I want our home to be a place where my kids feel free to be themselves. It is my desire that each of my children feel known and celebrated for who they are.
When it comes to homeschooling, I want our annual plan to reflect each of my children’s unique set of strengths and their own personal goals. It is my desire that they feel like an important part of the decisions made about their education.
There are lots of ways to achieve these goals but most will require a parent who is committed to communication and willing to change and grow.
In that spirit, I created a survey that I offer my kids 1-2 times a year so I can touch base with their feelings about our home and our homeschool.
The questions included in “Your Experience of Home” are designed to help me understand how my kids feel in our home while discovering ways to improve their experience.
Your Experience of Home
In the “Your Experience of Home” section I ask questions such as:
- What are the best things about being part of our family?
- What is difficult about being part of our family?
- List 3-5 of your favorite small surprises. (small gifts, time out, notes, etc)
- List 3-5 words that describe our home.
- What do we say or do that makes you feel encouraged and supported?
- Are there things we say or do that make you feel sad or ashamed?
It isn’t always easy to read (or listen to) their responses. It puts me in a vulnerable place but it is important for my kids to know that I am willing to go there with them.
and I am willing to listen.
and most importantly that I am willing to change and do better.
Now that my kids are old enough to write their answers, I read their responses on my own and take time to process the responses.
When they were younger, I recorded their answers as they spoke and assured them that they were safe to speak honestly. I accepted their responses without providing a defense or challenge to their comments.
When necessary, I followed up later to affirm their thoughts and ask more questions.
Your Experience of School
The second section contains questions related to our homeschool life. I want to keep up with their changing interests and goals so I use these questions to guide our curriculum choices and outside of the home pursuits.
I ask them questions such as:
- List your 3 favorite (and least favorite) subjects in school
- What do we do during the school day that you’d like to do more often? less often?
- Is there an activity or routine that you’d like to add to our school day?
- What is the most important thing to include in your school day?
- What are you curious about learning or trying this school year?
This section offers more straight forward material for me to work with as I plan our year.
The final page of the interview contains ideas for additional questions to include. There are blank boxes to write your own original questions or additional questions provided on the last page.
This interview has been a fantastic tool in our home even when the information has been hard to hear. Sometimes ESPECIALLY when the information has been hard to hear.
Grab your copy and give your kids a chance to share their experiences today:
She believes that creativity, laughter, and fun are the backbone for engaging and inspiring homeschools. You can find her encouragement and tips on this blog, Mary Hanna Wilson.
She is an enneagram 7 and an extrovert. She enjoys traveling, tea (iced or hot), good conversations, and books. You can connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.