What’s Your Plan?

It doesn’t matter if you are starting from the very beginning of your child’s education as a homeschooler, or you are jumping in at some mid-point, you probably have an idea of what you want to accomplish by making this choice.

For a lot of homeschoolers, it’s a religious choice. For many others, it’s the failure of the public school system. There are dozens of reasons to cite. What’s yours?

I once heard a discussion about how to figure out what the most important goals for you or your family are. It goes like this:

A professor stood in front of his classroom and he held up an empty glass jar. In front of him on his desk sat piles of rocks of all different sizes – large rocks, medium rocks, pebbles, and sand. He asked his class what the most effective way to fill the jar would be. One girl raised her hand and said he had to put in the sand first, then the pebbles, then the medium rocks, etc. To demonstrate, he followed her instructions and did as she described. The problem quickly became apparent – after filling the jar with sand, pebbles, and medium rocks, there was no more room for the big rocks.

The professor explained that in order to get the most into the jar, you had to put in the big rocks first, followed by the medium rocks, then fill in the gaps with the pebbles, and lastly the sand. So it is with life. The big rocks represent what matters the most to you; the medium rocks being slightly less important, then the pebbles, then the sand. You have to get the big rocks in first, or there won’t be room for them at all. 

What are your big rocks?

Whether you are getting ready to start homeschooling for the first time, or you are a veteran with several years under your belt, this is something you should figure out. Make a list of those things that are of utmost importance to you. This is what you absolutely cannot miss in your homeschool, either by teaching or imparting. When your kids are ready to graduate and move on in the world, this is what would make you feel like you accomplished your goal and make them the best people they can be.

For me, my big rocks are:

  1. Faith – my prayer is for all of my children to come to know the Lord, and to grow strong in their faith and convictions. I want them to be able to head into college or their careers with complete confidence of who they are and what they believe.
  2. Family – I want my children to continue to grow close to each other and to us, as well as our extended family members.

That’s it. If something doesn’t align with those two, or if it becomes too big of a distraction from them, they are out. It can be difficult to balance, especially since homeschoolers have so many opportunities to get involved in different activities – classes, sports, lessons, volunteering, church activities, etc. They can quickly get overwhelming and steer us away from what we really want to focus on.

I encourage you to figure out your big rocks, and remind yourself of them every year. You may find that they change over time, and that’s okay. As long as you bring your focus back to what’s most important, your jar will be filled with the right things.