Spent a long time this morning talking over goal setting and record keeping with Josh. We feel that he has been coasting and though a very thorough and diligent student he needs to be challenged to push the bar a bit more. Our plan is to set 6 weekly goals and to encourage him to communicate as he progresses so we can assess if the goals are realistic and achievable.
We discussed SMART goals
S – specific
M – measurable
A – achievable
R – realistic
T – with Timeline
I was pleased with Joshua’s willingness to reach bigger goals when we were talking about his history course. He recognized that he needed to complete his course on History though was used to taking 6-10 weeks per unit, due to his love of the subject. He acknowledged that he was very familiar with the events/people of the periods of history as his course was about to cover except he wasn’t so aware of how God has been involved in history or how God used the events of man so he suggested that we focus his history lessons to this aspect. This reduced our expected time down to 3 weeks per unit, much more in keeping with our bigger goal. I was proud of him for making this suggestion, since it means giving up(or drastically reducing) studying his joy during his study times.
I know that we often talk about allowing the children to dwell in the subject that they love, and yet, it is our responsibility as parents to equip and prepare our children for things that they, in their youth, may not even recognize. We want to give our children a broad general knowledge as well as specific expertise so both these perspectives need to be balanced in our goal setting.
I intend to continue to purchase living books covering the various periods of history he is studying, though these will be Joshua’s recreation books rather than his study books.
I just finished having a very similar discussion with my oldest! His issue has been in writing. He's having to learn how to manage his tasks and not bite off more than he can successfully complete in an allotted time. I'm so with you on the part of preparing our children for life. That is my heart as well. Be strong, my homeschooling sister!