Homeschooling doesn’t mean just “winging it” with a bunch of half hearted hopes. Improving as you go along is part of the normal growth of your family’s homeschool experience – children and adults. It takes some planning on your part, not trying to squeeze someone else’s plan into your family. It takes planning even to transition much of the planning over to your children as they mature. Let them also try this exercise. Include your spouse and other concerned relatives and friends in your homeschool journey.
There are three factors that will help you succeed in keeping to your plan:
- Have a strong belief that you CAN succeed;
- Having or acquiring the skills to make the changes;
- and Feeling ready to make the changes.
Often it seems easier to just cruise along, not rock the boat, to think “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” even if it does need improvements. You have been guiding your kids’ education in a certain way for years, but you are thinking that they just aren’t thriving, or enjoying their educational experience like they could.
Embrace the idea of change, rather than fearing it. See it as the opening of a new door to a new adventure, to a new opportunity. I’ll try to help you find the key to making some realistic New Year’s Resolutions and to keep them for at least 6 months. Here’s the Game Plan:
#1 What do you fear about changing your educational approach?
Changing your educational approach is scary. You may fear that you will fail, and that your children will wind up stupid and friendless, and reproach you all their days.
Describe each change you want to make.
What do you fear might happen if you make this change?
What does this fear really mean?
What are the odds of these fears being realized?
You may have many of these lists. Eliminate those with the least likelihood of being realistic, or too far in the future to predict.
#2 Select Three Resolutions
Yet work on each fear one at a time. It may be overwhelming to focus on all three at once, and failing to succeed in one may make you give up on the other two. Write them in as they occur to you, based on what you learned from the Fears exercise.
#___ I resolve to…
#___ I resolve to…
#___ I resolve to…
Now, put the numbers 1, 2, and 3 next to the resolutions in the order you want to tackle them. Select the easiest first. Nothing succeeds like success, and achieving that first resolution will make it more likely you’ll succeed in keeping the next two.
#3 Balance Sheet for Change
You may want to make a spreadsheet for this one.
You will be thinking that a change would be so hard, and have several excellent excuses why you should continue along the way you are going. But you wouldn’t even be trying this exercise if you didn’t have a whole lot of “Yes, buts” to add to each excuse.
It may be hard to instruct your child in something you were never good at as a child, but that might also inspire to make it fun and exciting, and to learn the subject matter again, in a way you would have liked it, along with your child.
#4 Connect Each Resolution to One of Your Core Values
Putting these down together in writing will help you understand your own higher purpose for instigating the change. First you must establish that you really intend to achieve these goals.
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- How does this resolution relate to what I value?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do I really want to achieve this goal?
- Is it possible? If not now maybe another year.
- Can I do it?
- Will I do it?
Are you willing to be realistic and patient? Life isn’t a fairy tale. Just wishing a goal to be doesn’t make it happen. Are you prepared to take the time and work to make each resolution happen?
What value of mine does this promote?
On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 is high) how much do I want to achieve it?
Is it possible to achieve this goal in a reasonable amount of time?
Can I and will I do it?
What are two small steps I can do to make a start toward this goal?