Setting up realistic goals for our first year of homeschooling wasn’t easy.
I was overwhelmed with information at first. I had read blog after blog looking for advice, structure, and plans. The entire summer before our third-grade year I researched, looked at curriculum, read blogs, took notes… I felt like I was back in college again, but this time the stakes were bigger. This was my son’s future. (ack!) To make it worse, everyone I spoke with, who was not a homeschooler, was asking questions. Questions that I had no clear answers for.
I had done enough research to know these questions were going to come up. People are curious about homeschooling. Many could never imagine taking on that task or creating the lifestyle to do it. I didn’t mind these questions because it gave me many opportunities to evaluate what my true goals were.
Physical Development Goals:
For my son, body control was our biggest challenge to tackle. Seems crazy to write that down as the number one goal for third grade but it was a realistic goal. Gaining control over that would greatly improve his focus and concentration. His academics were on par, so taking the time to work on these weaknesses just made sense.
- Body control and personal space awareness
- Sitting still for short periods of time when asked
- Volume control indoors and out
The subjects of study are pretty well outlined in many websites and blogs; and each state has different requirements for homeschoolers. We set up lessons for all the basics including: Social Studies, Science, Math, Language Arts, Reading, Writing, Health/Fitness, and we even added in Foreign Language (It’s never too early to start). I’ll cover some of our actual lessons and modules later on. With this list of subjects in mind, our main academic goals were:
- Listening, paying attention, and waiting patiently for your turn to speak
- Following a schedule
- Taking notes
- Beginning and completing tasks
That’s it! That’s the full list of goals and expectations we started with for the third grade and our first year of homeschooling. I had spent so much time researching and planning academic lessons but when it came down to it, my real goals for my son weren’t based on book knowledge. That could (and would) come in time. I took our first year and helped him build a good foundation for learning. Sometimes we forget, or get caught up in all the tests and scores; but a successful person isn’t measured by what they know – What really matters is “Can they learn”.