While homeschoolers are great at creative field trips and thinking outside the box (like earning dual credit from home!), if we’re honest, we know we can sometimes struggle with the more black-and-white tasks like goal setting, time management, and consistent scheduling.

If this is you, it’s okay!

We’ve all been there. But this is a start of a new semester, a new school year—let’s set some goals and make it the best one yet!

Setting Goals for Your Semester

Thinking Big

As a homeschool grad, one of my favorite things my parents did with my education is let me help steer. Sit down with your students and ask what they want to get out of this school year!

Your kids are smart and have ideas of where they want this to go, too, even when they aren’t so sure they believe in themselves to get there. You can channel their ideas into reasonable goals, equip them with the tools they need to get there, and be their number one cheerleader!

Setting big goals for the entire semester (or even year) gives you an actual target so you don’t have to just run blindly into the black hole of the future.

Reasonableness with goals is important, though. If your student says they want to finish their bachelor’s degree this school year but has only taken four or five CLEP exams, that isn’t a reasonable goal. It’s important that the goals you create, even these big ones, are actually attainable.

if you and your student are having a hard time coming up with big goals, you can always shoot for numbers! Target to complete at least X number exams and read X number books this school year. You can also use the Dual Credit at Home lesson plans in your big goals by committing to reach a certain point or finish them this year!

Bite-Sized Pieces

Every year on New Year’s Day, my dad calls a family meeting where we each have to present yearly goals that we make up for ourselves. The catch is that if he doesn’t think we’re challenging ourselves enough, he will make up extra goals for our lists.

This scares us kids, so we always try to cover our bases with ambitious goals so Dad doesn’t make up extras for us. This year I set the goal for myself to be able to run a 10k (6.2 miles) by the end of the year. Because I had been out of running so long, this is something that just really cannot be achieved in a day, or even a month or two of training; it’s a process that really takes me the full year!

Schoolwork is like that, too! Saying you want to take X number CLEP exams this year is a great start, but what will you do this week, or even today, to help you work towards that goal?

Does this big goal mean you need to take a CLEP exam every month? Every other month? How much study time do you need per week to make this happen? How much study time does that give you per day?

If you have the Dual Credit at Home Study Plans, work with them! I know many students say they aren’t able to complete a full lesson plan day in a day and that’s fine! You can still use them to measure your goals.

Could you commit to complete three full Dual Credit at Home lesson plan days per week? Or two? Find what works for your student (while still challenging them) and commit to these small, weekly goals to keep you on track for your big goals!

Celebrating Goals

When your student reaches their goals, even if it was with dragging feet, and you had to nag them every day all semester to get there, it’s worth celebrating! Go out for lunch or a movie!

Grab them their favorite candy and tuck it in a card that tells them how pleased you are about their achievements! They’ve done hard things and deserve to be celebrated!

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