Summer is rapidly falling away and will soon reveal the vibrant colors of autumn. And with the rolling in of autumn uncurls a new school year in our home. The excitement is building for this new season - both autumn coming and school starting. I have planned and organized and prayed and discussed Cadi's upcoming first grade year at great lengths. I have poured a lot of myself into this school year already. God has been gracious and good and kind with me. I feel differently about homeschooling this year. God has been impressing so much upon my heart, and His Spirit has really guided me in being thoughtful and intentional with Cadi's first grade year.
For the first time, I have thought through our homeschooling philosophy , and have found a real peace and freedom in moving forward with that as a guideline for education in our home. I am surrendering my perfectionism in homeschooling and desiring to be less of a critical teacher and more of a gracious teacher. I pray that I grow in my weaknesses and strengths, and understanding them better I have found a new approach to aid in this. I am very much looking forward to the community of homeschoolers that God is joining us with in Classical Conversations. We have orientation on August 15th, and I am giddy over it! Curriculum for this year has been thoroughly prayed over, thought through, and researched with a fine tooth comb. (I finally bit the bullet and got everything purchased, and it is almost all here!) And on August 29th, Cadi officially begins her first day of first grade. Our chore packs have been perfected, and activities for the boys have been thought through. I have worked through a routine for our day (trying hard to move a bit a way from my strict schedule) and brush stroked plans for the year, but there is one thing left to do.
Each school year I want to pray over and come up with a few goals for my children for that particular year. The goals will complement our homeschool philosophy, but be more concrete and specific. I want something measurable for each year. Since Cadi is my only child in school right now (although maybe I should come up with goals for my boys, too - hmmm) these are the goals I have for her.
Luke 2:52 Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
This verse describe four areas in which Jesus grew and developed: intellectually, physically, spiritually, and socially. These are the four areas I will focus on as goals for Cadi.
Intellectually: I desire for Cadi to increase in her speed and accuracy in reading as well as develop in critically thinking through what she has read and show increased reading comprehension. We will work on developing a deeper understanding of phonics rules. I want for Cadi to understand how to apply phonics rules to spelling. I would like to see an improvement in her fine motor skills especially when it comes to the area of handwriting. I desire for Cadi to understand the addition and subtraction math facts and have them become automatic this year. We will work on applying math skills to real life. I desire for Cadi to gain a basic knowledge of US History and geography and understand geography in a concrete way and as it relates to her. We will work through understanding the human body for science, and I hope that Cadi obtains a basic understanding of the wonderful way God created the body to function. I hope to see Cadi develop a love for the creative gift of music and art, and gain more understanding into the lives of specific artists. I also desire for Cadi to learn to tie her shoes this year.
Physically: We will work on teaching Cadi to be proactive and take responsibility with her hygiene and personal care - specifically taking full responsibility in caring for her teeth and bathing - especially washing her hair. I desire for Cadi to begin to gain a basic knowledge about her body and how God created her to be uniquely feminine (I will be using this book to help guide me in this). I desire for Cadi to gain continued understanding in the importance of proper nutrition.
Spiritually: I desire for Cadi to improve in the areas of perseverance and self control. We will also continue to focus on compassion and contentedness. I desire for Cadi to memorize Scripture and understand how it applies to her life. My hope for Cadi is that she grows in visible ways in her relationship with God, and I will begin to foster in her an understanding in the importance of having her own quiet time with God each day. We will encourage her gift of encouragement in various ways, and continually impress upon her kindness towards others.
Socially: I will encourage Cadi in her ability to communicate thoughtfully with her peers in guiding her to weekly write to her pen pal. I hope to foster in Cadi a servant's heart towards the people in her life. We will develop her love for people by involving her in activities inside our home and outside our home. My prayer is that Cadi will develop deeper, lasting friendships, and that she will become confident in sharing the love of Jesus with everyone in her path.
Above everything else my goals for Cadi this year are to help her increase in loving God with all of her heart, soul, and might. (Deuteronomy 6:5) If we succeed in that, this year will be counted as a success.
We are just about ready to kick off this school year! Now to intently prepare my heart and mind. I know I have a lot of growing to do this year, and I am just about ready.
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