Being that I am a bilingual homeschooling mom and blogger, parents often ask how long it will take for their children to master both English and Chinese.
My answer is usually the same: it depends.
I know I don’t like hearing this answer either, but it’s true.
Successfully teaching and raising your bilingual kids comes from setting better goals and meaningful planning. So 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.
And their willingness and interest in learning and using both English and Chinese in their lives will be a big bonus.
In this post, we are going to talk about 5 Ways to Set Better Goals for Bilingual Homeschooling and how to do it in our bilingual homeschooling plan.
*This post contains affiliate links.
This is a Bilingual Homeschooling Series
Before we start, just a friendly reminder that this is the 2nd step of the series of How to Write a Year-Long Bilingual Homeschooling Plan. Enjoy!!
My First Homeschooling Plan Without Any Goals
After I decided to homeschool my children (click HERE to know exactly how I did it), 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, having an English week and a Chinese week, and how to decorate the homeschool area, etc.
After a couple of days, my husband asked me how the planning was going, and I told him everything that I planned. Then 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.
It’s true that even though it seemed like I had all planned out, I was still feeling completely overwhelmed and uncertain by all the different priorities and directions you can take to start. My ideas and inspiration were all over the place. I needed a system to organize them that would last.
Setting Goals is a Necessary First Step of Planning
Yes! Our planning should always start with setting goals.
Spending less than 30 minutes to set goals for your upcoming bilingual homeschool year will benefit you the entire year.
These are some of the benefits that come from setting goals:
- When you set goals, your mind and eyes are opened to a broader view of the whole year. You are excited about how much your kids are going to learn and do in this coming year
- You are looking forward to the changes and growth that slowly take place.
- Some of your concerns, obstacles, and fears will gradually disappear because you have a more confident and clearer vision of your plan.
- You will have a better view of what to plan for and feel confident to handle problems as they occur.
- You will have more focus, direction, and flexibility.
- You will have a sense of satisfaction after you complete each goal.
- You will be motivated to set your next goals.
- On days when you have a bad day of homeschooling, or you might think about giving up, but 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 homeschooling parent?
It gets complicated to set goals for my four kids. They are all growing individually in their own ways, but four of them are learning together most of the time.
Don’t worry! I’m going to show you how I did that in just a second.
5 Steps to Set Better Goals for Bilingual Homeschooling
Based on the past years of planning and goals setting, I would like to share my 5 vital steps as well as some additional tips I have learned throughout the process.
You may also want to download this FREE Workbook and get a pencil to use as well.
Step 1: Know Why are you Homeschooling
Before you start anything, sit down and ponder these questions. You might want to write down your answers too.
Ready or not? Let’s do it.
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Chinese Resources | Homeschooling Tips
WANT TO KNOW HOW I CREATE MY ONE YEAR HOMESCHOOLING PLAN?
- 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?
- Why do you think homeschooling is also a good fit for learning multiple languages?
- Do you know anyone who is homeschooling their kids? What inspires you to do the same?
Write down your vision and answers in my FREE Workbook that I created just for you.
Click HERE to Grab Yours Now
I usually prepare a page to dedicate to setting goals and put it on the front page of my homeschooling planner.
I write the answers down on that page as well. This is especially true for those who are not sure about homeschooling. Use these questions to help you to understand your thoughts and desires about homeschooling.
You may think this is kind of silly to do. However, we are all busy parents who don’t take the time to write down our thoughts and ideas.
And then when the baby cries or a text message come upon, your thoughts disappear.
So write it down now, either on a piece of paper or in the notepad of your phone or computer.
Step 2: Really Get to Know Your Child
One of the reasons I chose to homeschool was because I didn’t want my child labeled with a grade level like in traditional school.
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 needed some kind of reference to assess my child’s strengths and weaknesses.
To do this, I found some great assessment forms that helped me decide where I should start teaching my child.
I suggest you take time to 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 where they want to 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.
Take a Quiz here
The homeschool style quiz by Homeschool On can help you find out your ideal homeschooling style and methods for you.
Of course, we may think we know what’s best for our child. Don’t we?
Do we spend enough time talking with them, watching them play and learn, and even trying to see their world through their eyes?
By getting to know their specific learning styles, interests, strengths, weaknesses, and even fears you will be able to determine specific goals and the right homeschooling methods for them.
Step 3: Set Meaningful Long-term Goals & Appropriate Short-term Goals
Setting two to three long-term goals helps with setting your short-term goals.
Only two to three? Are you serious?
Yes. When you have two to three 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.
So you don’t have only 2-3 goals, but you do have a lot more small and simple goals to do, following by these 2-3 more board and general goals with the outcomes that you would like.
Let’s see how are we going to do that.
P.S. If you have multiple children like me, it’s a great idea to have goals for each child, as well as goals as a whole group.
In our family, we have a family’s goals, couples’ goals, financial goals, and others. That’s how we can create a happy functional family together.
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 your 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
- Expand 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 and languages, so I know exactly what areas to teach in those subjects.
- Pick and read Chinese books on their own everyday
- Count from 1-10 in one month
- Have the courage to learn new things
- Enjoy reading Chinese books after the first half-year
- Clean up right after each task
- Recognize both upper case and lower case ABCs after this school year
- Know color words in both Chinese and English after the month of “colors”
Setting Goals for my Kids Individually
My 6 years old is going to be a 1st grader, and I have set the following goals for her:
Learn read from books and the internet. Enjoy picking, planning, and finishing different tasks independently.
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 gain knowledge of something or to learn a particular skill. Then I will check to see if my activities match all or any of my long-term goals.
Let’s look at it as an 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 can go to the library or bookstores to pick out some Chinese children books which 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 learning experience for both of us.
I have learned to set better goals and guide my children, and I think she had fun choosing what she was interested in and applying her own learning.
What do you think?
Setting Goals for my Kids as a Whole Group
No matter how many kids you have, it’s better to keep it simple.
Sometimes, parents try to give everything to their kids, including goals and expectations. It’s better to set fewer, but solid goals than 30+ neverending goals and tasks. Not just for young kids, but for elementary or high school kids as well.
Make a couple of long-term and short-term goals as a whole group and as individual kids.
Examples of the Long-term goals for my 4 Kids
- Share your feeling with each other
- Encourage speaking Chinese with Mom
Examples of the short-term goals for my 4 Kids
- Use words instead of screaming or crying to talk about your feelings
- Go to your bedroom to calm down when you can’t express yourself
- Be an example and speak Chinese to each other
As you spend time brainstorming and writing all these goals down for the whole group and individually. Everyone will start to make connections between each goal.
Trust me. It is usually exciting to discuss what we want to accomplish and become in the future. Kids love that and so do we.
Let’s dream big with our kids!
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 I think 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 Goals as a Homeschooling Mom
Examples of my long-term goals
- Leave my phone completely off when I have school time with my kids
- Embrace the imperfection and chaos during school time
- Have enough time to relax and prepare for the next lesson.
Examples of 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 projects, but also when any lesson goes wrong and we leave messes 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 achieve this.
Step 5: Write Down and Display your Goals
Do you remember where you recorded your New Years goals for the year?
Out of every time you take notes, 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.
I hope these 5 steps will inspire you and help you to set better goals for your coming bilingual homeschool year.
Don’t forget to Grab Your FREE Workbook
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:
- Setting Homeschool Goals and Knowing Your Purpose (Homeschool Creations)
- Homeschooling Goals for Success (Homeschooling-Ideas)
- Creating Homeschooling Goals for Growth: Plan Your Year Part 1 (Pam Barnhill)
- Homeschooling Questionnaire: Is Home Schooling Right For You? (We have Kids)
You Are Not Doing it Alone
<<Don’t miss our next post on Creating a Bilingual Homeschooling Calendar for Multiple Children >>