I believe that in order to have a successful homeschool year with your child, you have to begin with the end in mind. Considering where you’re heading before you get on the path is critical to ending up where you want to be.
We have to consider the end all the way at the very end: graduation, and the closer end: the end of this school year.
When you begin with the end in mind, you can make knowledgable decisions along the way rather than stumbling along and flying by the seat of your pants. And this comes from a professional “flying by the seat of my pants” pilot.
Are you ready to begin with the end in mind? Okay, but before we jump in, be sure you have your cheat sheet so you can fill it in as we go.
Why We need to consider the end
Anytime we begin something new, we should begin it with the end in mind. Why does the end matter so much, you ask?
Because without knowing what we want the end to look like, we won’t know if we reach it! If we aren’t sure what success will look like, or what markers will signal a great journey, we can’t know if we complete what we began or if we reach the goals we set.
As we head into a new school year with our children, it is important to begin it with the end in mind. But what is the end we need to consider?
As we consider our children’s education, we must begin at the beginning: with character.
Your child’s character is the most important thing about them and the only thing that will matter long beyond their grades or awards in school. The Bible is clear on how important character is:
Proverbs 22:1- “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”
Character must be your number one consideration when you begin with the end in mind. Some questions to ask yourself-
- Is your child honest?
- Are they responsible for their age?
- Do they show initiative?
- Is your child diligent in their work?
- Are they kind, merciful, and respectful?
Proverbs 20:11- “Even a child is known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright.”
You can begin to assess today what the specific character issues are that you need to help your child work on this year based on the type of adult you want to raise up.
Once you know where you’re headed on character issues, you can start thinking about academics.
Is your child headed to college or trade school? Or do they plan to start a business or enter the workforce right after graduation? If your family places a high value on attending college, depending on what grade your child is in, you might need to start thinking about which classes to take this year.
But as with character, you make this year’s plan by thinking about where you want your child to be at the end of their formal education. Then decide what you need to do this year based on that.
- Is this the year to focus on your child reading fluently?
- Is it the year to memorize the multiplication facts?
- Is this the year to get a PE credit?
- Which period of history do you want to cover this year?
Complete the work
When we begin with the end in mind, we create a plan for completing the work we have to do for our children’s formal education.
Philippians 1:6 says, “And I am sure of this, that He Who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
Our job as parents is to see the end from the beginning; to have a goal in mind of how we want the first 18 years of our parenting journey to end. We need to know now the type of young adult we want to send to college or out into the world.
And then we create a plan year by year that takes into consideration those goals.
When you begin with the end in mind, you are more likely to turn out the type of adult you always hoped, and to create a relationship with your child that stands the test of time. This is how you raise your very best friends; you begin with the end in mind.
Be sure to tune into the One Faithful Mom podcast all week as I continue through this 5-part mini-series on How to Homeschool.
Find Part 2 here.