Posts Tagged ‘goals’

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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first day of school 009

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My Bucket List

May 30, 2010

Tonight I pulled out a journaling book that I started in 2007… it has in it, among other gatherings of words… my Bucket List.  One hundred things I want to do in my lifetime.  It’s been at least a year since I went through the list… that only goes up to 72 at the moment.  When I accomplish a listed item I highlight it.  There were eight lines highlighted already.  Surprisingly, tonight I highlighted three items from 2009 that were accomplished. 

I read somewhere long ago that if you write down your goals your brain grasps onto them subconsciously and even if you’re not remembering them… you are drawn to accomplish them.  I’m not sure if I believed that until I was married about 14 years and came across my scrapbook from my senior year of high school.  There was a page for 1 year, 5 year and 10 year goals.  What 18-year-old has any clue what they will be doing when they are 28???  Please.  Unbelievably, all the goals that I wrote down had been successfully completed… without me remembering that I jotted them in my scrapbook in 1984

Back to tonight and my Bucket List.  In case you live in a cave, a movie came out a few years back called the Bucket List and the premise was about two old guys determined to live out life’s wishes before they kicked the bucket.  I never saw it.  Anywho…. I highlighted three lines on my list tonight.

#10.  Take the kids on a missions trip.  Larisa, Austin and I went to La Mision, Mexico last summer… and it was Austin’s first time seeing an impoverished city.  It changed him, as I knew it would.  My 11-year-old son still is on the list to go, but I highlighted it anyway.  I firmly believe every American kid needs to see poverty, desperate need, and the happiness that is still available in spite of living conditions.  We are so spoiled blessed.

#51. Live close to the church.  For more than 10 years we have driven 30 minutes to church.  When your kids want to get more involved… an hour round-trip is a long way.  When gas is over $3 a gallon, every little trip counts.  Little did I know that we would be changing churches in 2009 and the new one is 8 minutes away.  Glory!

#61.  Publish a book for married women.  Last September my book Learning to Laugh in the Midst of Marriage came out.  Sweet! The book was not even started when I made the list!  See…. subconsciously!

Some of my other entries include traveling to far away spots on God’s green earth that I have studied and long to see.  Others involve helping others, teaching the kids new tricks, taking an emergency truck ramp…. quit laughing… they are so tempting,  learning a few tricks myself and reaching many for God’s kingdom.  I believe 2010 will bring at least three more highlighted lines… maybe more!

Do you have a Bucket List?

End of the School Year

May 12, 2010

Tomorrow is supposed to be the last day of school for LAKE Academy.  (L = Larisa, A = Austin, K = Keeve and if Zaza’s real name starts with E… it will all be so perfecto!)  However, none of my pupils are finished with their work.  My most hopeful student did not pass his last math test with over 90%…. which is not a passing grade at LAKE Academy.  We have high standards to uphold… and math requires skills that need to be remembered over and over.. and mastered.  He will be doing some review and then retaking the test.  Some of you may balk at my expectations, but the kids know they can live up to them… so I set them HIGH!  If I set them low, they would live up to those as well.  We are not striving for mediocrity in this home school!  No, I’m not pushing my kids beyond their capabilities either.  Calm down.

Pupil #3 got braces put on this week and it has slowed his progress in math and grammar.  I gave him a check-off list five weeks ago with what needed to be accomplished each day.  He has been faithful and diligent until this week.  He may be able to complete his work for the year on Friday… if his mouth is not distracting him.  Wires poking your cheeks can be such a detriment to every day life.  Good grief!  Thank God for wax!

Pupil #1 has had an unbalanced year.  She had way too much of a good thing during the first semester and much making up for the lacking things during second semester.  I also gave her a list of what needed to be accomplished to complete her sophomore year.  Frankly, it will probably take her another month.  But that’s OK.  Her calendar is wide open!  She’ll be winding down the same time as her cousins in Washington who don’t finish school until end of June.  Perfect.

As the homeschool marm, I reflect on my teaching for the past year… right about now…..  Mid-May.  I didn’t do as well as I had hoped with staying on top of high school history.  Spanish for my boys died mid-winter and is still in need of resuscitation.  We may be doing that all summer.  For spelling, both boys advanced more than a year!  They also finished math and are right on course… actually, #2 son is about 2/3 of a year ahead.  Their writing dramatically improved this year thanks to an IEW course.  (Institute for Excellence in Writing)  They know how to take notes from three sources, compile them, make an outline, write a three paragraph paper with opening and closing/clincher sentences… AND know how to add strong verbs, adjectives, adverbs, clauses and sentence openers.  (More than most high school graduates!)  So I feel great about that!  Not so great about high school history.

Out of my nine years of homeschooling my kids, I would only say I did a great job one out of nine years.  That’s not good odds. I’d tell you the exact percentage, but my calculator is missing from my desk.  And I don’t do math in my head.  As soon as I have to carry a number, they all get mixed up.  My great year was last year…. year EIGHT!  But, hey, there’s always next year!  And if we don’t set our goals high… we wouldn’t accomplish hardly anything at all!  Next week I’ll be breathing easy.  Whew!

?# 18 from My Sister’s Jar – The Next Decade

August 21, 2008

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Egads.  I’ll be 52.  That’s just after old age sets in.  Wow.  Don’t worry, that won’t be me… I can’t play the accordion.  :o)  Whenever I look to the future I figure out how old my kids will be…. 25, 22, 20 and Zaza in her upper teens.  Wow again.  Larisa could be married and Aus and Keeve in college or on NHL teams, as they’ll tell you.  Well, thanks to Zaza I’ll still be homeschooling.  (For those new to MSJ, Zaza is the nickname for our daughter we are adopting from Colombia… any day now.) 

I hope to have AT LEAST two more books published by then, one on marriage and one on the joy of weighing yourself daily.  I’ve got them inside of me…. I simply need the time to get them out.  I also see myself speaking to more women as my time will be somewhat more flexible with most of the kids out of the house.  That’s so sad.  Gone.  I think I need to go find them and hug their necks right now.

I hope that Rick’s schedule will be far more loose by the year 2018 and we can do homeschool high school with Zaza traveling the world.  (Oh, the joys of the baby of the house, eh, Christy?!)  I also secretly hope to either have a summer home where it isn’t 120 degrees or to be completely moved to somewhere else with four seasons and a winter home here in Phoenix.  So I guess I’m trying to say that I DON’T see myself as full time resident in Phoenix in 10 years.

This was short and sweet. 

www.LindaCrosby.com  BAGS -> www.bagsforzaza.blogspot.com

?#16 from My Sister’s Jar – Weaknesses

August 19, 2008

Ouch.  The title says it all.  Analyze the weaknesses…. AWKWARD!

One of my weaknesses I want to improve on is ___________________.  Jot down some ideas to move you toward your goal.

Why not just ask what size underwear I wear?  Just as painful… and private.  The only comforting word in the question is the first word… ONE.  That eases the stress a wee bit.  I don’t know if this is truly a weakness or not, but I’ve been doing some serious thinking since last Friday night’s Mom’s Night Out dinner about my bedtime.  My highly organized friend mentioned a book that described the value of every hour you sleep before midnight being worth three that you try to get after midnight.  Who comes up with this fluff? 

I’m a night owl with macrame owls with wooden bead eyes hanging in my bedroom.  (OK, not true, but you get the point. Can you believe I found that picture!?)  In college my classes hardly ever started before 10 a.m.  My best study hours were when the dorm was quiet…. 12 a.m. to 2 a.m.  I still got eight hours of sleep, but obviously not the most productive hours at my disposal.  And we think we know it all in college.  Hardly.  That was when I figured out just how much I didn’t know.

My most productive hours sewing, writing, planning, etc. are from 9 p.m. to midnight.  My friends explained that I conditioned my body to this, but it is the most beneficial to follow the clock God set in the sky.  Sun up to sun down.  What?  I don’t even know what time the sun comes up.  Sometime before 7:00… and the only reason I know this is because I swim on Tuesday and Thursday mornings… with an accountability group… or I wouldn’t show up.

Anyway, like I said, I’ve been doing some thinking about bedtime.  I’m thinking I might try to move it back thrity minutes at a time for a week… until I hit 10:00.  Who knows if my eyes will actually fling open of their own volition at 7:00 a.m…. or even earlier.  We’ll see.  This is not going to be easy.  But nothing worth its muster is easy.  (Remember, I’m reading the book Do Hard Things.) I think this might help for homeschooling… being up BEFORE the children.  Wow.  Novel idea.  That hasn’t happened since…..  OK, it never happened.  They were my alarm clocks from when they were babies and toddlers. 

My Goals for lights out:  This week:  11:30.   Next week: 11:00.  Sept. 1-6 10:30.  OK, I’m gone on a scrapbooking trip for four days that week, so I’ll try 10:30 until Sept. 13.  THEN 10:00 starting on Sept. 14.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress.  My husband is going to be in for the shock of his life.  He is my evil night owl twin.  Before children we played cards in bed until 3:00 a.m.  Oh boy.  Good night.

Happy Ground Hog Day!

February 2, 2008

ground-og.jpg Big headlines for today:  Pennsylvania Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil Sees Shadow, Predicts 6 More Weeks of Winter.  (Is this a stock picture from 1927, or are there some serious Phil lovers in PA?)

And Phoenicians are rejoicing.   :o)