"Don't measure learning by the grade, score, or product, measure it by the heart. That way you find you have lifelong partners in learning." - Debbie Strayer
The opening to Trail Guide to Learning Series, Unit 1 begins that way via the Instructions page. It happens to be a beautiful opening to that first unit's focus: journeys.
In the Steps For Thinking box, it says: "Journeys are made for a reason. Knowing the reason for a journey helps you understand the decisions people make along the way. Planning ahead and making preparations are essential for a successful journey."
While the curriculum guide is setting us up for a study of Christopher Columbus, it occurred to me that these simple steps to guide our thinking before we begin our homeschool study are also an apt guide for homeschool families.
3 Tips for a Successful Homeschool Journey
- Journeys are made for a reason. Do you remember why you started on this homeschooling journey? It's easy to get lost in curriculum shopping, co-op attendance, and finding the perfect math book that we forget why we started in the first place. Revisiting our "why" can give us new hope on days we are struggling and are tempted to throw in the towel.
Knowing the reason for a journey helps you understand the decisions people make along the way. When we first begin our journey, we might make the mistake of thinking everyone has made the decision to homeschool for the same reasons we have. This thinking can lead us headlong into comparison or worse, a judgmental attitude. Coming to terms with the fact that each family's decision to homeschool is personal to them can help us give grace to others and to ourselves.
We don't need to compare or judge. We can support one another in our decision while staying firm to our own "why."
Planning ahead and making preparations are essential for a successful journey. We're fans of delight-directed homeschooling and advocate for the tutoring method of homeschooling specifically. Really, even unschoolers do some planning. ;)
If you revisit your reason for starting the homeschooling journey, you'll quickly find that having some plans in place can prepare you for success.
You'll need to know what subjects you want to (or depending upon the state you live in, are required to) cover. When will the schooling take place? Do you have the supplies you'll need? Do you have a basic working schedule in place? What's your budget for the books and curriculum you'll need to buy?
So, why bother with a why, who, what, when, and where? Because looking at those simple questions and answering them can help you move beyond the detail oriented specifics (you've answered them!) to focus on the big picture - what Debbie is referring to in her quote above, "measure it by the heart."