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My 2014 Homeschool Mom Goals

So, it’s that time of year when we reflect on how our homeschool year is going.  When we assess if we are on schedule, on target, and hitting our goals. For me, it is always somewhat humbling to see the areas that I am failing in.  It’s a time for me to do some soul searching and really recommit to the mission… and to refine my efforts.  It’s time for my 2014 Homeschool Mom Goals to be determined.

2014 Homeschool Mom Goals

Focus on teaching HOW.

During a Facebook Party on our Hip Homeschool Moms’ page recently I had a conversation with one of our extremely insightful clients that had me rethinking how I homeschool.  Five years in. I’m still refining and tweaking how we do this thing we call farmschooling.  This list will reflect the insight I gleaned from Rebecca. She mentioned 75% of what our children learn they will forget.  So, after pondering that thought… I’ve decided it is as important to teach them “the how” as it is “the what”.  This generation is completely overwhelmed with information. We need to help them gather information but more importantly, determine if it is reliable and credible.  How to  parse the data, synthesize it, use it and then present it for their purposes.  This does not mean we have thrown the curriculum out the window, it just means it has been put in its proper place.

Say Yes More.

Marcy from Ben and Me in her article for Hip Homeschool Moms wrote about resolutions for 2014 and this was one of hers.  It really convicted me. I not only am a homeschooling mom, part owner of Hip Homeschool Moms, but I also have another small business Digerati Search that I have owned for 20 years.  So, I’m a full-fledged WAHM and Homeschooling Mom of three active tween and teen boys.  They know when to ask mom for something, when they are likely to get an easy “yes”.  It’s when I’m distracted or extremely busy with one of the million things I have to do everyday … so maybe I already do say yes more than I realize.  Maybe this one should read… be more cognizant of when and why I am saying yes.  And be sure it is not to just keep them busy for a little while longer.

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Focus on Making Homeschool Fun.

We have always had more of a hands-on approach to learning because of the Montessori school my boys attended before we started homeschooling. But I have to admit, sometimes, it is just so easy to not do the experiments because we I have so much going on. This is part of the balancing act that WAHMs deal with.  I am so very blessed to have children who are (age appropriate) self-motivated.  My oldest son, Chase, has been helping me tremendously in the science experiment area. He has already done most of the experiments that Gage and Blake are doing, so he is helping his brothers do them.  Another aspect that I really need to commit to is taking more field trips.  A good friend and a fellow member of Hip Homeschool Moms owns the Homeschool Roster, a field trip homeschooling group here in our area. We will be taking more trips with them and on our own this year!

Hackschooling is good.

If you are not familiar with this term, you have to watch this fantastic video of 13 year old Logan LaPlante at a Tedx conference.

Hackschooling: essentially means that education, like everything else, is open to being hacked or improved, not just by working within the current system, but by going outside the educational establishment to find better ways to accomplish the same goals. My sons love playing Roblox.  I absolutely hate video games… but I am starting to soften on this one.  NOT because the game is so educational, but because my boys are scripting with Lua to control these games.  In Chase’s Bucket List he mentions what this language taught him.  There are so many other opportunities to hackschool, especially in the technology arena.  I just purchased a Lynda.com membership for this very purpose.  My boys used it for learning about photography last year.  So I know they will use it and will love it!

Disclosure

Stop Hoarding Curriculum.

Hi, My name is Trish and I’m a curriculum hoarder.  Yes, it’s true.  I love curriculum.  I think this is something all homeschool moms struggle with sooner or later! Recently I sold all my Apologia books that the boys had completed and I literally cried when they sold.  I have so much curriculum (and especially non-fiction research books) that my children will never have the opportunity to get to much less be able to find a specific book. The books we have are on shelves where all the books are similar in topic, but they are still hard to navigate and find what you are looking for.  A personal goal I have that is seeping into my homeschool is to organize and simplify our lives.  That will mean some homeschool material just has to go too.

Focus, Focus, Focus.

This is the area of my life I struggle with the most. I don’t necessarily think I’m ADD (although I may be), I have a really hard time slicing and dicing my day. I am usually 100% focused on the task at hand and I simply can’t focus on anything else at the same time (or I do none of it well). I hear so much about multitasking and have read the research on how this is just not good for us. I wrote a post about it several months ago. So, if I can only focus on one thing at a time, I need to allocate specific times of day when I am giving that 100% focus to our homeschool.

That’s it… I could probably write 75 more , and I’m sure you can relate. Most homeschool moms have high expectations for themselves as well as their children!

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2014 Bucket List by Gage

Good Morning! Today I am going to tell you about the things I want to do in 2014, my bucket list. You may be thinking “A bucket list, is that a list of things you do with a bucket?” Nope. A bucket list is a list of things you want to do, before a certain time, like mine will be 7 things I want to do in 2014. Just like my Tween boy Gift Ideas post, this is not numbered from most wanted to least wanted, just random.  So let’s get to my 2014 Bucket List.  

2014 Bucket List by Gage

1. Sell  20 dozen eggs in 2014. I want to sell eggs for my business so it can get more known and can help pay for the expenses of raising my chickens.  That will only be 5 dozen per quarter, so I think this is manageable.  I am going to create posters for my dad to post at his business in town.  Since most people living in the city don’t raise chickens, they might want my farm fresh eggs! 

2. Make a stop motion Lego video with over 1000 pictures. I have worked on a few stop motion videos over the last few years, but they only had about 200 pictures max. I am hoping I can create one with sound and audio in the background.  I need to learn how to add the audio and sound effects.  Mom got us a Lynda.com subscription so we can do hackschooling and learn things that really interest us.  So, I’m going to look there for some tutorials there.  

3. Write 50 posts for our homeschool blog Live and Learn Farm. I enjoy blogging about my chickens and what’s up with school around here, so why not do 50 if they are fun?  That is less than one a week, and we already have it in our homeschool schedule to write one every Tuesday.  

4. Add some larger chickens to our flock so I can get more and larger eggs.  I sure love my basketball bantams, but their eggs sure are small!  So, I’ll do some research on the larger breeds of chickens and decide on which one would be best for us.  I have Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens which will help me decide the right breed.  

5. Go to the Pink Palace, and watch their movie on caving. I have been interested in caves ever since I watched a video on blue holes which are deep under water caves that can preserve bones and things for thousands of year.  We just found out we are going tomorrow because the Caving movie will stop playing on January 10th!!!  

6. Invent a useful basic machine or tool or make an already invented one more efficient. I want to create a tool or machine or make one better because if I want think it would be fun and cool to create my own invention. 

7. Master the controls to an advanced RC helicopter. I have been interested in Advanced technology for a while ever since my friend got a RC helicopter I have been trying to master a basic RC helicopter for a while but it only has up-down, and left-right, So It is not very easy to work with.

 

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