This is article Number 11 in the Series, Essentials for Successful Homeschooling
This Essentials for Successful Homeschooling series is written for the benefit of anyone who wants guidance to implement a successful homeschooling program. These articles will be numbered, and should be read in order. The content for each article is taken from the Enrollment Application and processes for students in Family Tree Private School, a school for homeschooling families. Family Tree Private School supports a Biblical foundation for life and learning, and enrollment is open to all.
A student goal chart is used to organize work, and hold students accountable. Completed goal charts can also be filed away as part of the portfolio to show the progress of student work. A chart is used by the student to record his or her daily work, such as page numbers, or projects completed. I believe that the setting of goals in and of itself is an education, and this practice of filling out goals by the student will help the student be reflective and learn how to communicate.
The goal chart works best when the student fills out the goals for each subject just one day at a time. When they finish their work, they should neatly cross out that day’s goals, and write in the next day’s goals for each subject; then they put their goal chart and school work in a neat pile for mom or dad to check later when it’s convenient for the parents. The parents can then look at the goal chart and see what the student said they did that day, and what the student plans to do tomorrow. Of course the parents will make notes for needed corrections, or homework that needs to be completed. When the student fills out their goals for the following day, it is expected they will follow a set progression through a curriculum.
The Summary Chart for parents can be used in anyway that will help the parent record, or organize goals to be completed, or to keep track of proposed rewards, or assigning homework. In the attached example of the parent Summary Chart, there is a column for “green dots”, and “demerits” for example. The way a parent may use this chart, for example is to put a check in the box for the office if the office area is clean, a check if the goal chart is complete, and green dot if the child had a good attitude, and a note if homework is needed, or a demerit if a demerit was earned for negative behavior. Then, the parent and student can review the chart on Fridays to have counseling time.
The most important aspect of any “system” you use is that you keep it simple, and that you “build in success”, so that there is always an opportunity for your child to make amends, or catch up, or be praised for doing something right, even at the end of a bad week. Also, everyday should begin with a new slate, and a fresh start. Also, don’t exaggerate a punishment like, “You’re grounded for a month!” when you know you will not follow through with it. Don’t discuss discipline measures when you are angry,wait until you can calmly talk about it; and always phrase the consequences your child may have earned, good or bad, as something they earned.
Students should not fill in their chart ahead for the week, but do it daily. The exception is when there may be scheduled events like PE, or appointments, etc. Following are links to a student goal chart, and a parent goal chart summary.