Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Getting Ready for the New School Year

For those of you who read my blog, you may be wondering why I am writing about Planning for the New School Year.
My photos of daily learning clearly show that if we were to define how we homeschool it would fall into the Natural Learning or Unschooling column.
So....what do I do to get ready for the next year if I let learning unfold naturally? Do I set goals?
Well, shocker...yes I do.

Here's how I get ready for the new school year.

I pray.
I ask God for wisdom and direction for our new year.
I usually use the scripture from Luke 2:40 to set my goals. This scripture talks about how Jesus grew up.
And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace (favor and spiritual blessing) of God was upon Him.
Amplified version.

I once read about a mom who broke this scripture down into four areas of growth.
1.Growing (physically)
2. Growing in wisdom and knowledge
3. Growing in favour with God
4. Growing in favor with man

I pray and ask questions regarding these four areas.

1. Physically
What can we do this year to grow healthy and strong?
Do we need to look at our food and diet differently?
What things will we incorporate into our diet this year?
What areas of hygiene need more attention?
What kind of exercise are we getting?
How often are we getting outside?

2. Growing in wisdom and knowledge
What areas are we curious about this year?
What ideas, basics of learning, principles need to be introduced this year?
How can we stretch our brains?
What books can we read?
What skills can be acquired?

3.Growing in favour with God
What scriptures do we want to memorize this year?
How can we increase in our love for the poor?
What does our prayer life look like as a family? as individuals?
What parts of the Bible do we want to learn this year?
What does worship look like?
What does serving look like this year?

4.Growing in favour with man
This is our INTENTIONAL character plan.
What areas of character need to be worked on?
How can we serve others?
What friends will we be making intentional effort with?
What area of family dynamics do we need to focus on (communication, conflict resolution, etc.)

I ask myself those questions.
And I pray some more.
I set up character and spiritual goals for the year.
I have a few educational and personal relationship goals.
I include my family in on this discussion, but Dad and I have final say so as to what we do.
Then I break down the goals month by month.
There aren't many goals. Just a few important ones.

And of course, as plans and goals go, they are adjustable and flexible with the unfolding of life.

What questions do you ask yourself?

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