Homeschooling: Mapping the Journey

Over six weeks I will be doing a series of posts on six simple tips homeschool moms can do to rock homeschool and to have a wonderful year.

In the past two weeks we worked on determining our why, what is important to us, envisioning our destination, and then checking the pulse or assessing to determine where we are today. Our family's and our educations are always works in progress. With a knowledge of why we are homeschooling, what is important, our envisioned destination, and where we are now, we are ready to plan our journey.

Tip 3: Mapping the Journey

Maps are full of possibilities!!! They show us many ways to get to our destination. I like to call this exercise the MAP, which means Master Actualization Plan. Checking the Pulse and Assessing help you see where you have been and where you are. Creating a Family Vision helps you see where you are going. The MAP helps you with getting to that destination. Maps show us where we are and the many routes available to get to our destination. So, if we hit a road block we see other options for moving forward. Creating a MAP is a prayerful process.

The MAP is an ongoing project. Seek inspiration and your spouse’s input on what is to be included in your MAP. As you grow in knowledge and experience, you may want to revisit your MAP and add or delete items. A MAP is just a guide to help you move toward your destination. The purpose of this MAP is to help you articulate those resources, traditions, experiences, events, and places to visit that you would like to use to inspire yourself and your children to love learning and to prepare for their future. One can create a MAP on the computer or in a notebook format. Create a folder on the computer or Index section in a notebook for each topic listed below. Not every resource or opportunity will be utilized by each family member, as each person has different gifts, abilities, and missions in life to perform. Be prayerful in putting things in your MAP and in application of your plan. Remember, it is a map is a plan that is flexible, by nature, and can be added to and individualized for individuals, as needed.

I. The Family Library

This is your family library. I encourage you to establish a family library, not only for your own benefit, but also for the benefit of your children. I encourage you to have at least a bookshelf in the corner, with a comfortable chair, and good lighting to read by. And on that bookshelf have a copy of your core book. The book that helps you determine what is right and wrong, truth and error, good and evil. What do you envision literacy looking like, in your family? What books will you gather into your home library to read to your children, to read for yourself, and have available for your children to read? Make a list. Some sections to consider in your home library:

Bible
Family History (Family Stories)
Faith Builders
Children's Classics
General Knowledge
Classics

Magazines and Periodicals
Film Classics
Musical Scores
Musical Classics
Audio Classics
Library Card 

II. Homeculture

Homeculture is the cultural atmosphere of the home. This atmosphere is where you nurture a love of cultural breadth and depth, in your family. Home here is your household and its internal environment and atmosphere. Culture means to cultivate.  So, homeculture is the culture you cultivate in your home. What will homeculture look like in your family? What activities, family traditions, and materials will you have in your home, to assist your family in becoming refined and cultured? What principles of beauty and grace would you like your daughters to learn? What principles would you like your sons to learn?  Some areas to consider:

Art Appreciation, Artists, Museums, & Creating Art
Music Appreciation, Concerts, Music lessons, & Musicians
Plays, Playwrights, Elocution, Choral Reading & Acting
Poetry, Poets, & Writing Poetry
Literature, Writers, and Writing
Classic films (viewing)
Foreign Language
Inventions & Inventors
Classic Games
People throughout History Technology
Physical Geography & Explorers
Inventions & Inventors
Political Geography & World Leaders, US Presidents
Eras in History / Cycles of History
Founding Documents
Science History, Scientists, and Projects in its major fields.
Nutrition and healthy lifestyle
Government
Math & Mathematicians
Etiquette

III. Preparedness

This section has eight parts. Think of family traditions, experiences, and resources you want in your home that will assist you and your families in these areas.

1. Literacy - What resources would you like to have, in your home, to help literacy fruit and blossom in your family? This is not just a list of classics. What family-traditions will help convey that literacy is an important part of life? List them. What academic programs or resources will you make available in your home that children can avail themselves of, as interest arises? List them. Are there any life-experiences, opportunities and organizational associations that you would like to include, that will help develop this area? List them.

2. Career / Life Mission / Life Purpose - There are many skills that are used in domestic-life that people have turned into careers. However, for most of us, it is the attitude toward work, quality of work, and the drive to complete a task, that is developed in the mundane tasks of everyday living that are the foundation of career development. How will you pass these on to your children? What forms and systems will you use in your family to pass on your life skills to your children? Perhaps a Hope Chest Journey for your daughters, or a Toolbox Journey for Your Sons. How will you help them gain proficiency in vital skills for life? Will you have a family business or will you teach entrepreneurship to your children? How will that look? What traditions will you have in your family and what resources will you have on hand, to help facilitate preparation in this area? List them. Are there any life experiences, opportunities and organizational associations you would like to include, that will help develop this area? List them.

3. Resourcefulness - How will you teach our children to manage their money and resources? Will you help them become conservers of assets or consumers? What programs, if any, will you use? What traditions will you use? List them. What resources will you use? List them. Are there any life-experiences, opportunities and organizational associations you would like to include, that will help develop this area? List them.

4. Life Skills - Do we have the skills of home production and storage? Gardening? Preserving food (dehydrating & canning)? Cooking from Scratch? Sprouting? Sewing? Mending? Home Repair? Home building? Car Maintenance? Provident Comforts (can we restore or repurpose)? Living providently can increase contentment and decrease financial stress! What skills do we want our children to gain proficiency in? Make a list. What family traditions and materials will you use to facilitate home production and storage? Make a list of traditions you will use. Make a list of resources you want in your home. Are there any life-experiences, opportunities and organizational associations you would like to include, that will help develop this area? List them.

5. Physical Health - What role will physical health play in your family traditions? Write down the traditions you will use to promote good physical health. What resources or equipment will you use or have available in your home, to promote physical health? Make a list. Are there any life-experiences, opportunities and organizational associations you would like to include, that will help develop this area? List them.

6. Social Development - What role will social development play in your family’s life? What family traditions and resources will you use or have available to your family? List them. Are there people that you would like your children to meet? How will you go about introducing your children to them? Are there any life-experiences, opportunities and organizational associations you would like to include, that will help develop this area? List them.

7. Emotional Health– What role will emotional development play in your family life? How will you develop family relationships, extended family relationships, neighbor relationships, friend relationships, and community relationships? What family traditions and resources will you use or have available to your family? List them. Are there any life-experiences, opportunities and organizational associations you would like to include, that will help develop this area? List them.

8. Spiritual Strength – What about God in your family life? What family traditions and resources will you use or have available to your family to help teach your family about God and develop an inner life and relationship with God? List them. Are there any life-experiences, opportunities and organizational associations you would like to include, that will help develop this area? List them.

IV. Travel

Where in the world would you like your children to visit before leaving your home and entering adult life? List them.

V. Events

What events would you like your children to attend, or experience, before leaving your home and entering your adult life? List them.

VI. TTO

Have I left anything out that is important to you? This, that, and the other thing, would be any area not covered above that is important to you. List them.

Now prayerfully consider mapping your journey. This is a beginning. This is not meant to overwhelm. Know that you have 18 years for each of your children. This will take time to slowly begin to put into action your plan. Be patient with the process.

Next week we will talk about some ways to develop a solid foundation for your homeschool.

Stay tuned, do the above exercises, and above all--Enjoy the journey!


I write newsletters with helpful tips that can impact homeschool moms on topics such as: Homeschooling, homeculture, momculture, and home management. I also inform moms of site news, upcoming events, new products, and special offers. Join us and enjoy the journey.

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