Friday, February 26, 2016

Homeschool Success

It's that time of year again to feel homeschool burn out.  We have all been there. The kids are done. The parent is done. The idea of sending your children to a brick and mortar school begins to feel like a good idea. Homeschooling is rough and then cabin fever sets in, the natives get restless.

During this time it is important to go back to our Mission Statement and remember why we have decided to go down this path. What are our goals and what exactly is homeschool success?

The mission statement of All Saints Academy:
All Saints Academy provides an education grounded in the Magesterium of the Catholic Church. We believe that religious, social, academic, moral and cultural formation must be unified and interwoven throughout all studies with a proper Catholic worldview. We nurture life-long learners who will be able to explore their passions gifts as they are led by the Holy Spirit.
So what are our goals according to the mission statement?

  • Education with a Catholic worldview
  • Develop life-long learners
  • Help students explore passions and gifts, as led by the Holy Spirit
Meh. Not the best goals.  Yes, we education with a Catholic worldview. I am trying to develop life-long learners, but what does that exactly mean?  Don't even get me started on helping with passions and gifts. Sebastian reads what he wants to read... does that count?  How do you even go about exploring gifts with your children as young as 8 and 5? I love our mission statement, but it really doesn't give us goals for our homeschool.

Instead, let us look at our school quote (and I picked this quote for a reason!):
To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition. To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • to laugh
  • to win respect and affection
  • to earn appreciation
  • to appreciate beauty
  • to find the best in others
  • to leave the world better
  • to know one life is better
So the definition of success is NOT getting through all 30 math lessons in a year, writing a report of Edison, or even learning to read. Although it is important to learn all those "academic" things, real success is about living life to its fullest.

This is easy to forget during burnout season. I forget we should be laughing still and appreciating each other and the world around us. Success is not in the portfolio. Success is in the love we make.

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