January is a month to discuss things to come, energize, invigorate and celebrate the positive forward thinking that brought your family to this very moment in time. We hope your family is as excited about the upcoming Homeschool New Year as we happen to be! Although 2015 was a good year, there were many tragedies and circumstances, created by both nature and the human element, that have affected many of us deeply.
As we usher in the New Year, it is time to be thankful and contemplate your approach for the upcoming months. This brings us to the top goals we have selected to help you along your homeschool journey and motivate you to make it better than ever.
Our Top Six Homeschool Goals for 2016
1. Affirmation. Take a moment to reflect on your family’s journey to this point in time. Consider the amount of time that homeschooling has given you to be a part of each other’s lives in ways most families never get to experience. You are here with your children for a God-given reason. Your bond is stronger than ever. You ARE getting it right.
2. Identify Your Learning Styles. (Yes, we mean moms and dads too!) It contains valuable information… you may begin to get a comprehensive look at how your child’s mind functions when approached with new material or situations. The results can help guide a parent on what to do if resistance is encountered, and provide methods for extracting the best results possible from a student.
3. Focus on the Learning Process. As adults, we have a tendency to adore our task lists, and crossing off our missions accomplished. In fact, we may put a little too much emphasis on this at times! The beauty of homeschooling lies in the ability it gives parents to make learning FUN. Even fascinating! Enjoy the process, not just the end result. You will give your child the gift of loving to learn.
4. Make it More “Hands On” and not “Bums On.” By this, we mean getting our kids off their tushies and highly involved in hands on, tactile learning experiences. (This ties back into learning styles – tactile learning is an excellent way to really make a memory stick.) Make a pact to spend a good percentage of time engaging your kids in outdoor activities whenever possible, and limit that gaming/electronic time to a manageable level.
5. Line Up Enrichment Activities and Commit. And we mean – book ‘em in advance! Most of us start the year with fabulous intentions of museum visits, historical outings, road trips, campouts, and much, much more, but it is so easy to get swept up in our daily grind. Mark it on your calendar, and make reservations whenever possible – then you are much more likely to go.
6. Pick a Community Service Project. Homeschoolers usually engage in a project at one point or another during their journeys, but community service is something that is never a once and done thing. It is a lifelong expenditure of positive giving without limit, and it reinforces character, love, humility, unity, and all the beautiful human traits that so many communities are in need of. Give to your child, lead by example, and strengthen the bond to your community or those in need.
Super Duper Mini To-Do List
And if our major goals haven’t given you quite enough inspiration for the New Year, we have compiled a light-hearted mini list for you to refer to whenever a little pick-me-up is needed!
- Laugh more often, and play more games
- Don’t let impatience bite you; there is always time
- Speak encouragement only, not criticism
- Be aware of your precious family moments, they are fleeting
- Take the time to organize, it will make you more time
- Get things ready the night before for brighter mornings
- Theme your months (January: Thankfulness; February: Encouraging Others; March: Keeping Your Word, etc.)
- Remember that sometimes, less is more – no cramming allowed!
There you have it; a bevy of great motivational ideas for a brand new year of excitement and exploration ahead. Love your family. Love to learn.
Jessica Parnell is passionate about homeschooling. A wife, mother and former public high school teacher, Jessica has transferred this passion into her career as Principal of Bridgeway Homeschool Academy. Her passion grows out of a deep desire to see every child reach their God given potential and purpose through faith-based, customized, and flexible homeschooling. With over 25 years of experience helping over 24,000 families to homeschool their way, Jessica is dedicated to helping families understand the freedom that comes with homeschooling and to empowering parents, a child's first teacher, to feel confident in taking control of their child's education. www.homeschoolacademy.com
Publication date: January 8, 2014