Word of the year ideas to guide your homeschool 

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Choosing a word of the year isn’t a new concept – perhaps you already do this. Using a word of the year is something you can do anytime, although it’s popular in January as a replacement for making resolutions. With our easy-to-follow step-by-step process and downloadable list of word of the year ideas, you’ll never go back to resolutions!

Choosing a word of the year is inspiring. The word is designed to guide you and ALL the goals you make for the year. As much as possible, things should tie back to your word. The more you use it, the more valuable it will become. 

This is different from making RESOLUTIONS because resolutions don’t have commitment behind them. 1/3 of resolutions don’t make it past January. Of those that do, 75% of them are abandoned soon after! We just don’t stick with resolutions because they really don’t mean anything to us!

A word of the year is easy to remember and sets the intentions for how you are going to live life. 

Generally speaking, choosing a word of the year is popular among adults. By all means, Momma, choose a word of the year to feed your soul. However, I want to inspire you to take it a step further and choose a word for your homeschool. Something that is all-encompassing for the focus of your school and where you want to take it in the new year. 

STEPS FOR CHOOSING  A WORD OF THE YEAR

Choosing a word of the year for your homeschool isn’t as easy as just reviewing a list and circling your favorite. It takes some thought. 

list of steps for finding a word of the year
Use these easy steps to find a word of the year for your homeschool!

1. FIRST- You need to make a list of the STRENGTHS/ WEAKNESSES. Ideally, it should be for EVERYONE, yourself included but at a minimum complete this activity for each child of school age.  Do you see any patterns? 

2. Next, you will need to REFLECT on those strengths, weaknesses, and the overall patterns, or lack of patterns. Ask yourself these questions as a guide. 

What does my homeschool need more of? Does my Homeschool need LESS of anything? What does a perfect homeschool day look like? (take time to really visualize this) Take notes if you wish. 

3. After reflecting, what comes to mind? MAKE A LIST of the words that pop out at you as a result of your reflection.   Jot down as many words or phrases as you want. If you need inspiration Take a look at my printable Word of the Year list – there are 75 words to help get you started. 

4. I advise WAITING a few days before going any further. Let the list marinate like a good piece of meat. After all, you are going to use it as the cornerstone for everything you do for the next 12 months. 

5. When you feel INSPIRED,  then narrow down your list to 3-5 words. If your kids are old enough, now it’s time to involve them. Define each word and outline a bit of what it would look like to have the word inspire and guide the year moving forward. What word resonates with the children most? Have them vote, or you can narrow it down to one that makes the most sense. 

Word of the Year Ideas and Examples

For example, If your word of the year is  INDEPENDENCE, you could begin by potty training the youngest, and let the older ones have passion projects they work on in the afternoon. Is it time to let any of the kids make their own lunches? Let the word INDEPENDENCE guide how your lessons evolve so everyone, including you and your husband, gains independence. 

Another word could be BALANCE. Take a look and see if you have the kids in too many extra activities. Perhaps You lean toward teaching language arts and need to squeeze a little more science in to achieve balance. Balance can apply to the physical conditions of life as well. What about a family yoga class on the weekends? 

family smiling sitting together on couch, feeling connected
CONNECT is just one of the many word of the year ideas on our free list!

If the word you chose is CONNECT you can focus on relationships with people, places, and even things. In what ways can you plan individual time for each of your children so you can connect with them on a deeper level over the next year? Is it time to get those old scrapbooking projects finished up so your family can connect with the memories for years to come? How can you connect with your ancestry or relatives that live far away? 

Using short phrases is an option as well. Recently Our word for the year was the phrase CHOOSE JOY. If I had a fussy bug (I called my kids “The Bugs”) I could always go back and remind them feelings were a choice, and this year we Chose Joy. We were struggling with attitude in those “Tween” years so *CHOOSE JOY* fit. 

MAKING YOUR WORD OF THE YEAR VISIBLE

Once you finalize your word it needs to be VISIBLE everywhere. The bathroom, the kitchen, your main school area, your planner, even on your phone’s lock screen. When deciding to sign the kids up for baseball in June, you should use the word as your guide. Struggling with a child who begins rushing through work in March, How can your word help? 

Ideas for implementing the word of the year and keeping it visible

  • See if you can find quotes with your word in it. Print them and use them as copywork. Make colorful posters to hang around the house highlighting the word. 
  • Use a Thesaurus and gather as many synonyms for your word as you can (This is a great activity for the kids!) Hang these words around the house too! 
  • There are places you can have the Word made into jewelry. This makes a GREAT GIFT, especially if you have a homeschool graduate this year. 
  • When Taking a family portrait, have a fancy chalkboard sign made with your word of the year on it as a keepsake. 
  • Are there books that focus on the word you have chosen? Check them out of the library and use them for read aloud time, or your own personal reading as a parent. 
3 post it notes all with the word BALANCE
Your word of the year should be on display everywhere so it is always at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

I kept a record of our words for 10 years. After that, we decided we had chosen all the words that truly defined our family and it was time to put the spit polish on them as a master set. This is one of those activities that can be truly transformative if you allow it. 

USING MORE THAN ONE WORD

Another word of the year project is having each member of the family choose their own word. A word of caution, This takes some discipline and management, but it’s completely doable, especially with older kids. 

Here are some tips. 

  • Follow all the same steps as above for choosing words – simply each individual makes their OWN list of strengths and weaknesses and ends up at the end point of having their own guiding word. 
  • To use the words all year, holding family meetings is an important aspect. If your oldest chooses the word SERVICE, meeting together and arranging for those opportunities will help that child stay on task. 
  • Perhaps another child picked CHALLENGE. Well along with pushing themselves to learn their multiplication facts, perhaps they will challenge themselves to meet new people? They may want to team up with their sibling who is doing service and attend an event!

word of the year project

product cover image for word of the year ideas
Download your free word of the year ideas in the Happy Hive Homeschooling shop.

Thanks for stopping by Happy Hive Homeschooling for your word of the year ideas

You might also like our Family Fun activity of HOW TO SET UP A TIME CAPSULE FOR YOUR HOMESCHOOL.

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I’d love to chat with you each week about the methods I used to organize, schedule, and lesson plan in my homeschool with the hopes it will help you have a happy hive too. In the meantime, “Bee” sure to check out the different methods of homeschooling as well as our 3 easy strategies for burnout.

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