For homeschooling moms, summer provides an opportunity to reflect back over your past school year and prepare for the upcoming one. New school beginnings hold the excitement, hope, and promise of significant accomplishments for each member of your household. Often, though, this promise will not come to fruition unless specific goals and directions are set for the year.
Planning as a Couple
Planning with my husband, Steve, for the next school year was always a highlight of my summer. The two of us blocked out time together where we set goals and planned the course of our school year. I remember a couple of summers where on a Saturday we went to a conference room at Steve’s work. There was a long table to spread materials and computers on, comfortable chairs, and a big whiteboard. Being away where there were no interruptions had obvious advantages. One year, though, we spent Saturday morning at home working on this with nothing else scheduled “to do” and encouraged the children to play in their rooms or outside as much as possible. After those planning times we had a “date” with dinner out. Several years we were able to get away for a night at a bed and breakfast for our school planning time.
To prepare for our time, I put together some background information for Steve to review before we met. He took what I gave him, read and reviewed it, and prayed about it before we had our meeting.
I gave him our plan and goals from the previous summer and a schedule of what we actually did during the school year. I also wrote out areas in which I felt we did not do what we wanted, including difficulties with attitudes, schedules, specific schoolwork, not keeping the children accountable, or them not achieving a goal. I gave him a list of subjects I thought we might want each child to study or work on and the number of hours we do school each day. I wrote out some character concerns that specifically affected schoolwork.
What To Do
When we had our planning sessions, we started with prayer, since Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” First, we went over the previous school year’s plan to see what we achieved, what we deleted, and what did not work. Next, if we written out goals for the past year, we reviewed and evaluated whether we had accomplished them.
Then we looked at our list of what each child could spend his school time on for the coming year and prioritized it. The big white board in the conference room was great for this. We listed each child’s name on the board and then underneath placed the school subjects for him to pursue with a number beside it for its priority. From there, we worked with the specific amount of time to spend per day or week on a particular subject. We also wrote down ideas on how to make sure the character deficiencies were addressed and followed up on.
Make It Happen
I am grateful that Steve was willing to sit down with me and make important decisions regarding our school direction. Although I usually put together the specifics after this major meeting, I knew where we, as a team, were headed. If I ran into further snags, Steve and I set aside more time to address the new items that come up.
I hope it is possible for each of you who are homeschooling couples to make time to be together and focus on your school planning for the next year during these summer months. Perhaps it will be something you look forward to as I did my planning times with my husband.