Overall Homeschooling Goals

5145374771_7b9df1d444_bI’m in the process of planning for the new school year. That’s actually not true because I have decided to nix school years and just think of each year as a new session. So I am planning for our next session. In doing so, a friend from our homeschooling co-op introduced me to two blogs: Ed Snapshots and Amongst Lovely Things. I have been reading various posts on both blogs and noticed that I have never posted my Homeschooling Goals. These goals are what I want my daughter to learn and gain through our choice to homeschool. These are things that I firmly believe that she could not gain in an institutional school setting.

  • I want my child to have a strong sense of self. To know who she is and from where she came and to understand what makes her unique. I want her to have faith in her ability to do her best and put forth a valiant effort. That perfection does not exist but that she should take pride in her work. And I want her to remain humble and grateful.
  • I want her to have a solid grasp of her likes and dislikes while knowing that it is never to late to makes changes.
  • I want my daughter to communicate well both orally and in writing. I want her to have a strong vocabulary and the confidence to share her thoughts and feelings and to know that self-expressions is a great source of freedom.
  • I want her to question and to seek knowledge. I want her to remain curious and reflective while understanding the interconnectedness of all that she encounters. I want her to be open to different perspectives while using what helps/works from those to formulate her own. I want her to seek out the stories of her elders and to respect the knowledge gained from experience to guide her through life.
  • I want her to appreciate culture (art, music, food/cooking, fashion, dance, etc.) and engage in these things openly for fun and knowledge.
  • I want her to develop a love of reading and the written word. I want to her read and be able to discuss the classics as well as more contemporary works. I want her to be able to discuss the works of well-known writers while also looking to the lesser known ones for inspiration and understanding of the greater world.
  • I want her to develop a love of language and to learn multiple languages through study and travel.
  • I want her to have a working and accurate knowledge of history and geography and to be able to discuss the contributions of traditionally marginalized people.
  • I want her to love and respect nature and the universe and the wonders of science and to see herself (and humans) not as the center of the universe but as one of many within it.
  • I want her to have a strong working knowledge of financial security while understanding that happiness does not come from the amount of money one makes. I want her to be at ease with numbers and basic calculations so that she can make wise decisions about her finances.
  • I want her to maintain her imagination and to use that to help effect positive change in the world.
  • I want her to actively pursue physical and healthy activity and to respect her body and her mind.
  • I want her to explore her world and to never be afraid to encounter change.
  • I want her to be compassionate, empathetic, and accepting of others. I want her to understand that if one is to be free, than all must be free. Freedom is a right granted to all who share and occupy the universe.
  • I want her understand what a healthy relationship/family/friendship is and to have fond memories of her time with her family. I want her to value her friendships and her family while creating healthy boundaries and taking time for self-care. And I want her to know that any relationship that she wishes to have will take work and requires nourishment.

What are your homeschooling goals?


Image Credit: Ky from Flickr

DIY Homemade Poetry Notebooks

Over the past year, I have made numerous notebooks and journals. I’m practicing and developing prototypes to sell, but I also enjoy making them with The Tornado. Truth be told, she isn’t as excited about making them as I am, but she loves having personalized books for her notes, detective work, journaling, and now, her poetry.

We have been studying classical poetry and have been writing our own. In fact, we recently wrapped up our author study of William Blake and I had an idea to create  our own poetry journals to keep track of our own creations, as well as phrases/poems that we read and enjoy. I have kept a poetry/quote journal on and off for as long as I can remember and it’s fun to look through some of them now and reread what I have written/found.

Here’s how to make your very own composition-styled notebook at home. This is a long tutorial so take some time to read it before you dive in to making one.


[Read more…]

Learning to Write Essays Without Calling it an Essay

I’ve struggled with when to teach essay writing. Mya is eight and while she writes blog posts and journal entries, the concept of essay writing seemed a bit daunting. But, she kept asking me how to write one and, because I am trying to incorporate more child-led learning into our homeschooling, I agreed.

Years ago when I was a high school teacher, I discovered that children have a natural aversion to writing essays. They seem to freeze in fright with the mere mention of the word and the results very rarely reflect their skill or knowledge. So I decided to avoid calling what we were going to do an essay. I simply said that we were going to answer some questions. That meant saving my favorite essay graphic organizer, the Hamburger, for a later date.

Mya has been reading Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Her interest in Greek Mythology mirrors my own so I’m happy to discuss these books with her. A few days ago she asked me why people think that girls are weak. That prompted a discussion about the stereotypes that society places on boys and girls. And that led to a comparison between our world and that of Riordan’s- a perfect opportunity for an essay. [Read more…]