curriculum · first time · future · goals · homeschool solutions · homeschooling

Getting Started in Homeschooling: Writing a Mission Statement


This is for all you Mama’s who are just getting started.

Recently I conducted a workshop for parents new to homeschooling.  Trying to be thorough, we covered a lot of different subjects:
-the legalities of homeschooling
-different curricula that is available
-the option of using classes or co-op’s to enhance your teaching
-the truth behind socialization (they get plenty by the way…).

But, the more we talked, the more I saw the moms and dads’ eyes WIDEN in disbelief.

Hopefully this post will help start you on your path to homeschooling without feeling too overwhelmed.

In order to reach any new destination you need a road map. When you walk out your door to go somewhere you have never been before, don’t you pull out your phone and type in the address so you can have directions easily accessible?

Why would we approach something as monumental as educating our children without some sort of map?

Granted, not all of us are good at planning ahead.  (Me too.)

After six years of homeschooling though, and making the mistake of wasting my time on some classes and groups I should never have participated in, I see the mission statement’s resounding value.

Let’s jump in.

Using my mission statement worksheet, spend some time thinking about/writing down why you have chosen to homeschool. 

  • Is your child unhappy in school?
  • Are they falling behind?
  • Do they have problems with bullying?

I began to homeschool because I was concerned my older, extremely inquisitive child would be dulled and bored by the public school routine.  I wanted to offer him adventure, hence the name of our school: Adventure School!

Next, think about the things/write down the things that are important to your family.

  • Is it important to you that your children read a lot?
  • Do you want them to be able to explore their artistic interests?
  • Do you feel a spiritual component is essential to your family life?
  • Do you want to make sure that they spend an ample amount of time out in nature?

Now, spend some time thinking about/writing out the things you feel you will be happy to leave behind once you start homeschooling.

  • Does your child hate getting up early?
  • Does your child despise workbooks?
  • Does you child need the flexibility to do work at his/her own pace?

When I began, although I didn’t have a mission statement, I knew it was important to me that I had time in the Bible with my boys, that we got out in nature and that school would be varied and interesting. I wanted to keep them involved in peer-appropriate activities and to teach them important life skills.

My mission statement for this school year reads as follows:

“Our family will homeschool in order to make sure that our children have enough time to foster their relationship with God as well as their interests and passions. By homeschooling, we will not only pursue academics, we will have new and varied experiences and have balanced, memorable lives. By homeschooling, we will surround our children with positive influences, maintain the home as the central hub of of their lives and teach them practical life skills.”

Here is the MISSION STATEMENT template again.

Good luck writing your mission statement and let me know how it goes!










cast iron · cooking · first time · seasoning

Cooking in Cast Iron Part One: Seasoning

Big, heavy black pans, filled with bacon or eggs or corn bread.  Doesn’t that sound rustic and heavenly?

I have wanted to use cast iron for a long time and I finally got the opportunity two weeks ago when my family went camping.  Thank to my mom-in-law (she purchased me three different pans for Christmas) I was able to jump in feet first to this fun, old-fashioned way of cooking.

Seasoned or not seasoned?

New, unseasoned, out of the box

Do you know what that means?  I didn’t.  I had no idea, until I started to learn about what it means to have a “seasoned” pan.  As my children have serious food allergies (soy, peanut, egg and legume), I am militant about new foods and whatever they eat on, off of of etc. So I had to find out more about this “seasoning.”

Good seasoning of cast iron is essential. If you’re lucky – and probably most of you can do this – you will purchase a pre-seasoned pan.  Your job is done, cook away! Pans will be black in color.  The pan will have already been treated with vegetable oil so that the iron is sealed and not prone to oxidization (rust).

But if your family is like our family, you will have to scour the Internet for the rare UNseasoned pan so that you can season it yourself  (my children’s soy allergies extends to vegetable oil.) 

We seasoned ours with olive oil. 

Seasoning Your Pan for the First Time

Once you get the pan, block out a few hours to season properly. Per pan. Yes it takes that long – you don’t want to hurry the process.

Turn your oven up to 450 degrees.  Place the newly unseasoned pan in the oven.

A waxy coating will now take about 25 minutes to melt off.  Remove carefully from the oven and wipe down with a paper towel.

Now you’re ready to oil the pan.  Put a good size amount on the pan and using a towel or paper towel cover the entire pan, including the handle and the under side.  Again be careful not to burn yourself.

Place in oven for about 40 minutes.  Pan should be blackened.

One initial coating is sufficient, but you can do this several times depending on how seasoned you want it to be.

Further Care

When you go to cook in your cast iron the first time you will be amazed at how evenly it cooks!  When you are done with it, take it to the sink, rinse it in warm water WITH NO SOAP and DO NOT USE a scratchy sponge.  A towel or your hand will do. Caution: Using soap removes the seasoning – a no-no!

I hope you try this old-fashioned way of cooking! It has been a joyful surprise to me!

Next time: cooking in your cast iron!