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Homeschool Fiction

Follow homeschoolers Nadia and Aidan as they travel the USA! Each book in this series explores a new state and a new research topic. Along with their parents and pet turtle, they find adventure and learning everywhere.

...and just what is that mysterious device of theirs?

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Month Day
Topics: empowerment,mindful parenting,Unschooling

Goals, Again

Goals are important. Without them, we flounder, wither, and die (if not physically, then certainly emotionally and psychologically).

Yet, no one can truly make goals for anyone other than themselves. This is a trap parents often get into. It’s inevitable — we have dreams and desires for our children. There is nothing wrong with that. But, it is extremely important that we do not force our personal goals onto our children.

This is one of the main differences between “regular” homeschooling and Unschooling. With homeschooling, parents laboriously scour curricula and mix and match until they believe they’ve hit upon the very best ever schooling program for their children. Conversely, with unschooling, parents get to know their children better and better every day and they act as facilitators who help their children fulfill all of their own dreams and desires. Unschooling children thrive! This, in fact, is one of my own personal main goals: to step back and allow my children to dream their own dreams and to pursue their own passions.

I have my own personal goals and I work every day to accomplish them. My family has family goals and I do my part to help fulfill those. And, my husband and daughters have their own personal goals, which I do my best to help them with (without interfering and changing their original intentions). It is my honor to help them fulfill their goals. I’ve been doing this with my children since the day each of them was born.

When my daughters were little, their goals were small — food, comfort, seeking and touching new things, exploring mainly. Their goals have grown since then. They now dream of travel, huge science and art projects, and flying to the moon (just to name a few). They wish big, dream big, and expect big.

While our children’s goals are our children’s goals, it is highly important that we, as parents, help them achieve them. How can a six year old achieve her goal of dancing on a real stage without parental involvement? How can a sixteen year old achieve his goal of learning to drive and owning a car without parental involvement? Sure both of these could be done, but wouldn’t they be done better and with more fun if you were right there with your child? Why should there be a particular age we stop helping our children achieve their goals? [Most people stop helping their children with their goals when they are mere toddlers yearning for a particular toy or food.] Yet, ultimately, we should not put our goals onto our children, nor view their success in life on whether or not a particular goal is met. Don’t we want to raise strong and happy children? We must step back and allow this to happen!

I don’t want to have children who wait to grow up before even attempting to accomplish their goals. I’ve heard of too many full grown adults (in their 30s, 40s, and 50s) who when asked what they want to do with their lives and why haven’t they gone after their childhood dreams state, “Oh, I will when I grow up.” The best way to fulfill a dream is to start today and then do something every single day to take you closer to your goal. If you figure out half-way through that you no longer desire the goal, that’s fine. Pick another, stop floundering, and go out there (or stay in there) and do the thing your heart desires you to do.

I had more to write on this topic, but instead I’ll quote my wonderful dad. He and I recently discussed the topic of goals and he said this:

“In my mind a goal cannot become a goal until we have a plan on our pursuit of that goal. Until we have a roadmap to that goal it is only a dream. Dreamers are good because they can produce the greatest results but only when they are made by goal driven individuals. Many times children’s dreams are stifled by either their parents or the education system. I believe unschooling stops that from happening and actually opens the door to the dreams to become goals. Unschoolers are not told they can’t so obviously they can.