Raising Fireflies

Creating Homeschool Goals

Do you have goals for your homeschool?  Up until last year I was so overwhelmed with the actual process of homeschooling that I had never considered setting goals.  Don’t get me wrong, I had a general idea of what we wanted to accomplish for the year, but nothing concrete.  However, once I FINALLY managed to come up with some homeschool goals, I was sold!  Setting goals helps bring things into focus.  It also makes it easier to choose my curriculum, as well as set my schedule.  So today I thought I would show you my homeschool goals, as well as the process I used to create them.  So here are my steps to creating homeschool goals.

1).  Ask the questions

Before creating my goals I always like to evaluate where we are, versus where we want to be.  I do so by asking the following set of questions.

  • What is the current atmosphere in our homeschool? Am I happy with how it is, or would I like to change it?
  • Are there areas of our homeschool that need improvement? (Is the day too long or too short?  Too boring?)
  • What are our reasons for homeschooling?  Do my current goals support these reasons?
  • What values do we want to instill in our children?
  • Are there current weaknesses that need addressed?
  • What new things are my children interested in?  What would they like to learn?

By asking these questions I can get a better sense of how our homeschool is functioning.  Every year, without fail, there are tweaks that need to be made.  Now I know that school is work, and can’t always be rainbows & sunshine, but it should never be miserable either.  These questions give me a good starting point for my goals.

2).  Choose your goal categories

I am a list person, and I like things broken down into segments.  For some reason it makes it easier for me to look at.  With that in mind I choose 5 or 6 categories to set goals in.  These are the areas of life that are most important to me.  As an example my current categories are:

  • Religious Goals
  • Character Goals
  • Atmosphere Goals
  • Scholastic Goals
  • Life Skill Goals

By having categories I can make sure that I cover every area.  I chose to separate religious goals & character goals because character studies were being left out too often.  These goals can easily be integrated together, but having them separate puts a greater emphasis on each of them when I am planning.  Atmosphere goals are the overall feel and design of our homeschool.  Are we all cranky and stressed at the end of the day?  Then our atmosphere goals need improvement.  Of course the scholastic goals are the ones that apply to actual school work.  Do we need improvement in writing or reading?  These would be scholastic goals.  The life skills section is where I put any homemaking skills that I want to address.  I feel like my girls need to be proficient not only academically, but also in real life skills.

3).  Create the goals

In the last stage of planning I create the actual goals.  I look at each of my categories and add 2-3 goals that I wish to accomplish throughout the year. Breaking them down allows me to set manageable goals, and keeps me from becoming overwhelmed.  I also include a few goals that the girls set on their own.

Now that you know my system, let me show you what my actual goals look like this year.

(* denotes a goal one of the girls added)

  •  Religious Goals
    • To learn to investigate God’s will for our lives, as well as how to follow it. (BJU Bible)
    • Focus more on hymns and scripture memory, and learn the Old Testament Books of the Bible. (BJU Bible)
  • Character Goals
    • Focus on being diligent in our work, kind to all people, and content with what we have. (BJU Bible/Character Studies)
  • Atmosphere Goals
    • Make our homeschool more fun!  (Add in more games, crafts, & experiments)
    • Add in more arts & crafts.* (Pinterest here I come!)
  • Scholastic Goals
    • Improve math skills for my oldest. (Be more diligent with flash cards & multiplication drills, add in some math games)
    • Improve phonic skills for my youngest. (read, read, read)
    • Read more great literature. (Give priority to read-a-loud time)
    • Move from American History to World History.* (Add Story of the World to our homeschool day)
    • Focus more on Spanish.*  (Both with online games & a program that is still TBD)
    • More science experiments, as well as more focus on astronomy, animals, & germs.*  (Start having a “Science Fun Friday”)
  • Life Skill Goals
    • Become more proficient with chores. (Mom needs to be more diligent with inspections)
    • Spend more time in the kitchen.  (Let go of my OCD and let my oldest be more creative with her meals; give the youngest more independence in the kitchen)

So there you have it, our homeschool goals for the year!  Notice that I put how I plan to accomplish my goals in parenthesis.  This helps me to ensure that my goals are realistic BEFORE I try to implement them.  Basically it saves me from driving my children nuts!  I hope this has been a help to you in your homeschool journey. Do you have a system for creating homeschool goals?  If so, please share it with me in the comments!  I am always looking for ways to improve my methods.

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