Posts Tagged ‘planning’

The End Game: Long-Term Goals for Children

Monday, January 11th, 2021


Years ago, back when my kids were tiny, I saw an article in a homeschool magazine that stressed the importance of setting long-term goals for our children if we wanted to see them accomplish everything we consider important. The magazine article broke the long-term goals into different subject headings, so I tweaked and brainstormed what kinds of skills and knowledge I wanted my kids to have acquired before leaving home as adults. Because I knew what my end game was, I knew that I needed to break those goals down into incremental steps over the years, to achieve those goals with my kids.

I brainstormed not only skills and knowledge in different subject areas that I wanted my kids to know, but also areas of character. As a result of those goals, I knew where I was headed, and I focused on the things that mattered rather than on frivolous things. Over the years my kids were able to advance in so many ways, far beyond where I was at their ages, even in their character.

Here is a workshop I delivered recently about goal-setting, where I go into more detail in each subject area, and why we stressed some areas more than others:

If you want to see the full list of goals I wrote so many years ago, here they are:

The skill areas encompass reading, writing, and math, as well as other practical skills such as swimming, cooking, sewing, hand-eye coordination through basic sports skills, driving, etc. For example, I wanted my kids to be able to swim, at least to tread water and get back to shore if a boat was capsized. This skill was important for my kids to have before they left home.

Knowledge areas include science, history, geography, literature, etc. For example, my children learned how to identify over 50 plants and trees based on leaves and other features of the plants. We also read a lot of classical literature, which helped my kids expand their vocabulary so that they could read on a higher lever.


Experiences also affect learning. When you experience something, you are more likely to master it or retain the information. This is why I have valued hands-on learning all the way through my children’s upbringing. We experienced a different culture by traveling to Guatemala to see my childhood stomping grounds. We experienced a medieval feast and a Renaissance fair to get into those historical time periods. We went on numerous field trips to see and experience the most out of life that our tight budgets would allow.

The character of my children was the most important area that I stressed, and I’m glad I did. Not only are my kids honest and kind, but they are eager to help other people, they are funny, and they are deep thinkers. I love who they are turning out to be. And we have had so many experiences as a family that have bonded us together in unity, to give my children a sense of identity. They know who they are.

This is why I highly recommend setting some long-range goals for your kids. When we plan long-term goals for our children, we are more likely to achieve those goals, and we can have great experiences along the way.

Goals for my Children

Monday, August 16th, 2010


The importance of goals in homeschooling cannot be overestimated. If you have no goals, you don’t know where you are going. It’s important to have long-term as well as short-term goals. What do you want your children to accomplish before they leave home at age 18? A goals list for each subject area will help you do long-range planning, and it can help you eliminate busywork in your homeschool that does not contribute to your goals. Short-range goals might include what you want your child to accomplish in any given year. I have included a list of the long-range goals that I have for my own children. I hope it is helpful as you formulate your own goals.


  1. Understand the Gospel and be saved.
  2. Learn obedience and self-control.
  3. Grow in their knowledge and love of Christ.
  4. Have a vivid knowledge of Bible stories.
  5. Be able to take notes and learn during a sermon.
  6. Learn the great hymns of the faith.
  7. Learn how to use Bible concordance, atlas, dictionary, handbook.
  8. Understand and experience Jewish traditions and holidays.
  9. Memorize Scripture and the books of the Bible.


  1. Be able to do quick mental math (add, subtract, multiply, and divide).
  2. Have good estimation skills and practical math.
  3. Have financial savvy; budgeting and business skills.
  4. Be able to do math up through calculus, if needed for future job.


  1. Be able to read fluently with understanding.
  2. Write effectively and vividly in all forms of writing.
  3. Give a speech presentation effectively.
  4. Be exposed to drama and theater.
  5. Have sharp listening skills and reasoning skills.
  6. Understand basic logic and have critical thinking skills.
  7. Read and discuss a wide range of classical literature.


  1. Have thorough knowledge and appreciation of God’s creation.
  2. Understand scientific principles including chemistry and physics.
  3. Have earth science and biology knowledge.
  4. Exposure to evolution vs. creation science. Able to logically defend the faith.


  1. Know the states and capitals, and locate states.
  2. Know the location of all countries on earth.
  3. Be exposed to travel in other states and countries.
  4. Understand the flow of history and when major events took place; vividly picture all major time periods.
  5. Understand the “why” behind major events. See God’s hand in His dealings with mankind.

Foreign Language

  1. Exposure to Hebrew and Greek.
  2. Intermediate to advanced knowledge of Spanish.


  1. Have basic drawing skills, painting, and crafting skills.
  2. Have knowledge of great works of art and artists from history.
  3. Exposure to art museums.


  1. Knowledge of great classical composers and music.
  2. Carry a beat (clapping).
  3. Exposure to symphony, jazz festivals, etc.
  4. Sing on key and possibly harmonize.
  5. Learn how to read basic music notes (piano).
  6. Take instrument lessons if interested.


  1. Learn about healthy nutrition and exercise.
  2. Learn how to swim, or at least tread water.
  3. Exposure to sports and other physical activities.
  4. Learn about the digestive system, skeletal system, muscular system, respiratory system, etc.