud of what we have done so far, and I LOVE HOMESCHOOLING.
I am happy to have the opportunity to share with you here at 30 Days of Homeschooling: The Good, The Bad, And All the Rest.