“Alice came to a fork in the road. 'Which road do I take?' she asked.
'Where do you want to go?' responded the Cheshire Cat.
'I don't know,' Alice answered.
'Then,' said the Cat, 'it doesn't matter.”
I love that quote! It helps me to remember that without a plan, it’s difficult to achieve what you want to achieve! So it is worth the time to spend some moments to determine what you are trying to create, and revisit your list frequently! In today’s world, it is easy to get lost in societal pressures for kids to perform at a certain level at a particular age. As homeschoolers, we mostly know that this is nonsense, but it is easy to forget! And sometimes we want to do so many things that it becomes overwhelming, and much gets forgotten. If we have a plan, it’s easier to see if we are being realistic and to gain a shared vision of what the year will look like.
One more thought about planning an education.
When people talk about education, they frequently talk about math, science, reading and writing. But when parents talk about what they want for their children, these subjects rarely come up. Normally the conversation has more to do with words like confidence, integrity or knowing oneself. Characteristics that homeschoolers tend to value include a love of learning, a knowledge of the classics, an understanding of one’s strengths, and a skill in teaching oneself whatever one wants to learn. If this resonates with you, I encourage you to think of the two aspects of education separately first, and then together. What do you want to work on in terms of skills for life, and what do you want to work on in terms of academics. Which of these sets of skills are more important to you? Because we need to always be clear that the things we value the very most are the things that should receive the most attention and time. Leadership is learned not in doing one’s homework without being asked, but more in activities like helping a team achieve a difficult goal, fighting for a cause, or being passionate about helping others. Leadership is an outward skill; it is what we do with and for others. Math or reading is an inward skill. Although both are important, it is important for families to be clear on what they want to create. Once that is clear, the path becomes easier to define.
I hope you enjoy this little planning exercise as much as I have! Each new year brings a new set of experiences, challenges, and a beautiful journey. Enjoy each moment – it goes so fast! Click here to get to the first part of the plan!