The past few weeks we have been chatting about homeschool planning. We talked about how simply buying yet another planner was not going to solve anyone’s problems. Last week I shared how measuring the success of our plans by if we completed everything or not is actually the wrong tactic to take.
This week, I am here to give you some alternatives. If the measure of our success is not completion what is it then? How can we really tell if all of our homeschool planning efforts are working?
Seven ways to measure the success of your homeschool plan
1. Your days feel more peaceful
As you are going through the day-to-day of your homeschool and following the plan that you have written do you feel more at peace with your schedule? Do you know what you could do next in any given moment and are prepared to do those things?
In our Autopilot planning program, we teach you to make lesson plans in undated list form so that you are driven by what you could do, but not what you should do. This kind of planning means that you have something prepared, but are not beholden to those plans.
2. You have a safe place to land
If something goes wrong (like a hurricane or other natural disaster) or even if something goes very right (like your kids want to follow a three-week rabbit trail on camp life in the Civil War) do you have something ready and waiting for when those times are over?
The plans you create in the summer should provide you the flexibility to deviate when needed and yet know you can return to those plans at any moment, pick up where you left off without feeling behind, and have the next thing all ready and prepared to do. That’s the kind of peace of mind we want to enjoy.
3. You are making progress towards your goals
You do have goals, right? This is the second module of the Put Your Homeschool on Autopilot course. We teach you to write goals for your kids. Why goals? Because you are not a supermom — you can’t focus on everything equally all the time.
We also teach goal writing based on behaviors or practices and not outcomes — which means they are goals that you can actually achieve.
But we know our plan is working when we are regularly checking our progress against those goals we have written.
4. You are being more consistent with your school days
There is no better hallmark of a good plan than getting up every day and actually following it. When we haven’t planned in such a way that we put arbitrary deadlines on real learning that stress us out or packed our days with so many activities that we face the morning thinking, “I can’t even…”
When it is easy to do what is on the plan we tend to do it more.
5. Your homeschool atmosphere makes you feel joyful
Now there will always be tough days in homeschooling. Put a bunch of fallen people together to do something important and there are going to be problems at times. But as you look around the table is your overall feeling one of contentment with your days.
This is one good way to know that you have chosen what to do and how to do it correctly.
6. Do you feel more confident in your choices
In Module Three of Put Your Homeschool Year on Autopilot we have a ton of resources and considerations that help you to make good choices in not only which curriculum you will use, but also which subjects you will even study in your homeschool this year.
None of them are based on what the public school down the street are doing.
We are homeschoolers, so we have chosen a different path. Mostly because we think it is a better path.
Which means we should not be burdened by the expectations of the public school system, our neighbor, or the inlaws. Having thoughtfully made these decisions in advance, we can be confident that we are making good choices and confront the naysayers with purpose.
7. You have time to focus on relationships
Let’s face it. Even if academic excellence is one of our main reasons for homeschooling, raising happy, healthy humans who want to return home to visit after they have gone is a top goal for all of us (I hope.)
Which means that relationships have to matter in our homeschool amidst everything else we have going on. If our plan is a solid one — you know what you can be doing next at any given time with little angst and preparation already done — then you have the time to sit back and focus on what is important. Building bonds with a human you love.
This is why it really doesn’t matter if you finish every lesson in the science curriculum nor every page in the math workbook. If your second-grade study of the Ancients gets held captive in Egypt for 40 days and you never make it to the fall of Rome that is ok.
Ask yourself about your success with the seven things above. Are you hitting some of them (not even necessarily all)? That is the true measure of the worth of your homeschool plan.