Nobody has time to do everything that they would like to do. When you have written goals, you can evaluate opportunities in light of your goals. No matter how good an opportunity is, if it does not help you achieve your goals, it is not something in which you should invest time.
What is a goal?
Goals must be:
“Grow three more arms” (the wish of many mothers), is both specific and measurable, but it does not qualify as a goal because it is not attainable. “Play golf better than Daddy” also does not qualify as a goal; it might be attainable, but it is not specific enough, and uses an arbitrary measuring tool (what if daddy shoots 75 one day and 113 the next). When you set your goals, try to word them so that they are specific, measurable, and attainable.
Academic Goals: Check the law to determine which subjects are required in your state. Some states have no regulations, other states are highly regulated. Take your law into consideration in writing goals and selecting curriculum.
For example, when we started homeschooling, Washington’s OSPI had a flyer that stated: “RCW 28A.225.010(4) defines instruction as home-based if it consists of planned and supervised instructional and related educational activities including curriculum and instruction in the basic skills of occupational education, science, mathematics, language, social studies, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, and the development of an appreciation of art and music…” Given this requirement, and taking into consideration subjects required in other states, my family’s academic goals are in the following subjects:
- Art Appreciation
- Foreign Language
- Health (Health Care, Anatomy, Nutrition, Physical Education)
- Mathematics (Arithmetic, Math, Probability & Statistics, Logic)
- Music Appreciation
- Occupational Education and Life Enhancement
- Science (Biology, Chemistry, Computers, Nature Studies, Physics)
- Social Studies (Civics, Constitutions, Cultures, Geography)
Click here to view sample goals.
General Goals: Our family’s general goals are:
- The children will grow to be Godly men and women. They will not be simply religious, but will have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, their Lord and Savior. They will acknowledge God in every aspect of their lives, and serve Him in all that they do.
- The children will maintain their child-like fascinations with learning new things.
- The children will have a solid academic foundation on which to build throughout their lives.
- The children will know how to learn. They will apply this knowledge by following their God-given interests in discovery of new skills and information.
Note that goals can change over time. Nobody expects you to etch your goals in stone. Periodically review your goals and modify them when appropriate.