Archive for the ‘homeschool’ Category

Goal Setting for Homeschoolers

July 28, 2016

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Just Doing my Duties

April 1, 2015

Today was my inaugural experience with dead guy duties… I mean jury duty. (If you don’t know lines from Nacho Libre, you may as well be living in a cardboard box!)

My third summons arrived in the mailbox a while back and I decided to give it a whirl instead of listing all the lame reasons why someone else can’t watch my kids for a few days. After all, it’s Spring… and homeschool mamas are about done with school anyway, so why not use a civil duty as another Spring Break excuse? Right? Spring Break Week THREE!

Parking downtown in a free lot was certainly a bonus. The air conditioned motor coach delivery to the Superior Court was a nice touch. Free cinnamon buns and coffee was the literal icing on the cake, but I have tasted supreme cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven of a Mennonite grandmother, so those didn’t tempt me a bit. And free coffee… eeechk. Sitting at a cubicle in the “business center” of the juror waiting area made me feel IMPORTANTE! Like I was doing a mission for de Lord. (Insert Nacho accent.)

Alas, on the third juror selection screen, “Crosby, L.” showed up. Dangit. For those who know me well, or have read my blog and picked up on the nuances of numbers that I use… number 27 is my favorite number. It works well with most exaggerations and sounds kind of cute… there were 327 singers at de par-tee. (Nacho, again.) So, as it happened, the random appointment of 65 jurors with numbers landed me at, ……you guessed it, TWENTY-SEVEN. Like it was ordained or something. I almost laughed out loud. I texted my daughter at college and told her I was juror #27 to which she replied, “Of course you are!”

The rules of jury duty were explained and the one that had me tripped up a tad was: “#4 Show no emotional reaction to evidence, testimony or statements.” Now, I’m a wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve kind of gal. You wonder what I think?….. just watch my face. I would NEVER succeed as a poker player. Rationalizing, or more appropriately, “irrationalizing” I figured I could play stone face for a five day trial. Au contraire. I didn’t even make it through jury selection.

As various jurors were stating why they couldn’t participate in a domestic violence case, one gal sobbed her way through her explanation of life with her abusive ex-husband. I didn’t sob, but I needed multiple Kleenexes. Then to my amusement, someone stated that they couldn’t participate because they couldn’t leave their dog for five days. Unfortunately, an involuntary laugh escaped from my lips. Immediately I was embarrassed by my outburst in the quiet courtroom, but was more taken aback that no one else found that ridiculously funny. Do I just find things funnier than most people? IT WAS A DOG! It’s not like Dr. Doolittle didn’t leave his pets behind once in a while. Yeah, I’m not really a “show no emotion” type gal.

After the dismissal of 20 jurors (the dog watcher included) those of us remaining had to state our employment, our spouse’s employment and our children. I tried to sound normal… normal for a homeschooling mom with four kids is not really normal to most of society. “I am an author, speaker and homeschooling mom to four kids ages 21, 18, 16 and 11.” That was it. Pretty normal if you ask me. It’s not like I was summoning my eagle powers at that moment. (Please go watch Nacho Libre if all of these references are going over your sheltered head.)

Then, my slam-dunk-weirdo-alert occurred. The attorney for the prosecution stood up and asked if there was anyone who has never seen an episode of a TV show like CSI. He was doing it as proof that EVERYONE (meaning normal people) has seen law and order shows and has a biased opinion from them. Unfortunately, maybe…fortunately, I raised the pink laminated 27. He looked at me for a second and then asked incredulously, “You have never seen a law type TV show?” “Um, no…. (pause for weirdness factor to exponentially explode) We don’t have TV. There was an audible gasp in the room and I heard a whisper from a fellow juror behind me, “Good for you!” I believe that sealed the deal and I could go home to my room for some toast. (Nacho is seriously addicting.) I didn’t even need to bring my large purple purse with the Jesus Saves bumper stickers on it. My own true story was weird enough to get me out of bad guy duties.

Thankfully, I didn’t make the cut. I think de Lord was protecting me from having to witness evidence in a domestic violence case. I am jury duty free for two years now! And now I can relax during Easters.