So, you’re committed to letting your children pick some of the things they’re interested in studying. You may even be committed to allowing your child’s interests to design your whole curriculum. However, you can’t forget that feeling in the back of your head like you should be working towards something. You think that a year where you can’t measure progress is a year that has been wasted. It’s not wrong to feel this way, and it’s not wrong to want progress for your child.
So, how do you square away the idea that you need to measure your child’s progress against your desire to let them control the rhythm, content and pace of their learning? You need to set goals for your children. You also need to allow your children to set some of their own goals (but that’s a post for tomorrow).
I’m not telling you that you need to plan your child’s whole curriculum from beginning to end. I’m telling you that in your head, when you picture your children, you have an idea of the skills that you wish them to have at the end of eighteen years in your house. These are likely the skills that they’ll need to actually function in the working world as well as some additional character and reasoning abilities that you’re wanting to provide the opportunities for your children to foster.
What I tend to do is to take goal setting one child at a time and for one year at a time. I look at each child and pray about what I want to see them do this year, and think about what my husband has mentioned that he wants them to do this year, and I begin to plan for that as I’m thinking of the tools and resources that I’m going to strew across their paths.
These are the goals that I came up with each of my children this year.
Firecracker (Nine years old–4th Grade)
I really, first and foremost, want to work with him on taking responsibility for the things he does and not blaming it one other people. I want him to be able to admit when he’s wrong and apologize, and I want to be the kind of person who thinks of others and apologizes for my wrong-doings so that he will pick this up in his own life.
I would love it if he would learn his math facts. This was on my list for last year, and he’s improved some problem solving skills and has a better concept of multiplication and division and he’s also made better progress with his addition and subtraction facts. I’d still like to see him make some improvements.
I want to expose him to lots of great literature and give him the opportunities to respond to that literature.
I would like for him to help in the kitchen and with other chores willingly, and I would like for him to be able (and willing) to try some new foods.
Rose (Seven years old–2nd Grade)
I would like to see her be more kind to her siblings and not talk to them as if they were bothers to her. As I hear her tones, I’m really working on monitoring my tones. I don’t want to treat people as if they were bothering me, and I don’t want her to act that way either.
I would like for her to learn to read….not just the short words like cat, dog, etc. that she can read now, but I’d love for her to get to a place where she can read books. In conjunction with that, I also want to expose her to high quality literature and allow her to respond to it.
I would like to work with her a little on math concepts with manipulatives, card games and computer games.
I would like for her to find a meaningful hobby that she loves and that keeps her mind busier so that she’s not so prone to boredom. As part of that, I would also like to spend more time with her engaging her in relationships with me and with other people.
Monkey (4 years old–preschool)
I would like to see him be more helpful in picking up and doing the tasks that I set before him at home.
I would like for him to learn more basic Bible stories.
I would like for him to learn to recognize his letters and the sounds they make. Along the same lines, I would like for him to recognize his numbers. (I also had this goal for him last year, and we didn’t meet it because he wasn’t ready.)
I would like for him to pick up some basic mouse and computer skills to help him with some of the online learning that we’re doing.
Owlet (3 years old–tot school)
I want to see her learning basic household chores.
I want to see her obeying without complaint.
I want her to begin to learn her basic Bible stories.
I want her (and Monkey as well) to color, paint, make messes and enjoy being small children.
As you can see from my goals, these are basic and aren’t the kinds of goals that are going to plan a curriculum. This is a guide for you as you begin to collect resources, so that you will strew things across their paths and even occasionally directly work on things that will help you to accomplish those goals.
This blog post is part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew’s Back to Homeschool Blog hop. If you’re interested in reading more “Back to Homeschool” themed posts, there are some great ones to be found at these blogs:
Jennifer @ Chestnut Grove Academy
Crystal @ Tidbits of Experience
Jennifer @ Milk & Honey Mommy
Dawn @ Guiding Light Homeschool
Monique @ Living Life and Learning
Erin @ For Him and My Family
Lisa @ A Rup Life
You can also click the banner below to get back to the main blog hop webpage and continue exploring! Join me tomorrow as I talk how to find out what your children’s goals are!