Ready to start homeschooling? We’d love to help you get a strong start! A good place to begin is with your own personal homeschool GPS. Let’s reassign “GPS” from Global Positioning Satellite to:
G = Goals
Goals are the what of homeschooling. They are measurable and can be used to track your progress and readjust your route as needed. Some goals for homeschooling might be:
- Provide safe, nurturing educational environment where my child can learn and thrive.
- Stretch & encourage with rigorous academics.
- Cultivate purposeful and positive peer influences.
- Customize the curriculum for special needs or interests.
- Develop a flexible schedule to allow time for other priorities.
Do any of these reflect your goals? What does your list look like?
P = Purpose
Purpose is the why of homeschooling. This is the list you’ll want to come back to when you hit a hard day. It’s good to be able to remind yourself why you embarked on this educational journey. Some purposes for homeschooling could include:
- Inspire and share a love for learning!
- Give your child an academically excellent education.
- Cultivate specific values in your child.
- Give your child the chance to learn about and nurture their religious faith.
- Create family time to strengthen identity and connections.
- Gain the freedom to foster diversity and intentional relational experiences.
- Pass on your strong cultural heritage to your child.
- Allow your child’s interests to drive the content of the topics studied, not the school.
- Individualize learning pace with the freedom to catch up or race ahead!
What unique purposes are inspiring your family’s decision to homeschool?
S = System (or Method)
System is the how—or method—of homeschooling. Now that you’ve identified your goals and purposes, you get to choose your mode of transportation.
Three considerations that help you determine the way you’re going to reach your destination are
- Your child’s learning preference
- Your own personality and teaching style
- Your learning approach / educational philosophy
(If this list feels confusing, think of it kind of like choosing a new vehicle . . .
- Your child’s learning preference = your kid’s needs (high safety rating, easy in/out, cupholders, easy to clean, room for the dog and a couple friends)
- Your personality and teaching style = your must-haves and would-like-to-haves (Are you a 1960s flower-power VW van kind of person, a Lincoln Navigator SUV kind of person, or a basic minivan get-me-from-point-A-to-point-B kind of person?)
- Educational philosophy = fuel type (gas, diesel, bio-diesel, hybrid, all-electric)
- (And don’t forget about the budget!)
Consider planning to check in on and reevaluate your goals, purposes, and system periodically. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments to your navigational system if your child’s changing needs or family circumstances make another purpose or goal a stronger priority. This is your system and you get to customize it for your journey.
Where to next?
Now that you’ve thought about your goals and your purpose, take a deeper dive on figuring out your system for homeschooling. The next step is to explore and identify your child’s learning preferences.