The Value of Designing an Education Vision for your Family

Monday, March 13, 2023 by Catherine Gilliland | Family Education Vision

When I was schooling a half a dozen different-aged children all at once, while still nurturing a toddler, it was an intense, but wonderful time. Some called it chaotic. At times, I am sure it was. As I spoke with other parents in my circle, I realized that we were all experiencing in varying degrees the tendency to become distracted from "the important" because of "the urgent". Have you ever succumbed to the tyranny of the urgent? You know--"first aid" for the moment-by-moment or daily problems or saying "yes" to hastily pursued "opportunities".

Designing an education vision and written plan for our precious kiddos sounded like a wonderful plan, but I can't lie, it also scared me. What scared me about designing a vision was that I knew somehow we must integrate that structured vision plan with the reality of what went on day to day. I wasn't certain that I had the mental bandwidth to take care of the daily AND pursue the vision. Unless something changed, we were never going to reach our vision. I'm delighted to report that's NOT what happened. We did the work step by step, stumbling at the beginning yet eventually finding our stride. 

What I found was that because we had a vision and plan in place, I could enjoy the guidance these documents provided when making decisions about summer opportunities and registering for upcoming classes and activities. If the opportunities fit our plan, we could integrate them. If they didn't, we made the necessary decisions. We designed the plan to possess structure, yet it also held space for flexibility. Gone was that stressful feeling of "flying by the seat of our pants" and wondering if we were going to reach a purposeful destination. I can write to you today and say designing our family's education vision was one of the best things we did for our family.

I'll share more about the nuts and bolts of designing a vision in a future blog, but for now, let's address executing a vision. Obviously, the execution of a written vision is where the rubber meets the road. The truth, though, is that the pursuit of any vision requires real effort, sacrifice, and embracing choices when you may not feel like it. Initially designed & led by parents, the child who is becoming a young adult gradually takes more and more initiative in the process. Maintaining a team culture, however, is important. The plan works best when all team members are completely convinced of the vision's value. The more convinced, the more commitment or buy-in there is, and the better the outcome. Team accountability will strengthen momentarily weakened resolve. With time & engagement, focus on the vision takes hold, positively impacting day-to-day tasks, fostering the desired results, and building positive energy.