Making Goals for the School Year
The key to getting your school year off to the right start is making goals, either on your own or with your child. Resist the temptation to jump into curriculum selection until you’ve taken time to determine exactly what you want your child to learn and accomplish.
What are areas of growth for my child?
How will I support my child’s growth?
After you’ve listed your goals, use them to make a plan of action. Select curriculum, activities and practices that will help your child achieve those goals.
Click here for a copy of Learning Goals Planning Sheet
Here’s an example of a reading goal for my daughter this year:
GOAL: She will read a variety of genres.
ACTION: I will give her a graphic organizer to record her books. This visual will help her see at a glance what genres she has read. I will also make a list of book suggestions for when we visit the library.
Tips for Making & Utilizing Goals
- Include both academic and non-academic goals. Since you are choosing to homeschool, you are educating your “whole” child. You may want to include things like spirituality, social skills, etc.
- Invite your child to make his/her own goals. This can be a very effective strategy in giving your child a sense of ownership. Giving children responsibility for their own learning outcomes is empowering and can make learning more purposeful and enjoyable.
Click here for a copy of My Learning Goals
- Refer to your goals periodically to keep you on track. I often find, come mid-winter, that I forgot to incorporate some key activities I had originally planned. Checking in with your goals will help you stick with what you deem most important.
- At the end of the year, use your goals to evaluate your child’s growth and your own teaching/facilitating. Don’t worry if you or your child didn’t accomplish everything. (I always plan far more than I can possibly do in a year.) You can use that knowledge to help you in planning next year.