When we began homeschooling in 2001 our curriculum instructed us to set yearly goals for each of our kids in four areas: spiritual, physical, academic, and character. So we did. I’m a homeschool mom. I follow instructions.
As our homeschool life developed we began looking long-term at our kids’ futures, you know, like when they LEAVE! We realized we eventually wanted them to spread their wings and fly away prepared to effectively run a household on their own. We also didn’t want them to be socially awkward. So we made up two more goal categories: life skills and social skills.
For the first day of school every year we head to a donut shop and set goals with the kids. Then we return home and take their picture in front of the school house. Above is from 2005. Below is 2010.
When the children were young (under 12) my husband and I set the goals for the children while eating out at Claim Jumper and sharing a piece of the six-layer Motherlode chocolate cake. Anyone can goal set with enough chocolate available.
As the kids aged, we included them in the goal setting adventure so that they had some skin in the game. By high school, they were setting their own goals with guidance from their loving and involved parents. US!
2011… the year the Colombian princess joined the Crosby family.
We chose one or two goals in each of the six areas, taking into account the personality, skill and talents of each child. We realize goals are to be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-related. Not all of ours were, but we felt we had included enough to move forward.
We checked back on the goals at mid-December, early March and at the end of May. I would mark them with a +, 1/2, or –, depending on the success of the child. Sometimes the same goal came back the next year (like obeying the first time.)
Here are some examples of goals from each of the six areas:
Spiritual: (this was to develop good study and prayer habits) Bible reading, devotional reading, prayer time, scripture memory. When the kids were little, we would choose a time frame such as 10 minutes for prayer and 10 minutes for Bible reading. Sometimes it would be a certain number of memory verses for the year. We also taught them to make prayer request lists, and lists of family and friends to pray for.
Physical: P.E. class, sports, trampoline time, exercises, dance, potty training, riding a bike, etc.
Academic: spelling, math flashcards, phonograms, handwriting, oral reading, Spanish, grammar, etc.
Character: obedience, trust, honesty, patience, responsibility, self control, courage, etc. We would pick an area that child needed to work on and would read biographies on a person who exemplified that trait, or have the kids look up Bible verses that applied. We set a plan on ways to practice the chosen character trait.
Life Skills: all household chores, meal planning, cooking, shopping, sewing, car care, painting a room, hooking up a computer, removing screens to wash, animal care, etc. These were taught one at a time until the child mastered the skill at an adult level. (I didn’t want the bathroom to look like a kid had cleaned it!)
Social Skills: introductions, heaphone/cellphone manners, asking three questions to others, eye contact, firm handshake, ladies first, replying without sighing, asking if you can help, etc.
If you are just at the start of your homeschool journey and this seems overwhelming, pick one or two categories to set one goal for each child. Goal setting is a skill that will serve them well throughout their lives.
Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.” Be the one to cast the vision for your homeschool!
And finally the 2013 and 2015 photos.