Preview: Using a homeschool mission statement, you can confidently make decisions that best meet your homeschool’s needs and objectives. Learn how to write your homeschool mission statement by answering these six questions.
As I look back on my experience teaching my daughter to read, I am so thankful my husband and I invested time at the beginning of our homeschool journey to establish our homeschool mission statement!
My daughter was a struggling reader until she turned 11. It was not for lack of trying. We began reading lessons the day she turned six. We practiced sight words, phonics, visual discrimination skills, gross motor skills, and auditory skills for the next five years. We even had an evaluation completed assessing for learning challenges we needed to address. We did everything we could to ensure she had the skills she needed to read, and we gave her plenty of opportunities to practice reading. But it just didn’t click.
Two of the values on our homeschool mission statement are for our children to
- Learn at their own pace.
- Master what they are learning, regardless of how long it takes to master the subject.
We knew our daughter would learn to read. She was just going to learn at her own pace, so we gave her time and space to do just that. We never stopped trying, but we did take a gentle and developmentally appropriate approach. She did learn to read and now devours books.
I was not stressed about her learning to read. Instead, I knew that she was learning at her own pace, we were doing everything we could to help her, and she would eventually master the skill of reading.
Several friends asked how I could proceed with confidence and not be stressed. The answer was that we relied on our homeschool mission statement to guide our decisions and recognized that our daughter’s educational journey would look different.
In this post, you’ll learn how you can write your homeschool mission statement by answering six questions.
Prefer to listen? In episode 65 of the All in a Homeschool Day Podcast, I discuss why you need a homeschool mission statement and how to write one. Plus, I share examples from our homeschool.
How To Write A Homeschool Mission Statement
It can be daunting to stare at a blank piece of paper and attempt to write out your homeschool mission statement. To avoid writer’s block, consider your answers to the following six questions.
- What are your reasons for home educating?
- What are your long-term educational goals?
- What do you consider important regarding the development of your children?
- What educational philosophies do you want to incorporate into your children’s education?
- How will you evaluate learning?
- What will you consider a successful education?
You may not have answers to all of these questions right now. And that’s okay! Jot down your thoughts and add to them as you learn more about educational philosophies and child development. Even having a rough draft will provide more guidance than not having anything.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these questions.
1. What are your reasons for home educating?
Parents homeschool for a variety of reasons, including wanting to
- provide a religious education.
- be more involved in directing their children’s education.
- provide a customized education.
Regardless of why you are educating your children at home, it is important to identify those reasons. Write them down! They may keep you going and be your lifeline on difficult days.
2. What are your long-term educational goals?
One of our homeschool goals is that our children become lifelong learners. We want them to know how to learn, enjoy learning, and be able to learn what they need when they need it. Because I know their abilities and the skills they need to develop to become lifelong learners, I feel more confident to plan lessons, make choices about what curriculum to use, and even how to present it to my children.
Knowing where you want to end up allows you to make a plan for how to get there and stick to it even when distractions arise.
3. What do you consider important regarding the development of your children?
Every child develops at a different rate. That’s one of the many benefits of homeschooling! You can provide a customized education that meets the needs of your child.
It is helpful to list out what you consider important about your child’s development. Your Child’s Growing Mind by Jane Healy helped me understand how my child’s brain developed and influenced decisions I made in our homeschool so that I could provide a developmentally appropriate educational experience.
4. What educational philosophies do you want to incorporate into your children’s education?
This question may be more difficult to answer if you are just getting started homeschooling. You may need to do research and learn more about educational philosophies before you can decide what aspects you want to incorporate into your children’s educational experience. You could begin by reading this summary of the primary homeschool educational philosophies. Then check out some of the books listed and learn more about the one that appeals most to you.
Many homeschool parents find that they use an eclectic approach to education by incorporating aspects of several educational philosophies.
5. How will you evaluate learning?
There are two primary ways to evaluate learning: objective and subjective. Objective measures, such as multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and true-false questions, are the most common form of evaluation because they are the easiest to implement and evaluate. Subjective measures, such as oral and written narrations and essays, are more difficult to evaluate but are often a better measure of what your child has learned.
Both forms of evaluation are beneficial, but there are also drawbacks to each one. Decide which form of evaluation or what combination of the two you will use.
6. What will you consider a successful education?
The answer to this question is important. If you don’t know what you are trying to achieve and what it will look like when you get there, you will not know if and when you succeed in reaching your goal. Be specific and use as many sensory words as possible.
Can’t I just copy someone else’s homeschool mission statement?
Sure, you could use someone else’s homeschool mission statement as a guide. I read several homeschool mission statements when preparing to write ours. After all, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.
But here’s the thing. Your homeschool is unique! That’s one of the reasons I love homeschooling so much. We have the opportunity to create a customized educational experience for each of our children.
Even if you use bits and pieces from other homeschool mission statements, yours will be unique. Include aspects of other mission statements that resonate with you. But don’t be afraid to write bold statements if they are important to your family and your homeschool.
Tools To Help You Write Your Mission Statement
I know how it can feel to know what you need to do and still feel stuck. That’s why I created a guided work session to walk you through the process of writing your mission statement step-by-step. You’ll learn more about each of these steps and get access to a workbook with exercises to help you identify your dreams, core values, uniqueness, and more.
Do you have questions about homeschooling?
Watch the FREE Homeschool 101 Workshop. It’s an on-demand workshop you can watch at your convenience.
Ready to start homeschooling but not sure how?
Check out the Homeschool Roadmap. It walks you through establishing your homeschool with confidence and joy, one step at a time.