I’d heard it a million times since we started this journey back in 2007: You need a homeschool mission statement.
Yeah, whatever. said I. We know what we’re doing and we know why we’re doing it. We’re fine.
And most the time we are fine. But things change and life changes and school changes and doubt creeps in and there are a thousand reasons you might start questioning your decision to teach your kids at home. Or you might start speeding full blast down a homeschooling path that totally goes against why you decided to homeschool in the first place. (These things may or may not have happened here.)
So yeah. You need a homeschool mission statement.
Making our mission statement became a family activity. Each day I put out a slip of paper with a question on it. The purpose of the questions was to get my kids thinking in different ways about what they wanted from their homeschooling journey.
Do you like homeschooling because it’s flexible? You get to sleep in late? You can work faster? Slower? You can study what you want?
Do you want more field trips? To study a certain subject? Be in four sports a year? Try a new co-op?
Is homeschooling best when it’s outside? Takes place in the morning? Is relaxed and unscheduled? Goes year round? Happens with friends?
Everyone was encouraged to answer all the questions as many times as they wanted and fill up our bucket with ideas that would then be taken and plugged into our mission statement. By the end of the week we had quite a few papers filled out!
We sat down together and went through the bucket reading everyone’s answers and writing them on our big dry erase board. Common themes ran through some answers, but a few surprises came out as well. It was a learning experience for everyone involved. From this giant list on our board we came up with the Clucky Dickens Farm Homeschool Mission Statement. (The boys had a blast putting it in to “fancy language”.)
If you can’t read it in the picture: Clucky Dickens Farm Homeschool exists to provide an educational experience that is both fun and family oriented. While we realize we must master basic skills (which include but are not limited to “the three Rs”) we seek to spend a considerable amount of time on topics that excite us as individuals. We value learning at our own pace and in our own way, as well as a flexible calendar which allows for harvest, hunting, and other activities.
We also wrote down our goals on a separate sheet of paper because most of them were “time-specific” and we decided they didn’t belong in our long term mission statement.
The boys were proud of the project and told me we need to make it into a nice poster and put it up on the wall so we can refer to it on those “hard days we forget why we are doing what we are doing”.
Well said, kids. Well said. 🙂