Thursday, January 10, 2013

Goal Setting

If nothing else, the one thing that sets HoneyFern apart is our individual learning plan for students.

Before a student's first day at HoneyFern, I sit down with them in their home, generally for several hours, and I talk with them about what they love. Sometimes they know right away, sometimes we need to walk all the way around the neighborhood before we find the right house. After we do that, we try to find a way to incorporate what they love or what interests them into a real-life project from which all of their academics will stem. Then we break the project into manageable chunks, and then we break it into even smaller chunks. Once they actually walk through Honeyfern's door, we can break it down even futher into a daily schedule, if necessary.

All of this boils down to goal setting: what do you want to accomplish? What is your goal?

La Petite is building a house.

Will is building a go-kart.

Ella is hatching her own eggs and building a chicken coop.

Sarah is building a hydroponic greenhouse (blog coming soon).

Quinn is learning how to cook, studying economics and putting together a business plan for his the restaurant he will open after he finishes his career in the NFL.

Alec is _________ (don't know as of this writing; he starts Wednesday, and we work on this process today!)

We can see in our everyday work the transformative power of setting goals, and we have experience in doing so, but this blog outlines clearly the value of goal setting and gives five tips to help you set your own goals with students. Keeping in mind that goal setting takes time; practice and support will help ensure success!


  1. My wife commented just the other day that if we were staying in GA we would pursue HoneyFern for our daughters education. We LOVE what y'all are doing.

    1. Thank you! This is the best part, when everything starts to come together after all of the planning.

  2. Lovely.

    We used to sign contracts with students in which the kids would pledge to work hard, ask other for help before asking the teacher, help others, request materials in advance, and so on, and the teacher would pledge to answer questions, provide materials, meet regularly for conferences, and etc. When a student got off track, it was great to be able to pull out the contract and revisit everyone’s goals and intentions. Rather than saying “you’re doing badly,” the teacher could ask, “are you meeting your goals?” The teacher could stay on the student’s side and they could work together to get back on track.

    1. I love this. It is much more clear to reference the goal or the steps than to be vague and tell a kid they are doing "badly." Whatever that means, right? Less subjective and easier to remedy when they get away from their goals!