Whether you are a seasoned home school pro or new to the home school community, you likely keep some academic goals in mind for your students. Some may address hurdling an academic obstacle while others look toward achieving an academic milestone. Those seasoned families know to tweak along the way to suit their student(s) and themselves. If you are new, you have some transitioning to do to reach a comfort level.
Goals provide task orientation and direction. You may have some specific goals in mind for each child. This can lend focus to lessons. Asking each child to consider some goals of their own may be eye-opening for you and give them motivation and ownership in their education. Being able to check off achievements fosters a sense of accomplishment for both adults and children. Each accomplishment reinforces the value of learning and leads to more learning.
Your initial goals will need adjustment as a new course becomes routine. You will learn what you can comfortably modify as you discover your students’ strengths and weaknesses in their course. Students will develop a routine from your guidance and the course plan so that you may not need to remind them as often to complete their self-checks or add notes for subject vocabulary. Experience is a wonderful teacher and will lead you to adapt. Where you initially felt compelled to assign every activity, every math problem, every part of each science lab, now you are more confident and can make changes to suit you and your students.
Use the tools in your curriculum to gauge your children’s progress. This will either validate your teaching techniques or provide an opportunity to try new strategies. It offers students an immediate opportunity to see the reality of their efforts. As children mature, they will make their own adjustments to achieve a positive outcome.
You are the guide to your children’s future. Teaching at home puts you in the driver’s seat. Don’t hesitate to make changes that will allow a child to spend more time shoring up foundation skills or to move ahead to more challenging work once foundations are strong. Flexibility is key in steering yourself and your children toward their educational destinations.
*This post first appeared on the Calvert Blog on November 15, 2009.