Sunday, May 29, 2011

Homeschool Failure - Recording Your Vision

If you were to embark on a long-term home improvement project, you would certainly have a finished result envisioned before you even thought to pick up the phone to call a general contractor. If this project was to build a house, you would need blueprints that depicted the inside and outside of the structure. It would be essential that you had an end to which the team you hired would be working toward.

Neither you nor the professionals you hired would just pick up some lumber and start hammering away. Where would you be without a plan; without blueprints; without goals? If that was to happen, no one on the team would have a unified vision of what was to be built and complete chaos would ensue. Soon enough you would become disheartened and discouraged at the lack of progress that had been made. The homey cottage you envisioned would look more like a dog house for good ol’ Rover. Sure, you might be able to pick up the pieces and make something of your effort. But how much pain could you have saved yourself if there had been a vision, a plan, and goals in mind? Vision is needed, and a vision needs goals.

Just as you would require having a hard copy of a plan when building a house, it is just as essential that you have a recorded vision for which to aim, in order to be successful in your undertaking of homeschooling. Whether you are a brand new homeschooler, just starting out, or a veteran with many years served, each and every homeschooling family should record the reasons why they have chosen to educate their children at home. These reasons should be kept in a place where you can reference them without delay. Being able to see these goals regularly will prove to be an encouragement to you, urging you to press on toward the goal when the inevitable days of discouragement stare you in the face.

The first thing to consider is whether you would prefer to record your thoughts and reasons in a one or two-page vision summary or, if you are a little more creative, a vision notebook.

A vision summary can be saved to your computer’s hard drive, edited periodically and printed off as needed. This short synopsis can be hung on the refrigerator or placed in a devotional or Bible as a visual reminder. A vision notebook could contain headings with a bullet point list of goals that fall under that heading. You could also record successes made under such headings as Biblical knowledge, academics, chore training or character development, so that you can easily view the progress that has been made in each area. Other things to consider adding to your notebook are encouraging quotes related to homeschooling or homemaking, encouraging Bible verses or a list of blessings you receive by being a homeschool and stay at home mother.

Consider, also, keeping a running list for each child that includes issues that call for improvement and objectives to achieve. These areas could be related to academics, spirituality, chore training and character traits. You might even list each child’s strengths to encourage and weaknesses on which to improve, as well. As with the summary, this notebook should be kept within reach and should also be easily accessed when the days of feeling like a failure come.
It does not matter which tool you decide to use to record your vision as long as you refer to it often, reminding yourself of why you are doing what you are doing. This will prove to serve as an encouragement and a motivator when you encounter a difficult day or time period in homeschooling.

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