This articles was written by Paola Ciskanik. You can find out more about her here.
Want to know a secret? Sure you do! Drum roll please…
Homeschooling success comes from setting just one goal per child per year!
Yes, that’s it!
At present, I am in the middle of personally designing curriculums for many of my homeschool, coaching clients.
Feeling overwhelmed by all the umpteen choices you are contemplating right now?
Dare I say, you may even be rethinking homeschooling altogether, or how many courses you can outsource or hand-off. Right??
The thing is, trying to be all things to all your children, for all subjects, is crazy busy and overwhelming! It just is!
That is why, long ago I retrained myself to think small.
Yes, to think, one goal, each year, per child.
Consequentially, if you simply reflect on the past school year accomplishments you will notice a subject or skill, that your child needs help with to feel real success.
Does this mean you forget the rest of the subjects?
NO! The other subjects are subordinate to the one big goal.
You have to first and foremost respect the dignity of each unique child.
Each child has a unique set of strengths and challenges. To foster these, by making them the one goal for the year, lays the foundation to real sustained growth. There is plenty of help to do this too!
Here’s an example:
My daughter was nearing nine and was struggling with reading. She had very real, vision issues that made reading laborious and exhaustive. Naturally, she had strong resistance to her reading lessons that year. Additionally, she had (still has) a vivid imagination. Quite frankly, the simple Dick and Jane type of readers did not hold her interest. The stories she had created in her head, through her imagination, were far more captivating.
The truth is that real success in reading, real enjoyment in reading, lays the foundation for everything else.
That year, I planned her curriculum with one goal; have her feel real success with reading beginner chapter books. Every other subject played second fiddle to this. This subject took priority in everything I choose for her for that year!
I mean everything!
Nothing was added to her curriculum that would curtail her ultimate goal, reading success.
To illustrate; we kept math work to mainly hands-on fun we did no laborious workbooks. I had no worries here, because I knew math skills would come in time. Indeed, at the right time for her to truly master them. Science was accomplished family-style, with weekly read aloud, and fun experiments with her siblings.
I had on hand many games and puzzles to help her strengthen her eye muscles for focusing. We used the library often in search of topics she loved for read aloud time and reading practice.
Fast forward 15+ years to today. She just graduated Christendom College this May with honors, and get this, she is pursuing a career in copyediting!
Really awesome, right!!
I have taught this methodology and practice to hundreds of families too! It works and sets the stage for your child to feel a real sense of success.
Don’t miss the Catholic Homeschool Conference, on 25-27 June! Paola Ciskanik is one of the organisers and speakers at this great conference. Regardless of whether you are new to homeschooling, or right in the thick of it, this conference brings you inspiration, curriculum guidance, help with fostering a healthy marriage, and tools to teach virtues to your children.