The time has come for us to look at the new year and set some goals. The new year brings a tension for me. On the one hand I don’t want to be dictated to by a ‘new year’ and just change things just because. I know in the school system everything is new – new grade levels, new classroom, new timetable. But this is where the other side of the conflict comes in – it needn’t be that way for a homeschool family. If the child hasn’t completed a level they don’t have to move on, and if they completed it middle of last year they moved on then. I don’t have a new classroom for them to move into, though it would be nice to put a few new posters around. And why change a timetable if it was working, incorporating all the facets of family life. So we have the tension between a clean slate and going with what is working!
So setting goals for the coming year isn’t a presumption that everything needs to be new, but rather a time of reflection to consider what was working, what wasn’t, where the children are at now, and do I have lessons and projects that are going to meet their current needs.
Last year I wrote Making Plans – my Motivation for Setting Goals. This is a good reminder as I set out to write this year’s goals too – making sure that any goal I set is in keeping with God’s values.
I also wrote: Involving your Teens – it is important that we bring our older children into our plan making. This helps them not only take ownership of their efforts for the coming year but it is also a teaching opportunity as we show them and help them set realistic goals which is a skill needed for life.
This year I have set myself “One Word” which encompasses what I’d like to grow in for the coming year. My word is “Balance”. This is a challenge for me, and at the same time, the word is a reward in and of itself. I am praying for a similar word for each of my children.
In looking at the academic training of our children (Nomi and Daniel) my overarching focus will be to learn study skills – reading, writing, thinking. My main goal for Jess is to identify key skills she wants to master and help her complete those in 6 months (she’ll ‘graduate’ middle of the year – this is the plan at this stage).
This week I’ll be posting other thoughts that have helped me pull together our plans for 2012
- Family Seasons – an outline of our year
- Specific Goals – taking into account the whole child
- Study Routines – just a little tweak from 2011
- Reading lists – 12 books for each child to read in a year
- Curriculum choices for 2012
Can I just encourage you before you go and set too many goals for 2012 to keep in mind that what was happening last year may serve you well this year – you may not need much change. Then again, you may. You cannot set goals without reflecting back and assessing where things where at last year.
You might like to read my goals from last year