Successful Homeschooling — What does that mean? That our kids make it through to graduation? That mom does not go insane? That we finish all our subjects each year? That our kids can transition into society and not be noticed? That they know how to raise their hand in a group and stand in a straight line.
Simple — it is the daily goal, the annual goal, and the long term goal.
I have friends that have homeschooled through eight years of workbooks and that was the point of homeschooling. Check. Kids are educated up to high school.
I also have friends that every day becomes what ever happens to them. They have no plan and no routine. As much as this would seem to make them happy, they are complaining that after six years of homeschooling, they have never accomplished their goals that led them to homeschooling; study an instrument, learn to paint, play a sport, and take part in a local play.
If I don’t have a daily goal, we don’t accomplish what needs to get us to the long term goal. Just wandering through life is enjoyable on some levels, but to reach our personal expectation takes a bit of planning.
We are finishing the academic workbooks. We are in good attendance and enjoying the classes we sign up for. But I feel like I have lost a focus point for the where we are going with the youngest two.
I need to think on where we are going, so that we can live intentionally in our homeschooling as well as in the rest of our lives. What are these goals? What are they beyond a list to check off? What makes homeschooling that rich experience that we desired, that was beyond the stacks of workbooks and beyond a classroom of 35 students?
For me, I keep focusing on the basic subjects that are the foundation — writing, reading, math, science, music, world language, and history. For us, it is quality over quantity; really focusing with an intentional focus when we sit down to study, and not filling the lesson time up with worksheets and low level thinking activities (bottom level of Bloom’s Taxonomy). Lastly, it is doing things that are “real”; reading real books, putting math into real practice, playing real music that we will hear somewhere in the future, and doing real science. I want my kids to read, write, and speak another language. I want them to play an instrument and able to sit down and play with others. I want them to create research projects of their own, even if it is experimenting with chocolate chip cookie recipes. I want them to read books about other people and the lives they lived, as well as books about characters that will never exist.
For me, successful homeschooling is living, for myself, an example of being a life-long learner, and then seeing my kids become life-long learners as they grown up and continue that path as adults.