Do you looooove planning a new homeschool year? I really, really do. And as much as I want to rush headlong into planning because I love it so much, I know that the year I plan is going to be a better fit for the real people who actually live in my house (instead of the imaginary Stepford family who sometimes bodysnatch us in my headspace when I’m in planning mode) if I devote some time to really thinking things over.
At this point in the year, I have a pretty good idea of which curricula I want to continue with next year and which curricula I’m ready to part ways with. But I also need to spend some time in reflection about our days. What parts of our days felt just right? What could be going better? What’s missing in our homeschool?
Today I’m thinking about what I want to squeeze into our homeschool next year. Some of these ideas are things I’ve seen other people doing in their homeschools and thought, “I want to do that… when I get time to figure out what I’m doing.” Some of these are needs that I’ve seen emerging and want to spend some time deliberating over.
Here we go. These are my…
5 Homeschool Goals for the New School Year
A Daily Checklist for Each Child
Thinking down the road, I don’t want to be the mom nagging her kids to pretty please fill out the college application that I found for them (or arranging sports scholarship photo shoots for sports they’ve never played). One of the biggest goals I have in mind for my kids’ home education is that by the time they leave my nest they’ll have assumed responsibility for themselves, that they’ll be self-starters, that they’ll have decided to be the captains of their own ships.
Getting each kid started on a daily checklist feels like a good step toward that goal. I like this customizable printable checklist from Only Passionate Curiosity.
I really admire other homeschool parents who are good at strewing (the practice of leaving components for a rich learning experience out and about for children to discover and tinker with on their own terms), and I want to get better at doing more strewing around here.
One thing that’s held me back from doing more strewing is lack of a plan for a space to do so. Coffee tables seem to be the place to strew, and I’m anti-coffee table for my living room. I know that for my people it would be a fight to keep clutter off one more surface. And our kitchen table is already working harder than any kitchen table should have to as it already functions as a table for eating, a school work table, and an arts and crafts hub.
So I’m thinking about pulling out the tray I bought for our Montessori math days. It hasn’t seen any action in a long time, and I’m thinking that the tray will become a signifying symbol that whispers, “Pssst! Over here! Look at this stuff! It’s okay to tinker and experiment with what’s on this tray.”
Fostering Growth Mindset
I see the value of the growth mindset thing, and I want to help my kids to be people who look on the brighter side and become more resilient. I love the idea of the Big Life Journal, but I’m just not sure it’s the right thing for my kids for right now. This is one I’m going to have to think on some more. Ideas???
Incorporating Brain Breaks
Brain breaks are supposed to help learners feel refreshed and increase focus. I BELIEVE in the importance of brain breaks. I’m just not the best at making them happen. It’s time to spend some time thinking about how to do that.
I’m thinking about creating a brain break basket with tools and a jar full of brain break activity ideas written craft sticks to pull from. Maybe a project to tackle over summer break?
Block Scheduling for Science and History
As a teacher, I taught on a block schedule, so I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. This year, though, I accidentally discovered that block scheduling science and history is the solution to the overwhelm I feel at making everything multisensory and enchanting. Trying to rotate everything out all year left me always feeling that I was neglecting something.
So now I’m going to neglect the somethings on purpose, haha!
History almost every day until Christmas break. Science almost every day after Christmas break. And bringing increased focus and energy to each one, one at a time.
Though, really, nothing will TRULY be neglected because, as all good homeschoolers know, no subject stands alone. Real life learning doesn’t necessarily fit into neatly defined subject areas. We’ll keep learning EVERYTHING ALL YEAR through our studies, events that pop up in the community, books we read, and things we watch on a screen.
What are your homeschool goals for next year?