The subject of priorities is a broad one. There are many things to prioritize in life. What is most important to you? What should get your attention first? In homeschooling making a list of your priorities might be helpful to keep on track throughout the year and prepare for the next school year.
If you homeschool, you began this journey because it lined up with what you value in life. I value religious freedom, morals, spending time with my children, being the person to raise my children, quality education for my children, and unity in my family. Homeschooling provides me the opportunity to educate my children according to my values. These are my Bottom Line Values.
MAKING A LIST
In addition to your Bottom Line Values there are other things to take into consideration as you homeschool to help keep life balanced and streamlined. I have a mental list of what’s important to me as I homeschool. With so many options available, it might be helpful to actually sit down, take out pen and paper, and make a list. Once you have a list you might want to stick it to your fridge to remind you of what’s important on a practical level. Here are some ideas to get your wheels turning to formulate your Practical Priorities:
- Starting on time
- Finishing on time
- Setting moderate goals for the children to complete each week
- Music and the arts
- Faith-based instruction
- Time outside
- Taking care of the home
- Opportunities for kids to be independent and develop confidence
MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
When I look at the list above I am reminded of my Practical Priorities. If I can get two of the items on my list to pair up then I can maximize the value of my priorities. For example, providing opportunities for my kids to be around their peers is important to me so if my kids can get faith-based instruction with friends through a program like Bible quizzing it’s even better. On this site for Bible quizzing, www.teenbiblequiz.com/study.html, I found that 67% of kids who participate in Bible quizzing are homeschooled. I want my kids to get outside for fresh air, so could we meet friends at a park? Finishing on time is important to me but that will work better if I set moderate goals for my kids. I want my children to learn sports but once again the moderate goal is important to me. Learning the sport is the goal not necessarily winning every game. When I began considering summer camp for my daughter I was on the fence until it occurred to me that the camp I was looking at lined up with most of my Practical Priorities.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with homeschooling it might be time to take a look at what your Bottom Line Values and your Practical Priorities are. Can you maximize what you are doing on a daily basis to create more balance in your life? Weeding out one or two activities that don’t line up with what you have already determined as most important just might be the answer.
What are some of your family’s Practical Priorities?
Sarah Brutovski is a homeschool mom of three children. She grew up just down the street from where she and her husband are raising their family now in rural Upstate New York. When she is not teaching her kids, grocery shopping, or drinking coffee you might find her training for a half marathon, escaping for a morning at the beach, or chatting on the phone with one of her four siblings. Sarah loves writing on her blog sarahswritingcafe.blogspot.com and currently teaches creative writing at her kids’ weekly co-op.