Over the summer, Tricia wrote about planning and goal setting while on vacation. I was so inspired by her post. She talked about how she took some time to specifically pray and plan for each child. I wondered why I hadn’t tried it before. I was reminded then what an incredible opportunity we have in homeschooling. Where else could my child get an educational plan tailored specifically to his needs? Where else will he find a teacher who cares more about his well being than at home?

So this year, before I started sifting through curriculum, I decided to spend some deliberate, focused time thinking about and praying for each of my children. I pulled out the end-of-year reports from last year, looked over the things I had written and thought about how we could improve. What were this child’s biggest strengths? What areas need improvement? Are there some things we’ve been missing? How is he doing spiritually? What about physically? What behavior issues to we need to work on?

I was amazed at what came to me in just a few minutes of focused, thoughtful time. And then I took those things and discussed them with the kids.  How do you feel you are doing in this area? What do you like/not like about school? How could we improve this? What could we do to make this subject more interesting for you?

So when school started this year, instead of just picking up where we left off in May, we all had a fresh vision – a common vision and desire to get the most out of this year that we can. We’re making an effort to trade some not-so-great habits for great ones. Now that we’re four weeks into our school year, I’ve been able to really see the benefits. When little frustrations start to creep in, I can say, “Remember, we talked about this… we knew this was going to be challenging. What did we decide to do about it?”