Life at our house is predictably unpredictable. Last Thursday we started school. As we gathered in the living room for Morning Time after we ate breakfast and did a few chores, I laughed silently to myself as I witnessed my potty-training son strip off his diaper during one of our very first poem recitations. He was delighted with himself as he ran around the room laughing with no pants on. The girls and I thought he was hilarious, and we didn’t miss a beat. We enjoyed our poetry and Bible memory work, and I helped Isaac do his business before (umm… I think it was before) we settled down to do a brief read-aloud.
Such is the life of a homeschooling family with littles. 🙂
We enjoy each other’s company, savoring relationship in the midst of our studies. It’s not always easy, but hopefully (as long as Mama keeps her cool) the fun times stand out above the rest.
The Big Picture
We make plans and we do our best to be diligent, but as Sarah Mackensie so accurately put it the other day, planning is just guessing. You have to roll with the punches. You have to go with the flow. You have to be willing to be a little spontaneous and keep on smiling even when things don’t go like you imagined they would.
Today, I’d like to share with you our homeschool vision. This is not a course of study, a list of goals for this year, or a daily schedule (I have those as well). Our vision is a big-picture plan of where we want to go in the long run — when it’s all said and done, what kind of skills and experiences do I want my kids to have gained.
With the help of Pam Barnhill’s Plan Your Year: Homeschool Planning for Purpose and Peace, I began creating this vision before we started school last year. This year, I took another good look at it and refined it. I’m really happy about how it turned out!
How I Did It
Last year, I started off by simply (and quickly) brainstorming — literally scribbling everything I could think of that I wanted my kids to know or experience throughout our homeschooling journey. As you can imagine, it was a really long list! It probably had at least 25-30 items listed on it.
As I re-read parts of Plan Your Year in order to make this year’s plans, I realized my vision needed to be much shorter and more concise. Last year’s was a good start. It definitely got me thinking about where I wanted to go, but I needed to simplify to make the vision more useful.
The items I had listed could be organized into three main categories: 1) practical life skills, 2) academic skills, and 3) spiritual knowledge/experiences. So I categorized the items on my list and began combining the ones that could be combined, changing the wording to adequately express what I wanted to convey.
Here’s how our homeschool vision turned out. 🙂
Medellin Family Homeschool Vision
Above all, I want my children to remember our homeschool as HAPPY and PEACEFUL. 🙂
When this is all said and done, the children will…
- Enjoy a deep and meaningful relationship with God and revelation of His Word.
- Value relationship with family and friends, preferring others above themselves.
- Have good personal management habits in the areas of housekeeping, finance, and manners.
- Enjoy reading a variety of books and be able to comprehend what they have read.
- Understand history, the timeline, geography, cultures and languages.
- Understand, appreciate, and enjoy nature and the various branches of science.
- Communicate confidently and effectively through writing and speaking.
- Confidently perform mathematical computations in both theory and practical applications.
- Operate in spiritual gifts with confidence and minister to others.
- Enjoy using their God-given creativity to create art, whether it be music, dance, fine arts, poetry, or something else amazing!
I’m so thankful that I’ve taken the time to decide how I want our homeschool to serve us. I expect that my vision may change a little over the years as I grow, learn, and change as a mom. The vision is not a checklist to try and attain to either — there’s no way to guarantee this is all going to happen! But it gives me a direction. It is like a map to help guide me as I make decisions on what we will study and include in our day-to-day life as a family.
I’m Glad God Knows Best
As a side note: I don’t know for sure if I will always homeschool. I’m taking this one year at a time as God leads me. To tell you the truth (and many of my close friends know this), I always said I would never homeschool. I thought it wasn’t for me, but God had other plans. 🙂 I’m so glad He knows best! This is our fourth year homeschooling, and I wouldn’t change what we’ve experienced together for the world.
God’s plans for each family are unique. There is not one specific right way to do life, school, family time, or anything else. The great news is we’ve got a God who is into the details! He cares about the details of our lives so intimately, and He knows how to lead us down the path that is best for us.
As you may have noticed, many of the items on my list have nothing to do with academics. The beauty of homeschooling is you begin to see every aspect of life as one in which learning can happen. Academics, spiritual life, and practical skills merge and you realize how intricately connected everything really is. That being said, even if I don’t homeschool forever, this vision will still serve me and my family.
Where there is no vision, the people perish… – Proverbs 29:18 KJV
You Can Do This, Mama
Whether you homeschool or your kids go to a great school where they are thriving, you can create a vision for your family, too! I’ll admit, I might never have thought of doing it if I had not chosen the homeschooling road, and maybe you haven’t considered it either. But if it looks like something you’d like to do, why not?
Think through where you want to go in the long run. What do you want your family to experience together and what life skills do you want to convey to them before they leave your home?
Brainstorm! Let it sit for a while, and then reword it as needed until it feels right. Create your vision — and look at it each year to help guide your decisions about how your family’s time and energy will be spent. Make it your own!
Blessings and grace,