Creating a vision for your homeschool might seem difficult; but it’s crucial to starting your homeschool journey. Here are the most important elements to keep in mind:
It’s exciting to think about crafting your secular homeschool’s mission statement. But if you’re not sure where to start, there’s a couple of easy steps to take to make the whole process a lot easier. If you’re choosing to accredit your homeschool, this will be one of the first things you turn in to your accreditors. And if you’re like me, the perfectionist in you is freaking out a lot. What is the “perfect” homeschool mission statement? What can I do to set us off on the right foot? It probably feels like religious homeschoolers have an advantage here. After all, there’s like, a built-in vision and mission for people who believe in god. They want to make that a part of their daily lives. Well, what do you want to make a part of your family’s daily life?
It’s helpful to break it down into three parts:
1. Your Family Homeschool Name:
It’s definitely not necessary, but it adds a little dash of fun to create a custom name for your homeschool. For example, our last name starts with O, and I wanted our homeschool name to be alliterative. Having a name for our homeschool gave us a chance to work together as a family and think of all the words we could that started with “o”. It was trickier than we thought! Eventually we settled on “Optimistic”, because we want our homeschool to be full of positive feelings!
2. Your Family’s Core Values:
I picked six values for our family, with my husband. Our kids are still too little to really understand what core values are- that will be one of the first things we talk about in our homeschool! What our core values are, how we practice them, what they mean to us and what they might look like to others. These are our core values:
- Egalitarianism (this encompasses both social justice and treating everyone in our family with the same level of respect, trust and kindness)
If you aren’t certain of your family’s core values, this is a great time to chat with your spouse and really think about what your guiding principles are. What’s truly important to you? How do you want to treat those around you, and how do you think about the world? What feelings, or emotions, do you most enjoy experiencing? When your kids are older, how do you want them to view the world? If you’re thinking about things like Social or Political Issues that are important to you, how do you want to teach them to your kids? Also, how do you feel about school itself? What qualities of learning or education are important to your family? How do you hope your kids will view the experience of homeschool? It’s best to start with a brainstorm, and then figure out the best synonyms that can succinctly express as many sentiments as possible. (When in doubt, thesaurus.com is an amazing tool!)
Don’t forget to download my free printable, it comes with room for brainstorming plus a few other tips and tricks to help you nail this down!
3. A 1-2 Sentence Mission Statement That Emphasizes How You’ll Put Your Core Values Into Practice:
After you’ve made your homeschool name and put together your core values, it’s time to put it all together into your secular homeschool’s mission statement. This doesn’t need to be fancy, and I would resist the urge to write a whole paragraph. A few sentences is all that’s necessary. Here’s why: you want to be able to reference this often. When you’re choosing curriculum, activities outside the home, special units to include, even just what family activities to do on the weekend… Your secular homeschool mission statement can be like a compass. It can assist you in making all those choices. It can help you envision what you want your kids’ future to look like, and map out the steps to take to realize that end goal. A good mission statement is clear, precise and inspiring. Just for your reference, here is our family’s:
“At our Optimistic “O-Cademy”, we seek to nurture an education for creative, compassionate, curious learners who want to make the world a better place.”
That’s it. But it says A LOT. It includes our core values, our underlying, over-arching goal, and several key characteristics we want our kids to develop. But it’s not a treatise; it doesn’t overwhelm. It’s full of information, but it’s something you could cross-stitch without too much difficulty!
And that’s all there is to it!
Are you ready to write your secular homeschool’s mission statement? Download the printable and get started! And don’t forget to leave a comment with your core values, questions or ideas!