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 and 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.
So, I thought we would attempt to break it down a bit through a Getting Started in Homeschooling series.Hopefully it 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?
It’s the same with homeschooling.
Granted, not all of us are good at planning ahead. Me too.
After four 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!
Next blog post in this series will be: “Getting Started in Homeschooling: Choosing a Curriculum.”