As you countdown to the new year, think ahead to what you want to accomplish in your homeschool during the coming year. As you plan resolutions for other areas of your life, it’s also wise to craft a few resolutions that will improve how you educate your children. Here are five resolution suggestions to get you started.
- Take more field trips. Field trips give kids the chance to get a hands-on education that simply can’t be replicated in a home or school setting. On a field trip, students can get up close and personal with the subjects they are studying, and that creates memorable, long-lasting learning. Check out Factory Tours USA to learn about various tours available in your state. The “Kids Love” book series by George and Michelle Zavatsky is another excellent resource for finding out about kid-friendly attractions in your area.
- Join a homeschool group. Home education groups provide support, educational opportunities, social interaction and networking for homeschooled children and parents. Structure, fees and approach vary widely from one group to the next, but finding one that is a good fit for you can be a priceless asset to your homeschooling journey. In the Peoria area, the Association of Peoria Area Christian Home Educators (APACHE) is a large group with many opportunities for its member families.
- Set reading goals. Reading expands students’ minds and their vocabularies. More reading, both as family read-alouds and quiet independent reading, is always a good educational goal. Encourage your children’s desire to read with programs such as Pizza Hut’s Book-It and Six Flags’ Read to Succeed. Registration for these programs will open later in the calendar year. In the meantime, consider organizing a Reach for the Stars reading incentive challenge for your children and their friends. The kids can earn free books for their own library and also for donation to your public library or another community organization.
- Find a place to serve. Homeschooling’s flexible schedules provide unique opportunities for families to serve together in their communities or even around the world. Discuss as a family what is important to you when it comes to service and use that to guide your choice of where to invest your service time and effort. For example, are you interested in providing for the needy, cleaning up the environment or promoting literacy?
- Increase your memorization. Memorization is good for your brain. Parents and kids will both benefit from the increased focus, enhanced creativity and bettered brain health that memorization provides. What should you memorize? Try math facts, poetry, timeline dates, scripture, historical speeches or literary passages. “The First Language Lessons” series by Jessie Wise includes the regular memorization of poetry and provides passages for students to commit to memory.
What goals do you have for your homeschool in the coming year?