The following post is an excerpt from a chapter in our upcoming ebook, Homeschooling Day by Day.
I jump into each new homeschool year with high expectations, of both my children and myself.
Expectations can be a good thing, as they are a motivational tool for accomplishment. However, expectations are only “good” if they are tempered with reality and powered by reachable goals.
Before I strike out in pursuit of lofty achievements for the school year, I stop and ask
myself a few questions:
Are my expectations achievable?
Are they practical?
Do they reflect my child’s true needs at this season of life?
Expectations are great, but how am I going to get there?
How am I going to motivate my child to get there?
And how am I going to keep from getting distracted along the way?
My solution for this is to create reachable goals. Goals generally fall into two categories: academic goals and character goals.
Academic goals are woven into our weekly and monthly lesson plans, and adjusted as my children grow and learn.
Sometimes we speed things up. When things aren’t going so well, we slow down.
Again, the goals must be in step with where we’re at in real life.
Character training is foundational in homeschooling. Without it, academics are just a bunch of fluff.
Character training will not “just happen”. It takes much intentional
and consistent effort to shape the souls of our children.
There are always character traits I want to see my children develop, but how is this accomplished? By daily planting seeds, training, and, most importantly, modeling Christ-like character.
It means I am always searching for a book or a film or a game or a Scripture or anything that will reinforce and encourage the desired end result.
As parents, our goals for our children
must shape the way we live.
What do we talk about at the dinner table?
What media are we putting before our children’s eyes?
What influences are we allowing in our homes?
All these things are shaping our children’s worldviews, their character, their habits, and, ultimately, their futures.*
This ebook is set to launch next Monday, August 12, but just in case you can’t wait that long, here are a few more “sneak peaks”:
How Pride Hurts Homeschoolers @ Growing Home Blog
Your Greatest Critic @ Living and Learning at Home
Making Homeschool Fun @ Jill’s Home Remedies
Mom, you matter! @ The Multi Taskin’ Mom
Homeschooling Through The Teenage Years @ Walking Redeemed
Homeschooling a Child on the Autistic Spectrum @ A Mama’s Story
For the Homeschooling Mom in Need of Encouragement @ Under the Golden Apple Tree
Kristy Howard is a pastor’s wife, second-generation homeschooling mom of five, and a passionate believer in friendship, coffee, and quiet time! Kristy writes about motherhood, ministry and life at KristysCottage.com.