A lot of parents often ask if their children will be able to master both English and Chinese and how long it will take. My answer is usually the same: it depends.
I know – I don’t like to receive this answer either, but it’s true. Success comes from setting goals and meaningful planning.
Yes, your child can master both languages if you set the right goals and spend enough quality time immersing them in both languages all day long for years. You will also need to experience different learning activities and events.
In this post, we are going to talk about 5 Easy Ways to Set Better Goals for Homeschooling Young Children.
Table of Contents
* Please scroll down to download a Freebie.
Before we start, just a friendly reminder that this is the 2nd step of the series of How to Write a Year-Long Plan for Chinese and English Preschool.
If you would like to read the other posts in the series, here are the links for you. Enjoy!!
After I decided to homeschool my children, I was so excited to start planning. I printed out a set of monthly calendars and started writing down all the things in my mind, for example, subjects I would like to include, our daily routine, and how to decorate the homeschool area. One day, my husband asked me how the planning was going, and I told him everything that I planned. He asked me how I was going to start and what my goals were. I had nothing to say, so I pulled out a sheet of paper and started all over again.
Yes! Our planning should start with goals.
When you set goals, your mind and eyes are opened to a broader view of the year of homeschooling. Some of your concerns, obstacles, and fear will even disappear because you have a confident vision of your plan. You have a better view of what’s going to come and how you will handle problems when they occur. You will be able to make a great year plan with focus, direction, and flexibility. On days when you may have a bad day of homeschooling, or you might think about giving up, looking back at these goals will reignite your fire and give you strength and power to keep going. Do you see why goal setting is important to a homeschooling mom?
So, don’t forget to SET GOALS!!
5 Easy Ways to Set Better Goal for Homeschooling Young Children
Based on the past years of planning and goal setting, I would like to share some vital steps and tips I learned about setting goals.
You may want to download this FREE printable and get a pencil to use as read.
Step 1: Know Why you are Homeschooling
Before you start anything, sit down and ponder these questions. You might want to write down your answers too.
- What prompted you to start homeschooling?
- What would you like to gain from homeschooling?
- Why don’t you want to send your children to the local school?
- How would you like to see homeschooling change you and your family after this school year?
Step 2: Really Get to Know Your Child
One of my reasons for homeschooling was because I didn’t want my child labeled with a grade level like traditional school. Even though I didn’t want my kids to be like a robot and limited to learn the exact same thing as other kids just because they are the same age, I still needed some kind of reference and guidelines to assess my child’s strengths and weaknesses.
To do this, I found some great assessment forms that helped me decide where should I start teaching my child.
I suggest you either find your own assessments or print these Pre-K assessment forms out.
Spend a couple of weeks purposefully observing your child (alone or in groups) and working on some skills with them.
I would also ask my child what they want to learn and be in a year. Kids never hide their feelings or desires, so it should not be too hard for you to know what your child wants.
After that, you should able to figure out where your child is right now academically, emotionally, and socially, and then you can start mapping out your plans to fit your child’s needs.
Step 3: Set Meaningful Long-term Goals & Appropriate Short-term Goals
Setting 2-3 long-term goals helps with your direction and focus on setting your short-term goals.
When you have 2-3 main goals for your child, then all other short-term goals should be narrowed down and connected to your long-term goals.
In the end, while your child is working on the short-term goals, they will also accomplish the long-term goals as well.
Let’s see how are we going to do that.
Examples of Long-Term Goals
- Enjoy having school time at home
- Find their real interests and strengths on different subjects
- Discover what learning style is right for my child
- Enhance their love of books, reading, and stories
- Adjust the daily schedule with meaningful lessons and activities
- Be willing to try new things in different subjects, themes, and topics
- Enlarge their observations of the world and things around them
- Enjoy using two different languages at home and during school time
Examples of Short-term goals
Short-term goals should be very specific with time and content. I even set different short-term goals for different subjects, so I know exactly what areas to teach in those subjects.
- Pick and read books on their own everyday
- Count from 1-10 in a month
- Have the courage to learn new things
- Enjoy reading Chinese books after the first half-year
- Clean up right after each task
- Recognize ABC both upper case and lower case after this school year
- Know color words in both Chinese and English after the month of “colors”
From My Own Case
My oldest kid is going to be a 1st grader, and I have set the following goals for her:
Long-term goals: Be able to read and learn from books and the internet, be able to finish tasks independently, and enjoy picking, planning, and finishing different by herself.
Short-term goals: English – Learn about word families, Chinese – Recognize 200 characters, Math – 2-digit addition & subtraction, Art – know how to set up for painting time.
How do I know if I have accomplished my goals or not?
By looking at my short-term goals, I know what specific things I should do with my kid. When I am planning activities for my kid to learn a particular knowledge or skills, then I will check to see if my activities match all or any of my long-term goals.
For example: I would like to work on our short-term goal – Recognize 200 Chinese characters. According to the long-term goals we have, I may allow my kid to pick which 10 Chinese characters she would like to learn first. We will go to the library or bookstores to pick out some Chinese children’s books that contain those 10 Chinese characters. Then, I ask her to find the 10 characters in all the books on her own. In the end, I may ask her to think of a project where she can use those 10 Chinese characters, for example, learn to write a Chinese letter or make a sand tray together, so she can practice writing on it.
<<<< ALL of our 3 long-term goals CHECK >>>>
I really can’t predict or guarantee how much will she learn from this process, but I’m sure it will be a great self-learning experience for both of us. I have learned to set better goals and guide my young child, and I think she had fun choosing what she was interested in and applying her own learning. What do you think?
Step 4: Don’t Forget the “teacher”
I’m sure we all need a way to keep our own fire burning while our children work towards their goals.
When you are staying home 24/7, serving your family members all day long repeatedly, your service doesn’t seem to compare with the amazing accomplishments of others.
But what we do is important, so that is why it is so important for us, stay-at-home homeschooling moms to have long-term and short-term goals, and even rewards for ourselves too, so we can feel accomplished and motivated by what we have done repeatedly for our family.
You may think you don’t need it, but I would like to show you that you can be even happier and more confident by setting and checking your goals off.
My Long-term Goals (2017):
- Leave my phone completely off when I have school time with my kids
- Embrace the imperfect and chaos during school time
- Give myself enough time to relax and prepare for the next lessons.
My Short-term Goals:
- Go to bed before 12 A.M., so I can wake up and be ready for the day
- Write a to-do list in my daily planner
- Take photos not only when we finish any art or projects, but also when any lesson goes wrong and of the messes, we leave behind
- Involve my kids more in clean up and chores
I am sure you all notice that when you are happy, everyone in your home is happier. I decided to keep myself happy, so I can raise a happy, healthy family, and goal setting helps me do this.
Step 5: Write Down and Display your Goals
Do you remember where you recorded your New Year goals for this year?
Every time you take notes of how many times do you look at them again?
Is it common for you to quit working on your goals halfway through the year because you don’t even remember what goals you set?
Does this sound familiar to you? The simple solution to these problems is to write down your goals and put them up where you will see them regularly: your mirror, bathroom, breakfast table, back of your front door, walls of the homeschooling room, or even in your car.
Which goals setting system works best for you?
Do you have other ways to remember and keep thinking about your goals throughout the year?
Please share your ideas in the comments section below.
You Might be Interested:
- An Interview about My Homeschooling life in Hong Kong
- Homeschooling in Hong Kong: The Fortune Cookie Mom from Honey! I’m Homeschooling My Kids
- Setting Homeschool Goals and Knowing Your Purpose from Homeschool Creations
- Homeschooling Goals for Success from Homeschooling-Ideas
- Creating Homeschooling Goals for Growth: Plan Your Year Part 1 from Pam Barnhill
You Are Not Doing it Alone
Join my Facebook support group to meet and get connections with parents and educators with the same goals.
<<Don’t miss our next post on Creating a Bilingual Homeschooling Calendar for Multiple Children>>
身为职业妈妈的我,常常牺牲睡眠来自作教材。版主全方位学习的新年教材真让我省下不少宝贵的时间找资料。四岁的女儿对中文学习有点抗拒。我们善用版主提供的迷你故事书和生字卡来增强她对语文的认识。版主的中文单词棋盘游戏更让女儿投入学习, 因为她想赢嘛！版主的教材可让小孩边玩边学, 太棒了。
This is the second 5-Day Challenge that we have done with Fortune Cookie Mom. Both have been very beneficial to our family. I am a homeschool mom of three little kids. We are not Chinese and do not speak any Chinese. With the help of Fortune Cookie Mom, we are slowly learning! The challenges have given me fun activities to do at home with the kids. Each one has re-ignited my kid's interest in learning. It has been a fun experience for everybody!