What are some goals I have for my home school?  Well, how about you? Can you verbalize a goal for the school year?  How about for the term?  The week?  The day?  I am still working on my goal-setting.  I am a work in progress myself.  I would say that for every academic goal we make for our children, we can simultaneously think of a goal that centers on a virtue we long to see developed in our children.  Like I have mentioned before, classical education has its roots in producing virtue as a result of knowledge.  I am still a novice here, in this realm of goal-setting.  Some goals I have had in the past include “N will be reading Bob Books at least 2 to 3 times per week” and “N will count to 100 with accuracy and fluency”.  I am working on changing how to go about making goals to work in tandem with virtues.  I am on board with Charlotte Mason’s idea that habits make the goal attainable. 

After attending the Charlotte Mason Together retreat last year, I jotted down a few virtues I wanted to pursue in my son.  I think one of them had to do with taking responsibility and initiative.  What habits would you try to begin with your child if you want to pursue initiative?  I think holding him accountable to begin his morning chore every day before we began academics was helpful.  He knew what was expected of him because he had been taught. 

However, we have incurred a new habit, and it is not a good one.  The habit of delay has set in.  My thoughts are probably similar to yours: my own example to him may have given him permission to indulge in delay.  So, I think, if you are going to cultivate a habit, you must be honest with your children and yourself.  When you mess up, take ownership and admit it.  Then, move on.  Try something different the next day.  Flee from delay and distraction.  Run toward the next mile-marker.  Make it easier to do the next right thing by setting up an end result in your mind, and mini-checkpoints along the way.  Keep that picture in your mind, and make it go.  Ask God for help.  When you mess up, keep killing sin by the power of the Holy Spirit and do not rest in shame.  Does this sound like I am talking to myself? Well, go figure!

Uncovering What Matters

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Here we are. It is August and I was tired of not having goals for my family as we embark on this new school year! Does this ever describe you? I would set a goal, only to shake my head seconds later, feeling the weight of discouragement. It was almost like I was grasping at whatever felt right… but it wasn’t thoughtful. It wasn’t meaningful.

That’s when I started listening to a bug my sister-in-law put in my ear. She told me about Lara Casey, the founder of Cultivate Your Life Podcast and Cultivate What Matters. After listening, I had an “aha” moment. Lara’s take on goal-setting altered my course, for the better. She seems like a pretty awesome lady. Not to mention, she resides in my state of North Carolina AND she has red hair! Doubly-awesome!

I started thinking about my own life. What matters? What moments have been meaningful to me, to us, in our homeschool journey? I wrote these down, but all the while, I was thinking about Charlotte Mason.

“Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life,” said Charlotte Mason.

What about the HERE and NOW? I can look back to move forward. Yes. What practical steps do I take in the here and now?

I put it all together. Synthesized. Packaged up in flowers and ribbon. I made a PDF resource you might find useful! I sure did!

I Made Something For You

So here it is: Charlotte Mason meets Lara Casey. I hope you enjoy it and that it blesses you in some way.

I believe the Holy Spirit enables us to live the life we have been called to live. I am thankful to be walking this journey, utterly depending on Him to MULTIPLY my time and take my little efforts and make them into something much better. His ways are not my ways, and He knows so much more than I could ever know about my own life!

I am comforted in knowing that God never sleeps. Psalm 121:3 says, “He will not let you stumble and fall; the One who watches over you will not sleep.” Do you take great encouragement in that? I do.

I pray your year is filled with the surprise blessings God will give you. I pray you walk out in faith and obedience, make a plan, give it to the Lord, and see what He does with it!