Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Do you set goals for your homeschool?

When I was planning our first grade year - our first official year of homeschooling - I thought about the subjects we were going to include, the books we would use, and the way we would do things. I also thought about why.

I didn't write out a list of goals, but I had some in mind.

I planned to include a lot of subjects. A Charlotte Mason education includes Bible, reading, writing, literature, history, geography, foreign language, science, physical education, math, music appreciation, singing, instrumental music, art appreciation, art, handicrafts, etc.

When I thought about what I wanted my daughter to get out of studying all of these subjects, I realized that each of my "goals" fit into one of three categories. I had goals about attitude. I wanted my daughter to more than care about what she was learning; I wanted her to love it. I had goals about creating habits. I wanted my daughter to understand that we would do some things regularly. And I had goals about skills. For example, in studying a foreign language, I wanted my child to learn some words in that language.

The three categories made me think of Charlotte Mason's definition of education:

Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.

I think my goals could be called atmosphere goals, discipline goals, and life goals. For example, I want my daughter to want to read (atmosphere), to read every day (discipline), and to develop as a reader (life).

Now, my daughter isn't going to want to read if she thinks that I don't value reading, or if I tell her to hurry up and get done with her reading to check off a to-do list. She isn't going to read daily if I don't make books accessible and eliminate distractions. And, she isn't going to develop as a reader if I don't read to her and have her read to me.

What are your thoughts about setting goals for your homeschool?

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