Do you set homeschool goals? Perhaps you read that question and thought, “What’s the point in setting goals for my homeschool and are they really necessary?”
I know it may sound like one extra thing on your plate, but trust me when I say that this could be a game-changer for your homeschool. Here’s why.
(Psst… looking for the Goal Setting for Kids printable pack? You’ll find it down at the bottom of this post!)
Why Homeschool Goals are Important
Setting goals for your homeschool gives your children specific achievements to work towards.
For example, finishing the math curriculum by the end of June.
These goals also keep you on track with what to focus on when a million other activities can tempt you away from homeschool responsibilities.
Before you think about curriculum, set a schedule, or figure out a daily routine, I think it’s important to look at your upcoming homeschool year from a different perspective. Give some thought to the children you’ll be homeschooling, their strengths, and weaknesses, and the season of life you’re in.
For example, if you have a newborn or toddler at home, maybe it’s a good opportunity for your older children to try online schooling through a platform like Outschool.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned as well enter our ninth year of homeschooling, it’s that no two years are the same. Honestly, there are times when no two weeks or days are even consistent. But this deserves some attention.
Setting homeschool goals can help you keep what’s important front row and center. We can easily become sidetracked at meeting expectations, and milestones, and checking off the boxes that we forget the purpose of choosing to homeschool our kids in the first place.
Think of setting homeschool goals as a calibrator… something that will help you stay focused. They can also be used as a progress tracker, but without the added pressure of measuring up. Instead, goals allow for cushion and changes.
If you’ve never thought of setting goals for your homeschool, now is the time to try. Here are five practical steps to setting your homeschool goals this year.
5 Easy Ways to Set Goals in Your Homeschool
Step 1: Brainstorm the direction of your homeschool
In other words, consider the next grade that your kids will be approaching. Will you have an elementary student going into middle school or a middle schooler approaching high school? Is there a job in one of your kids’ near future? College? Take each of your kids “next,” and factor that into the direction your homeschool is heading.
This is also a good time to consider the importance of goal setting for students in a homeschool environment. What goals do your children want to meet this year?
Step 2: Determine your kids’ strengths and weaknesses
These will be used to establish individual goal maps for your kids.
If you have an 8th grader who could use extra help in math, this can become a goal. If your daughter needs a boost in writing, this can also become a goal. But don’t discredit their strengths, as they can be used to help with weaknesses.
Step 3: Set SMART goals
If you’ve worked in sales, the phrase SMART goals will sound familiar.
A SMART goal is
Although you want to set specific goals with measurable progress, remember that behaviors rather than outcomes are the key.
Here’s what I mean.
While memorizing multiplication facts is a great goal, it’s the behavior leading up to that memorization that matters. A good goal would be, “Brady will practice multiplication facts 15 minutes a day.”
Yet it is the behavior – developing the discipline which will be measurable in the long (or short) run, that helps accomplish the goals. This is a step that you include your kids in. After all, you are setting goals on their behalf, so it only makes sense to get their input.
Step 4: Establish tasks to help reach the goals
Every goal is initially accomplished when a certain line of tasks is completed. We can set goals all day long, but if we don’t align them with the right type of tasks, they will merely be goals (unreached) on a piece of paper.
Whether the goal is for you to consistently homeschool three weeks in a row, then take a week off, or your kids read one book per week… it’s the individual and daily tasks that will help you reach those goals.
Step 5: Implement what you’ve created
Goal-setting isn’t meant to be overwhelming or stressful. It’s a system to help you reach the desired result. When you think in terms of the benefits setting goals in your homeschool has, then you’ll find the motivation to do it and stick with it.
My family and I like to post goals on our board. We’ve taken some big goals and broken them down into smaller ones that can be accomplished weekly.
Whether we are aiming to be consistent with lessons, doing daily chores, or learning something new, we make a big deal of it.
If you choose to set homeschool goals, remember the lasting effect it will have on your kids. Not only will they learn valuable lessons, but also fashion skills that will be used later in life.
And don’t worry about goals that are not reached, especially in the time you have set. Keep them on the list and make any necessary changes that need to be made to reach it. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Take your time and allow setting homeschool goals to work in your favor.