The following is a guest post by Donna Ashton of The Waldorf Connection.
You may have planned the weekly math lessons and science projects, but have you created some foundational goals as well?
When I look back, those years I outlined my intentions, it worked.
I like to separate my goals into three main categories:
Homeschool goals, Goals for each child, Goals for myself.
You may be doing individual goals for your children, but are you also looking at your homeschool as a whole?
Have you set intentions for you to learn and grow?
Only you can take a look at your whole homeschool and see what can be improved, what is working or, if you are brand-new, what you want it to look and feel like. Take an afternoon or weekend to really think and feel into this.
Examples of things I have put in my goals for previous years:
- Better end of semester record keeping
- Keep lessons on track, yet breathable
- Being much more prepared and thoroughly covering the lesson blocks
- Adding specialty projects (handwork/crafts) that go along with blocks
Consistent starting times, handwork twice a week, foreign language
Goals for each child
I really meditate for a few days for each child. What are they strong in? What takes a bit more practice? Where do you see their interests forming?
I feel this is not just about academics, reading or math facts, but their entire being. I try to meet each child where they are currently.
Both of my girls are the same age, yet each has developed quite differently and are not in the same place. I go inward and let my soul guide me. I hope to get inspiration as to what each girl needs from me.
This exercise is great to do again midway through the year as things can change rapidly as children spread their wings.
I may also look at work from late last year or any we have done over the summer to see what ideas need review or practice early this year.
- Continue stimulating with creative mediums and don’t force reading
- Spelling practice in a fun way and encourage processing ideas
- Increased clapping, and movement exercises
- Practice correct pencil holding form and writing skills
Here you can really see the child as a whole and also add some specific detailed things you would like to do.
Goals for Yourself
As someone who is always learning, I include myself in my goals for the year. But I try not to put too much pressure on myself, especially as school is just getting started and I don’t want to feel overwhelmed.
Pick a few things you would like to accomplish over the school year and review your goals each month or quarter.
Again, I try to incorporate “inner” goals such as:
- rising early to begin the day peacefully
- weekly yoga
- monthly book to read (parenting, school, or personal growth)
And then add some task-oriented goals
- learn to knit or crochet
- bake bread weekly
- plant winter garden
These are not written in stone–it is just a guide to give you that “big picture” thinking when things get busy and you are stuck in the moment.
Feel free to adjust as you go. I usually take a hard look and revise right after the holidays/semester break.
When I look back and see how far we have come these past few years I feel a real sense of joy and accomplishment in our progress. It is nice to have these yearly goals to follow along your homeschooling path.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a mentor to help create meaningful goals this school year plus give you the basic foundational methods to create a thriving homeschool for your kids?
After almost three years offering workshops and partial programs to help Waldorf-inspired homeschooling families, I finally decided to create the ultimate 6-month training program.
Homeschool Academy: 6 months to a Thriving Homeschool
Breath, Relax and Take Charge
Oct 2012 thru March 2013
This program is for homeschooling moms who want to stop spinning their wheels and re-creating everything so they can have time and space to breathe. And to do it with joy!
Head here to see what each month of the course will cover. We begin with our first live call October 10th and I’d love to have you join me!
You can get a sneak peek into the course with my FREE Video Training Series. I love to deliver great tips and ideas and the first part is complimentary. Register here to have access to this free training series–and I’d be honored to have you as a participant on the course, too!
What are the other goals you have for this homeschool year?
My biggest goal for my son this year is to help him read. He’s getting there and it’s awesome. This will help him in every subject for next year so it’s our main focus and if I skip anything…reading time always makes the cut!
My biggest goal for myself is to learn everything I expect my son to learn & to produce my artwork regularly (which usually means a piece every other month).
My biggest general homeschooling related goal is to verbally praise my kids and to not put pressure on myself too much cause they’re doing great! 🙂
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Though we’re not officially homeschooling yet, my main goal is to more fully learn to appreciate all the natural learning opportunities all around us.
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Jen @ anothergranolamom
At the beginning of 2012, instead of writing a New Year’s Resolution list, I wrote a “100 things” list. Things like: make a pie every month, go hiking at least every month, run outside once a week. The kids made their own lists. While we have not done all of our 100 things, it has been a great way to make sure things that were important to use were covered.
At the beginning of the school year, I have a special meeting with each of my 4 kids. We went out for coffee (or a donut,) and discussed what my goals for them were for the school year and what their goals were. Sometimes finding out what they think they should learn is really enlightening! It was certainly time well spent.
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Johanna @ My Home Tableau
My goal is to incorporate more learning opportunities into the day. To learn to follow my children’s lead better. And for myself to continue to reserach and understand how children learn.
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As always Great Posts from your site. Sometimes when I read them I feel as if they are just for me, kinda like church. Have a great day!
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My goal for this year is to slow down, adjust our schedule so we’re almost completely finished with our core subjects before lunch, and allow more “free time” for nature study, art, and personal growth/exploration.
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Great post. I have several goals but one that is close to my heart this year is to make school more fun and incorporate more games into our learning.
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For our first year of homeschool (Kindergarten) we have purposely chosen a curriculum that allowed a lot of flexibility so that we could continue our natural, “life is learning” approach. However, our overarching goal for this year is to build structure and routine into our days and weeks and to break bad habit and add good ones. Above all, I want this year to feel peaceful and nurturing, not frenzied and without purpose.
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