Putting The Heart Back Into Homeschooling

So, you’re trucking merrily along with the curriculum you’ve chosen for this year.

Things are going well. You’re getting through the pages without too much difficulty. You’re getting the work done.

But then you start to feel like something might be missing. Maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it. Could it be that all the busy work is choking out all the valuable benefits that made you want to homeschool in the first place?

One of my anxieties coming into my first year of compulsory education was not knowing if I would be able to be disciplined enough to “check all the boxes” every day. What if I neglected History because I was too focused on Math? What if my daughter can read at a 2nd grade level but doesn’t know how to do double digit addition? That’s why I ended up with Heart of Dakota for our curriculum. I love that there are boxes for each subject. I have a post it note on each box and I advance it to the next day as I finish them. It makes me feel like I’m covering all the bases and doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

IMG_0198[1]

My post-it process for going through our Heart of Dakota curriculum.

But I have to tell you – these last couple of weeks, it has felt like something has been missing.

Something started stirring in my heart. There are so many wonderful benefits to schooling our children in our homes and I began to realize I was missing out on them. I was so worried about keeping up with the public school system that I lacked the courage to allow my heart to guide my approach to educating my children.

 

I decided it was time to reevaluate my homeschool goals.

It wasn’t about what subjects or levels I wanted my daughters to complete by the end of the year. I realized I had dreams & visions about what I wanted them to fully absorb over the entire breadth of their education and I knew I had to write those down and study them.

My dad always taught me: “Until you know where you’re going, you’ll never figure out how to get there.”

So as I went about my day I wrote down every dream, vision, and goal that came into my heart and mind.

Our Values & Goals For School

You can see the evolution of my approach to school with my class schedule on the right (we hardly follow this ever!)

 

Here’s the list I came up with:

Our Family Goals For Life & Education:

  • Curiosity Driven Learning
  • Effortless Recall Of Math Facts
  • Love & Joy In Reading
  • Research & Effectively Communicate Discoveries Through Report Writing & Presenting
  • Exploration Of Nature
  • Freedom In Artistic Expression (Facilitate With Stocked, Organized Craft Bucket)
  • Love & Appreciation of Music
  • Skilled In Growing Food
  • Lifestyle Of Eating Healthy
  • Operating As A Family Unit
  • Self Responsibility
  • Have A REAL 2-Way Relationship With Jesus

This list is very personal. It might not make sense to everyone but it covers all the longings of my heart for my children. It helps me to take another look at how I’m educating my children to make sure that I’m accurately representing what I feel God is calling me to focus on during their childhoods.

My heart longs to grow our own food, but this is the extent of my gardening skills. These poor little tomatoes are like tiny speckles of hope for a better garden some day!

My heart longs to grow our own food, but this is the extent of my gardening skills. These poor little tomatoes are like tiny speckles of hope for a better garden some day!

Do you have a similar list? How do you measure your daily lessons against your bigger picture goals? Let’s share some ideas in the comments below!


If you don’t yet have a list outlining your bigger picture goals, try a writing prompt like this to get started:

Picture your children at about 18 years old.

  • What are their character traits?
  • What do they value?
  • How do they learn?
  • What things do you strongly desire for them to be firmly grounded in?

Having a list of values and goals is great, but don’t get overwhelmed by the scope of your list.

Don’t panic if you’re not checking all of your boxes every day. Remember to give yourself grace every day and travel in the direction of your goals. Doing so will bring amazing fruit I just know it!