The start of a new homeschool year is a lot like New Year’s Day. As you’re setting your goals for the upcoming homeschool year, do you want them to be like those New Year’s resolutions that only last for a week or two? Of course not! Most of those New Year’s resolutions we make are goals we know we probably should set, but have very little reason to follow through on—like exercising regularly or eating right. We can’t commit to those goals because we don’t always believe in why we’re doing them. In contrast, your homeschool goals ought to be rooted in your commitment to homeschooling. If you can explain why you’re homeschooling, then sticking to the goals you set this year will become much easier.
Call a Family Meeting
Sit the whole family down to document the reasons you’ve decided to homeschool. If your children are old enough to contribute, then they should have the opportunity to share their opinions and add their own reasons. Make a list of reasons that will spell out your commitment to homeschooling. You might find several reasons for not participating in the school system, but negatives are hard to act on. If your reason is based on a negative, try to state it in a positive form. For example, if you feel that the school environment is a bad influence on your children, then your reason for homeschooling is to give them good role models or to help them become spiritually mature.
Look over your list. Mark out overlapping reasons. Maybe cross out a few that aren’t as important as the others. Condense it to five or fewer reasons that you really believe in.
Put Your Commitment on Display
In order to keep your commitment to homeschooling in front of your eyes, put the list of reasons on display where you’ll see them a lot. You can put them under a magnet on your refrigerator. Maybe you can print them out on nice paper in a curly font and have them matted and framed to hang in that one bare spot on the wall in your living room. Or, more fun, you can turn them into an art project for each child to hang in his or her room.
Set Your Goals
Once you’ve laid out your commitment to homeschooling clearly, the goals will be easier to choose and easier to focus on. Goals that flow naturally from your reasons for homeschooling will make the most sense to work toward.
Homeschooling takes a lot of hard work and planning. Even though you know you’re not going to quit or give up on it, you can easily be tempted to cut corners or not give each day your best. Your commitment to homeschooling keeps you on track as you’re weathering hard days as well as when you’re enjoying times of smooth sailing.
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