Yes, this sounds pretty extra and way too corporate and duty-like. But, like nonprofits that develop mission statements to make it clear to their public who they serve and what their goals are, you need to be clear about what it is you are striving to do as the curator of your child’s home education. Take it seriously because it is pretty serious stuff.
Now, of course all parents don’t do this. But, I have advised parents to go this route when they are overwhelmed with how to get started on their homeschooling journey. Typically, they are unclear about what the possibilities are and what their endgame is. Writing a mission statement helps you get your thoughts together and begin to strategize with intent.
Why do I want to homeschool?
Some parents realize their mission is to get their child to college and that’s that. Some parents determine that the mission is to have their children strengthen skills in areas that their local school was not able to help develop or even address. One family told me that their mission is ensure that their children are consistently nurtured and supported to pursue the learning areas that best suit their temperament, abilities and interests. If you are part of FB groups like I am, you will see that some parents are more inclined to replicate a school environment within their home and teach to test while some parents abhor the thought of testing completely. Your mission is uniquely your own. Your mission may not be the same as another family. But, how will you know if you don’t give yourself time to reflect on your reasons and sort them out? A mission statement helps with that.
Who will be responsible for developing our homeschool mission statement?
Some parents include their children in developing their mission statement. Some have children too small to help just yet. The beauty of homeschooling is that you can make the experience however you wish. I definitely had an intent for my daughter at four years-old that was more mom-driven than what it is now. Our homeschooling mission statement is not much different than when we first started almost ten years ago, but, my daughter has given input that has made it more intentional and inclusive of some of her own language. My daughter and I came up with the following mission statement this year:
The mission of our homeschool journey is to focus on skill building in the areas of family relationships, Pan-African history, music and socialization. Our homeschool journey provides space for self-directed learning, field trips and opportunities to earn money, express ourselves creatively and spiritually as advocates in our own self-care and the betterment of our community.
The mission statement may change each year. It may never change. But, it provides an opportunity to be clear about your intention and it can help you a lot moving forward.
Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman is a homeschooling mother, a multi-media strategist and professional creative who has built an expansive interdisciplinary career as a professional in higher education, media, student development and the arts. You can join her mailing list and register for her courses for homeschooling families at StudentMediaOnline.com.
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