Working Towards Goals Not Standards for this Homeschool Year
TOS Blog Cruise "Homeschool Goals"
I don’t know about you, but I was watching the Nightly News last week as they spent a considerable amount of time discussing the Education Nation conference and what they are doing to try to improve public education. While I heard some great conversation going on and couldn’t help but wince each time the word standard was thrown out there.
Now, I’m not totally against standards, in fact I love the National Education Technology Standards, but they are worded more as goals, not strict outcomes that are expected at each age group. That is what we like to work towards here in our home school goals.
So I want to share with, as a part of the TOS Blog Cruise, our goals for the year. Now our goals are here are simple and to the point and based on our children’s abilities and look forward to helping my children achieve these goals this year.
Builder Boy (8 high functioning autism)
Math – We have been stuck with the simple process of basic addition and subtraction facts with Builder Boy. He can add and subtract, but only if he is able to draw out or use counters and COUNT everything. Now, after over two years, teaching every addition strategy known to man and working our way through four different curriculums our one and only goal for math for the year is to find a teaching method and materials that will help our poor memory impaired boy figure out how to tackle these facts. If we make it to the end of the year accomplishing this and only this, we will be jumping for joy.
Language Arts – Builder Boy is reading just below level now so our goals for reading are to work on comprehension, fluency and reading for pleasure. So far, the Pizza Hut Book it program that began Saturday has already been a huge motivator. Our hopes are to have him reading on level with solid comprehension and fluency for his age by the end of the year.
As far a writing, ughhh writing, my hope is to finally have him using upper and lower case letters and punctuation correctly by the end of the year. Any grammar beyond that will have to wait. He does love to dictate stories though and has “written” more than a dozen simple ones so far, so I think we will work on extending his stories this year and developing plots and characters a bit more.
Spelling is another struggle for Builder Boy due to his memory issues but we are slowly but surely working our way through a simple beginner book. It is my hope to have him spelling at a first grade level by the end of the year.
Science – Builder Boy LOVES science, particularly technology and engineering. So my main goal for the year with him is to have him develop his understanding of the scientific process a little more while working with what he loves.
Social Studies – No goals here, we are just working on building a simple yet solid foundation in simple geography and American history.
Physical Education – With the kids’ new love for running, his goal for the end of the year is to run a mile with ease.
Math – Goldilocks goals for the year in math are the same as Builder Boy’s, to master the basic math facts, but we will also be working on a better understanding of time and money with her as well.
Language Arts – Surprisingly enough, Goldilocks spells better than she can read and as she learns to spell more, she reads more. So our goal for the year is to continue to use spelling as our method for beginning reading. I am proud to say that she has already made her way through her first Dick and Jane book, so we our reading goal will be to get through all 12 volumes and work into other easy readers as well.
Writing – We are beginning to work on the basic of writing with sentences and such and it is our goal that she will be able to write in short paragraphs by year’s end.
Science – Goldilocks likes science, but isn’t as in love with it as Builder Boy is, so we will work on finding a way get her more involved and understanding science more.
Social Studies – We are going to going on the same track as Builder Boy but also including some basics in citizenship in similar topics.
Physical Education – Her running goal for the year is 400m
Little Red (3 in 13 days)
Goals for a 3 year old…….yes the goal is that she will continue to grow and learn through play and gentle introductions to simple beginning concepts and plenty of good books.
The main goal though, that we will make it through the school year without her completely thrashing the house while I attempt to educate the older kids.
So tell me, what kind of goals do you have for the year? Are the precise and all written out or are you’re a go with the flow type of educator pin pointing goals as you go?