By Beth Martin: After identifying our destination (The Journey- Part 1) and choosing our transportation (The Journey- Part 2), if we want to be sure we do arrive at our destination, a map is an important component. When make our yearly trek to Ohio to see our family, we don’t need to know every turn in advance, but I do need to be pointed in the right direction. In the same way, our lesson plans and long range plans are our homeschool map to help us achieve our goals. While you don’t necessarily need to map out every step of your school year before you start, it’s good to have an overall direction, then make periodic checks to be sure you are still headed in the right direction.
I’ve found it to be helpful to identify the halfway point in my curriculum and when in the year I would like to reach that point. The end of May is too far away, but knowing where I want to be at Christmas is very helpful. If ahead of schedule, we knew we could take some extra days off over the holidays. If behind in our schedule, we pressed on a bit longer or started back a bit earlier in January. This was always a good time to readjust and regroup.
Daily plans, whether made up in advance or recorded each day as you go can be an encouragement when you feel like no progress has been made. A quick glance at that written record will often remind you that you really have accomplished a lot!
While some side trips off the original map are acceptable and even encouraged, this overall map or plan will help you stay headed in the right direction.
This post was written by Beth Martin. Beth is the Middle and High School Director of the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools. Beth’s four years teaching middle school math in the public school played an instrumental role in leading her and her husband to homeschool their three children. Seventeen years later, Beth’s three homeschool graduates are succeeding in college and she is happily sharing her triumphs and failures with other homeschoolers!