We want peace and progress in our homeschools. Let the following be the type of measurements we use.
Peace: you all get along with each other, the house hums with happy energy, projects and play are in full flow, there’s enough food in the cabinets, a satisfying mess reassures you that your kids are engaged, not bored and dissatisfied.
Progress: today is a little better than yesterday, you get a little farther in the plan, someone understands what was not understood yesterday, someone else applies a new skill, you keep calm when you want to yell, one child helps another child when asked.
Peace: you trust your instincts, you listen to the feeling messages your children express and are open to them, you put connection ahead of expectation, you turn away from standards imposed on you, you pat yourself on the back when you accomplish a single goal, you offer assistance rather than scolding.
Progress: you measure new aspects of education—concentration, effort put forth, attempts, risks, asking for help, trying again after failing, initiative, creativity, originality, problem-solving, attention to detail, making connections between subject areas.
Peace: you remember that you love who your children are today more than your vision of who you hope they will become.
Progress: you note and praise the achievements your children value in themselves—the new soccer skill, the ability to hiccup 60 times in a row, the block tower, the house of cards, beating a sibling in Yu-Gi-Oh.
How might you foster peace and facilitate progress in your homeschool? How might you measure newly?
Julie Bogart homeschooled her five children for seventeen years. Now she runs Brave Writer, the online writing and language arts program for families, and is the founder of The Homeschool Alliance and Poetry Teatime.