Since executive function is the major goal for my students this year, it seems only right that I practice what I’m preaching. I’m usually pretty good but I found a new tool to incorporate into MY year to help make it even better and be sure I don’t let something major fall off my radar…
Somewhere, I acquired a free homeschool planner PDF. I created a duplicate (to keep the original pristine) and started picking through the sections–deleting pages I would never use. Near the beginning, it had a section for monthly homeschool goals. Hunh. Okay…
I filled out the goals for September:
- Get a solid routine/schedule going that includes executive function & social learning activities
- Create a schedule for parent/child dates and family nights
- One social gathering/week for each child
- Museum trips to (two specific local museums–one of which we have membership to).
After writing these, I sat back and looked at it. It occurred to me that these were things that were important to me, but were likely to fall off of my radar. I continued on with goals for each of October and November–considering how life ebbs and flows in those months and what usually falls off my radar and what my family truly needs.
It occurred to me that this was a cute sheet of paper that I might never look at again. So I decided to set aside weekly time to review these goals and take action on them as part of my weekly planning time. I already needed to allocate some weekly time to review what had been done, what needed to be done, grade things for the classes I teach to kids who are not mine, etc. It would be easy to add this to that time.
I also took the time to write out my homeschool mission statement. This is something I might need to read every time I start my planning session so that I can keep that mission clear in my mind.
Here’s the thing: when you have an actual, clearly-stated goal or mission–decisions take care of themselves. Because every decision is measured agains the goal. Either it contributes towards the goal or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, you don’t do it. It’s like this with finances, too. Without goals that are kept in the forefront of your mind, it becomes easy to get distracted and derailed.
So take a few minutes to think about your larger mission in homeschooling your children. When they are 18 and step out into the world–what do you want to have accomplished? Mine is literally 1-3 sentences. It doesn’t need to be long, but it DOES need to be clear.
Then, break that down to this year and write yourself a few monthly goals. Not a ton–just a few large but important things that you feel need to stay on your radar (but are sometimes easy to overlook).
Last, carve out some sacred time each week to review everything YOU need to review to keep your family on track but at peace. Prepare for the week ahead. Look through Meetup and Facebook events to see what new things are posted that you don’t want to miss. Reserve library books for upcoming topics. All Of The Things.
Hopefully, all of this makes for a much more productive (and CALM) year for you and yours!