Are you a Type A mom like me? Do you love your spreadsheets and your curriculum research? Have you googled your state education standards and aligned your education goal accordingly?
If you’re any bit a #nerdmom like me, you might relate to a key moment of my homeschooling journey.
There I was, trucking merrily along with the curriculum I’d chosen for this year.
Things were going well. We were getting through the pages without too much difficulty. We were getting the work done.
But then I started to feel like something might be missing. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Could it be that all the busy work was choking out the valuable benefits that made me want to homeschool in the first place?
I wanted freedom and wonder to play a key part in my homeschooling days, but I was stressing constantly about not getting all the work done.
One of my anxieties coming into my first year of compulsory education was not knowing if I would be able to be disciplined enough to “check all the boxes” every day. What if I neglected History because I was too focused on Math? What if my daughter can read at a 2nd grade level but doesn’t know how to do double digit addition? That’s why I originally ended up with Heart of Dakota for our curriculum. I loved that there were boxes for each subject. I put a post it note on each box and then advanced it to the next day as we finished them. It made me feel like I was covering all the bases and doing what I was supposed to be doing.
My post-it process for going through our Heart of Dakota curriculum.
But I have to tell you – after awhile it felt like something was missing.
Something started stirring in my heart. There are so many wonderful benefits to schooling our children in our homes and I began to realize I was missing out on them. I was so worried about keeping up with the public school system that I lacked the courage to allow my heart to guide my approach to educating my children.
I decided it was time to reevaluate my homeschool goals.
It wasn’t about what subjects or levels I wanted my daughters to complete by the end of the year. I realized I had dreams & visions about what I wanted them to fully absorb over the entire breadth of their education and I knew I had to write those down and study them.
My dad always taught me: “Until you know where you’re going, you’ll never figure out how to get there.” I decided I needed to take a break and figure out where I wanted my kids to end up at the end of their homeschooling journey.
So as I went about my day I wrote down every dream, vision, and goal that came into my heart and mind for my kids’ education and growth.
You can see the evolution of my approach to school with my class schedule on the right (we hardly follow this ever!)
Here’s the list I came up with:
Our Family Goals For Life & Education:
- Curiosity Driven Learning
- Effortless Recall Of Math Facts
- Love & Joy In Reading
- Research & Effectively Communicate Discoveries Through Report Writing & Presenting
- Exploration Of Nature
- Freedom In Artistic Expression (Facilitate With Stocked, Organized Craft Bucket)
- Love & Appreciation of Music
- Skilled In Growing Food
- Lifestyle Of Eating Healthy
- Operating As A Family Unit
- Self Responsibility
- Have A REAL 2-Way Relationship With Jesus
This is simply my first draft of visions and goals for our education and I’m open to it growing and changing. Having a list like this helps me to take another look at how I’m educating my children to make sure that I’m accurately representing what I feel God is calling me to focus on during their childhoods. I don’t want to be so focused on checking boxes of their curriculum that I miss the entire point completely.
Do you have a similar list?
Here are some list writing tips for us Type A moms to make sure we’re keeping our heart in homeschooling:
- Imagine your children when they’re 18 and write down the character traits, values & learning methods you desire that they have.
- Write down all the reasons you wanted to homeschool in the first place. Don’t let it get too logical – us Type A’s need to allow ourselves to use feelings as a reason sometimes!
- Discover and record all the things your kids love best about homeschooling. What wonderful things would they miss out on if they had to go to public school?
- Put your Type A skills to use! Compile all your above answers into one list of goals & dreams for homeschooling. Then create a brainstorming page (a.k.a. brain dump) of activities and approaches you can use to bring about the items on your goals & dreams list. For example, if you want to take more nature walks and let your kids direct their own study, you could add self-directed research projects to your brain dump list. Why not go for a hike and let your kids pick something they were curious about on their walk to study further? The possibilities are as endless as your children’s imaginations!
Don’t panic if you’re not checking all of your boxes every day. Remember to give yourself grace every day and travel in the direction of your goals. Doing so will bring amazing fruit I just know it!
I hope you found these ideas helpful. If you’re interested in more curiosity driven projects, you may like these free printables on my website: