Setting up homeschooling goals is an interesting exercise that will make you really think about what 'education' and homeschooling means to you.
It is an excellent thing to do when you Start Homeschooling, and can help you have a more successful homeschool experience.
Big Picture Goals
By thinking long term, you will be able to determine what knowledge and skills you feel it is essential you child has - not just in order to function well in their future careers, but to function well in life.
Do you feel your child needs to be 'well educated'? What does that mean to you? Which other skills would they need to have? What other homeschooling goals to you have for your children?
"To be happy. To feel a part of their community. To foster their intrinsic passion for learning. To guide the development of skills such as discipline, persisitance, responsibility. To expose them to a broad span of curricular areas and build solid foundations in each, based on work that is meaningful and productive to the child. To help them pursue their interests and passions to their satisfaction. To help them improve social skills and build relationships with others, which are meaningful and fulfilling to them. To enhance their love of books, reading, and stories. To build upon other areas of pleasure such as mathematical conceps and game strategy. To continue to teach ethical and moral anyalysis and behaviour.To foster acceptance and flexibility in dealing iwth a diverse range of people. To enhance their own sense of themselves as unique and valuable individuals"
Jo, homeschool parent, in the book Creative Homeschooling for Gifted Children by Lisa Rivero
When looking at the big picture you are trying to see what the future may hold for your child and use that as your guide to providing an education.
Whilst you may hope your child enters a university, at some point they will need skills to enter the workforce, or make a living themselves. Although it is impossible to predict the future, we can make guesses about the type of skills our children will need .
On a general level, children are going to need to be able to do some of the following:
Do basic Math and use a calculator
Have some computer literacy
Be able to express themselves
Have the ability and skills to learn new things
Have the abilty to research and summarize new information
Give a presentation
Be able to put together a well-written document - an essay or CV.
**SIDEBAR**I have a real bug-bear about people who use computers in the office every day and yet cannot type properly. It seems to me this is like hiring lorry drivers who can only use the first 3 gears in their trucks. So speaks the X-typist!
The skills required by businesses are changing - and homeschoolers are in a fantastic position to help their children develop the new skills that will be needed.
In the book, A Whole New Mind, it says
“The last few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind — computer programmers who could crank code, lawyers who could craft contracts, MBAs who could crunch numbers. But the keys to the kingdom are changing hands.”
instead, workers will need
“The capacity to detect patterns and opportunities, to create artistic and emotional beauty, to craft a satisfying narrative, and to combine seemingly unrelated ideas into something new. The ability to empathize with others, to understand the subtleties of human interaction, to find joy in one’s self and to elicit it in others, and to stretch beyond the quotidian in pursuit of purpose and meaning."
Which means that choosing to develop our childrens creativity and ability to think for themselves, is going to be great for them in the future.
Short Term Homeschooling Goals
When you have determined the big picture, you can then begin to break up your homeschooling goals into smaller managable pieces that you can do on a day-to-day basis.
For example, if you feel it is essential that they develop reasoning skills, then you can begin to look for games, books and puzzles that will help them develop these. Detective stories, rubiks cubes and Cluedo may be some of the resources that you can begin to introduce. And of course, doing scientific experiments such as a water experiment every day for a month.
Being able to express themselves? Hold debates about different subjects. Introduce them to English from the Roots Up to build up vocabulary.
Need the ability to learn new things? Introduce them to mind maps and mnemonics.
Homeschooling goals are about helping your child develop into a well rounded person.
And once you are clear about what that means to you, you can be clear about the resources and methods you need to follow through.