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.
Links and resources mentioned in this episode:
- Three reasons you should write a homeschool mission statement
- How to write a homeschool mission statement
- How to use your decision-making framework
Three reasons you should write a homeschool mission statement
1. A homeschool mission statement guides your decisions.
It forms the basis of your decision-making framework. When you need to decide which curriculum to use, if you should join a co-op, or if you should finish the book no one is enjoying, you can refer to your mission statement. If a “yes” answer aligns with the goals and objectives you identified on your homeschool mission statement, go for it! If it doesn’t align, just say no.
2. You will be a more confident homeschool teacher.
When you use your mission statement to make decisions regarding your homeschool, you do not base your decision on emotion or feeling. Instead, you focus on meeting the objectives you already identified. No need to second-guess yourself!
Do you struggle with fear, guilt, or shame? Listen to episode 11 of the All in a Homeschool Day podcast to learn the 3 steps to break the stranglehold of fear, guilt, and shame.
Links and resources mentioned in the episode
When you start to feel overwhelmed and are doubting your decisions, start by working through this three-step process:
- Pause — Breathe — Pray
- Ask: What are the positives?
- Choose not to live confined
Links and resources mentioned in the episode
3. It encourages you on difficult days.
You will have challenging days. You will get discouraged. After all, homeschooling is a combination of teaching academic subjects, character training, and herding cats. Reminding yourself why you are homeschooling can help you get through those difficult days.
It can be easy to lose sight of why we are homeschooling in the first place. In episode 22 of the All in a Homeschool Day podcast, Ruth Adams, a second-generation homeschooler, reminds us to keep the proper perspective as we homeschool our children and ask ourselves what is really important in the long run.
Highlights from the episode
- Remember the homeschool pioneers. It can be easy to forget the fight homeschool pioneers fought to legalize homeschooling in all fifty states. It is important to be grateful for their fight and be vigilant so we do not become complacent.
- Homeschooling has been a tool God has used to train her to be who he wants her to be. As a homeschool student and now as a homeschool mom, Ruth has learned the joy of serving, how to be a leader, how to be accountable to God, and respect for others.
- Ultimately, it is up to God. While she does her best and makes the best decisions she can, Ruth recognizes that her children’s future is ultimately in God’s hands.
How to write a homeschool mission statement
How long will it take to write?
That depends on how much you have already read and thought about your educational philosophy. If you are just getting started, it may take a few days or longer.
My husband and I wrote the first draft of our homeschool mission statement during a weekend retreat. I had read about various educational philosophies for several years, but we had not discussed what we liked about them. We had not discussed our goals for homeschooling.
Schedule an evening or a weekend with your spouse and without children to begin the process. You may not finish it during that one session. You can continue to compose your homeschool mission statement over a few sessions if needed.
What should you include in your 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.
Join my email list through the form below, and you’ll receive a free workbook with these six questions and space to brainstorm your answers.
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 different homeschool mission statements when preparing to write ours. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel after all. You can see our homeschool mission statement in the free workbook I send to all email subscribers.
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.
How to use your decision-making framework
What should you do with your homeschool mission statement?
Print out a copy and place it inside your homeschool planner.
Then refer to it when making decisions regarding your homeschool during yearly planning or when you face a challenge mid-year.
Each year, read through your mission statement.
I find it is helpful to read through ours when I begin planning for the next school year. I can remind myself of what is important to my family and my homeschool. It also provides an opportunity to revise your homeschool mission statement. As you continue to learn about educational philosophies, teaching styles, learning styles, child development, etc., you may discover that some of your values have changed slightly.
Do you still have questions about homeschooling?
You can learn more about homeschooling and how to decide if homeschooling is a good fit for your family in the FREE Homeschool 101 Workshop.
Are you ready to homeschool with confidence?
Having a decision-making framework in your teacher’s toolkit will reduce your stress, increase your confidence, and help you create an atmosphere where your children can thrive.
But writing out your homeschool mission statement is only the first step in creating a thriving homeschool. Check out the Homeschool Roadmap. It is your complete step-by-step guide to establishing your homeschool with confidence and joy.