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Goals for next year - s/o planning

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What are your goals for your kids this year? Extra credit if you are also willing to share what you plan on doing to attain those goals.


Love2read wrote a wonderful post in the planning thread. http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=400019


"By goals I don't mean philosophy of education, but ways that the child needs to be stretched or reinforced. For example, my goals for rising 9th grader who is more interested in swimming and music than in studyinng-



  1. Overall goals: Improve performance on standardized tests; write succinct and persuasive essays quickly
  2. Science: Fine tune fundamental knowledge; develop an interest in the subject
  3. History: Increase logical thinking about historical events and current events; increase interest in the subject (with my younger children I listed specific topics they needed to understand e.g., feudalism)
  4. Literature: Read a greater range of books more frequently
  5. Other Subjects: No obvious goals besides the ordinary


I did need to sit quietly alone before I could create the above and while it's more detailed on my paper with dashes and arrows as I brainstormed, you get the idea.



The next step is how to meet those goals. Again, my notes are detailed and messy, but the essentials look like this



  • Science: Enhance study & test taking skills by using a textbook. Develop an interest by using a text brief enough that there is time to visit museums, watch videos and develop experiments. (Can you see how I would have missed this if I had just gone with an exciting product I had read about on the boards.)
  • History: Increase interest and an understanding of relationships by using biographies and WSJ and post topic of weekly study on fridge so dh and I remember to discuss deeply to improve critical thinking skills. Use excerpts from light textbook to pull it all together. Related 500-1000 word essay every other week.
  • Literature: (in addition to accredited online English course we like) add 60 minutes/daily with a variety of novels, starting with easier books (Probably this or a similar list https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SOgstrbZWeBp9Xrdvui5YsuW2-gUv2F-QRWwEp2YZfw/edit?pli=1) Assign 500-800 analysis essay upon completion of each novel."


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With my younger child my goals are to increase her self confidence in school. She gets stressed out thinking she can't do things and gets worked up. I want to increase her skills in reading and writing of course, but need to get her to focus and give her self a break. Eventually I have specific skills goals like being able to do copywork much more carefully and then move into writing her own narrations instead of copying them after dictating to me. But for her that is a big step. So the self confidence, and ability to sit and focus for slightly longer periods without me redirecting her has to come first.


With my oldest: her goals will be to work on the dawdling that she seems to only have during math. :) And to focus more on the vocabulary with the latin derivatives. I didn't see her retaining those last year. So new emphasis on that this year. I want to help her get ready for the ELE earlier this year which will include her keeping a notebook on the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World as an extra on top of her regular schoolwork. It will be more of an on her own project. And I am hoping to add Spanish to our schedule, and find how that is going to fit in. She is surprisingly not excited about adding a 3rd language, and she is usually very excited about learning new things. So she may be feeling overwhelmed with the thought. So I need to keep it low key as we begin, and make it not feel like work to her.


Secondary/maybe goal: science fair for both. We have done it 2 years in a row, and it is a wonderful, time consuming experience. I think they gain a lot from it, but I am thinking of taking a year off from it just to ease our load. But I am still debating. I want to keep it, but need to have some things planned better this year if we are to do it, instead of thinking we can keep up everything else while working on that too. It isn't realisitic. Then I end up feeling behind from the things we couldn't get to while working on it. So I have to make that decision, then plan to make it work if we do.

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Goals for my children:


1. Build more confidence in math. For ds11, we are doing this by backtracking a little, and going back to Teaching Textbooks, which really works for him. Dd9 will continue with Math Mammoth. Having ds do computer lessons will give me more time to work one-on-one with dd.


2. Reading: I want ds to stretch himself a bit more with reading, so I will be suggesting/assigning some books for him to read, and then we can discuss them. This is in addition to all the reading aloud I do, which is usually a little above reading level. For dd, we're working on building reading skills - she's a late reader. I recently made a switch from purely phonics based programs, which she has always resisted, to using the methods in Teach a Child to Read with Children's Books, in conjunction with Easy Lessons for Teaching Word Families (hands-on). My actual goal with her is to have her reading at grade level by the end of the upcoming school year.


3. Writing: This year ds will work on writing papers, a la The Writer's Jungle. That is my goal. I don't currently have a writing goal for dd since we'll be focusing so much on reading, though she will be doing some writing (Brave Writer/Writer's Jungle) such as copy work and beginning dictation.


4. An exposure to a variety of good/great literature for both. I am seriously considering compiling my own Chronicles of Narnia study, which would include, among other things, Greek and Norse mythology, 1001 Arabian Nights, Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes, E. Nesbit books, The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, Spenser's Faerie Queene, and more. I looked at FUFI, but it just didn't resonate with me, hence designing my own study. Also, poetry, some biographies, etc. Literature will be presented via a Morning Basket, a lovely concept I can't wait to put into practice (might try it out in July).


5. An exposure to chronological history. We'll be reading through Builders of the Old World, and perhaps adding in Mills' Middle Ages when we get there, or books from the Famous Men series.


I think that's it for now. In science, we've always got something going on, so my only goal is to continue learning. I may introduce artist and composer studies (Charlotte Mason), but at this point that is for exposure, not a particular goal.


ETA: I forgot the goal ds11 set for himself, and that is to do the National Mythology exam. All the mythology we'd study in conjunction with the Narnia books would be good for this!

Edited by momto2Cs
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Holy Moly, you ask for the moon. Goals and how to reach them:001_smile:.

I'm still mulling (just researching art curriculum this a.m.) but I'll check back with a post later.


Ha! You'll notice I haven't posted my list yet. :) This thread is serving as a kick in the pants for me to finish my list.

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Good question! I don't have my goals yet; I'm in the process of thinking through what each child's strength/weaknesses are. THEN I'll fromulate one or two areas for each to be working on this coming year. THEN I'll see if all these crazy booklists and schedules I've come up with might actually help with this...

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This is a terrific reminder for me to step back and re-examine the big picture. When I first pulled my DC out of school, I had very clear goals for both their overall education and short-term progress.


Once I write up our end of the year progress reports, I'll use those to help form goals for next year. If this thread isn't buried next week, I'll post our goals. ;)

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For DD:


Math: get back the love. DD used to say math was her favorite subject, then we switched to another program (that I honestly thought she'd like better!) and she hated it. This year we're switching back to the original program & I hope hope hope that will bring the love back!!


Writing: Improve as much with writing essays as she has with writing fiction. OK, maybe I won't make quite THAT goal, but that's the touchstone anyway :001_smile: I'll definitely settle for basic competence in non-fiction writing! We're using WWS.


Reading: Learn that there are reasons to read other than pure enjoyment, and to extend her exposure to the pure enjoyment genres. She LOVES to read, but only chooses funny or fantasy books. I've made a reading list for her that has a lot of titles that are outside her comfort zone, but are still great reading. I'm not anticipating she will love everything she reads this year, but if even a couple of the books resonate with her, I'll feel like progress is being made.


Science: gain some competence with labs. She has always hated any sort of hands-on activity (I know, weird kid! :001_smile: ), and we've really done minimal labs so far, and last year did history of science for science which had really very little in the way of hands-on. But we've got high school science coming up, which I'm possibly going to farm out to the local public school, she she's just gonna have to deal with it. I don't expect her to like hands-on stuff, just to learn that it's sometimes necessary and develop a 'get'er done' attitude about it.


History: gain a basic background in the main events and narratives of US history. This is probably going to be the easiest of the goals, we're finishing up a program we started last year and she likes it and does it without complaint and seems to retain it well.



For DS:


Math: memorize addition and subtraction facts so they are down cold. Help him follow up on all his rabbit trails - he is super interested in math and has lots of questions - just this week we've spent a lot of time on place value and decimals, order of operations, and why although googolplex is the largest NAMED number, it is not the largest NUMBER.


Writing: get solid on those pesky letters that are so easy to get confused on, like b, d, p, and q :-) Use capital letters appropriately - i.e., NOT randomly in the middle of a word because it's easier to make an A than an a!! :lol: Write sentences in a reasonably straight line.


Reading: get him reading more picture books on his own, maybe even stretching to easy chapter books by the end of the year. He can read pretty well for his age, but just needs more practice and confidence.




We have other subjects as well, but I don't really have goals for 1st grade science and history other than have a little fun and learn a little something :001_smile:

Edited by Deniseibase
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