Homeschool (un)planning, part two

In my last post, I talked about considering my long-term priorities. They will, and have, changed and evolved as my children (and myself, as a parent) change and grow, but it’s so helpful to me to revisit them over and again throughout the weeks, months, years. But how do we interpret these grand, sweeping statements into action? I like to begin with thinking about the subjects I’d like to cover. Revisiting my larger goals, how might they be served by the subjects I choose to cover in our homeschooling?

Meaningful work:

To me, this has a wide variety of practical applications. In order to engage in meaningful work, we must be supplied with the tools and knowledge to make that happen. Some ideas:

  • learning all types of handwork (both of the more artistic and the more practical variety)
  • exposure to and appreciation of great art and music
  • exposure to and exploration of techniques of creation (different mediums, varying techniques)
  • learning how to read and write clearly
  • learning how to speak clearly
  • chores and learning how to do them well
  • discussion and strengthening of virtue and faith
  • participation in the sacraments and services of the Church
  • cultivating a healthy relationship with numbers, money, time, problem-solving

Cultivating a sense of belonging:

I am looking to cultivate a sense of belonging in our family, in our faith, in our corner of the world, as children of God, and as people within a context of history and world culture. Some ideas:

  • learning about our local flora and fauna
  • learning about great men and women in history
  • learning about world and local history
  • exposure to and celebration of cultures world wide
  • acknowledging and celebrating our family history: culturally, with stories from our families, reminiscing about both our (parents’) childhood and the girls’ baby and childhood, thinking about how world events have shaped our family, enjoying photographs of our family, celebrating family milestones
  • acknowledging and celebrating the seasons, holidays, saints days, feast days
  • reading great literature
  • striving to be a good example
  • cultivating my own continued learning
  • enjoying the company of my children and husband
  • cultivating an atmosphere of joy and wonder

Creating opportunities for connection:

The most fruitful connections are the ones we make ourselves: between ideas or between people. We cannot make good connections without taking care of our bodies and minds, or allowing space for those connections to be made. Some ideas:

  • enjoying the company of friends and family
  • cultivating loving relationships between siblings
  • ensuring that the greatest portion of ideas and images that they are exposed to honor truth and goodness
  • allowing plenty of rest time during the days/weeks
  • protecting good sleep habits
  • learning about how to take care of our bodies nutritionally and physically
  • learning good manners
  • cultivating a spirit of service
  • encouraging repetition in the recitation, listening, reading of great works

I am sure there are so many things that I am leaving out; these are just a few examples of how I tie subject matter to larger priorities. Looking above, I can see several more traditional subjects represented: reading, writing, arithmetic, elocution, natural history, history, social studies, literature, nutrition, health, physical education. But there are also some that are not traditionally covered that are important to me: virtue, faith, manners, family, creating a healthy lifestyle and healthy habits. As I brainstorm, more ideas about how to serve my overall goals and priorities become apparent to me, and as I have more ideas, my overall plan for daily living becomes more clear. I hope learning more about my process is useful to you! I’ll be back soon with more about my planning process.

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6 thoughts on “Homeschool (un)planning, part two

  1. Thank you for this series, Kyrie. After a few years of homeschooling, I feel that I am finally confident and clear enough to approach this way of thinking about the blend of our lives, work, and community. I appreciate the way you use your larger ideas to organize the smaller, daily parts of your life with the girls and your husband. You are, as always, such an inspiration to me. x

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  2. This is so inspirational Kyrie. I’ve always taken curriculum and tweaked it to fit our needs and overall family dynamic, but there seems to be a disconnect. I believe we will spend some time considering the larger picture and making sure that our learning plans are the blueprint by which we work toward our life goals. Thank you and keep it coming!

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