For many homeschoolers, summer vacation is winding down, and they’re getting ready to begin another school year. Some may have already started school. Whatever the case for your family, now’s a perfect time to set some goals for the new school year. Setting goals in life can help us grow as students, parents, and disciples of Christ. Paul wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in Philippians 3:13–14, “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Instead of dwelling on past victories or failures, we should be striving to reach the goal before us—ultimately, Christlikeness in every area of our lives. If we don’t set goals to work toward, we will stagnate in our spiritual, mental and emotional growth. As someone once wisely said, “Aim at nothing, and you’ll hit it every time.”
Setting educational goals is a good place to start. Take some time to discuss with your spouse and children what you all want to accomplish throughout the school year. Perhaps one of your children struggles with a certain subject, so his or her aim is to improve and get better grades in it this year. Maybe a teenager would like to take some extra credit courses in preparation for college. One of your goals may be to make it all the way through a subject you don’t usually finish. After talking through your goals, write them down and display them in a place where everyone can see them. That way you’ll constantly be reminded and motivated to reach those goals.
Next, consider setting some spiritual goals for the year as well. Memorizing a passage of Scripture as a family is a great one. Maybe you’ve been challenged as a family to be bolder witnesses for Christ; set a goal for each family member to share the gospel with at least one unsaved person. Perhaps you want to gain noticeable victory over a certain sin in your life. Again, after discussing these different goals, write them down and post them somewhere in your house. Then pray over them as a family, asking the Lord to help you reach these milestones by the end of the year.
When you do reach one of your goals, write down the date it was completed so everyone in your family can rejoice together. Accomplishing a goal will encourage, excite, and motivate you and your family to achieve even more together; it will also establish a good pattern for your children to continue throughout the rest of their lives. Another benefit is that this process can bring you all closer to each other and to the Lord. Through careful planning, prayer, and determination, your family can experience the satisfaction of reaching your academic and spiritual goals this new school year.
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Jennifer is a pastor’s wife and mom of two young girls and loves homeschooling them. During her own twelve years of being homeschooled, Jennifer developed a passion for reading and writing. She earned a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and relishes writing during her free time.