by Carrie De Francisco
What is the one thing every homeschool mom should have? It is a homeschool mission statement! You might be thinking, “Why is it so important to have a mission statement? Do I really need one?” Well, as the great baseball coach, Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you will certainly end up someplace else!” The same is true with homeschooling. If we don’t know where we want our children to be at the end of their homeschooling journey, then they will most certainly end up someplace else. Carol Joy Seid sums it up this way:
We need to plan with the end in mind! God reminds us in Isaiah 30:21, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ ” As homeschooling moms, God’s Word is our guide; it tells us how to walk this journey. Our homeschooling mission statement is our road map; it gives us direction while on this adventure.
Another way to look at your homeschool mission statement is to think about your ultimate goals. Our goal as parents, home educators, and followers of Christ is to launch our children into the world equipped to do God’s will! Look at it this way. As parents, we are the bow. Our children are the arrows. If we don’t aim, the arrow will surely miss the mark. The farther we stretch the bow string while they are home with us, the farther they will launch when we finally let them go. In our family’s homeschooling journey, we made sure our children had a strong foundation in God’s Word. We made sure we had the target in clear view. (We wanted to make sure those arrows stayed on the right path when they were officially launched!)
Three Key Questions
Writing a homeschool mission statement is super easy! Let’s start with the end in mind. When creating a Homeschool Mission Statement, ask yourself and your husband three important questions:
- Why do we want to homeschool in the first place? Why do we think God is calling us to homeschool?
- What is our ultimate goal(s) for our family?
- What do we hope our children will love, know, be, and/or be able to do at the end of their homeschooling journey?
Let’s tackle the first question: Why do you want to homeschool in the first place? Why do you think God is calling you home to home educate your children, or why is He calling you to continue to homeschool? There is a reason God is calling you home; I know He has an awesome plan for you and for your family. Why do you feel it is important to educate your child at home?
Now let’s dig into the second question: What is your ultimate goal or goals? Is it to teach biblical truths? Is it to walk in freedom? Is it to build a solid foundation on God’s Word? Is it to infuse Christian values into every aspect of your child’s education? We all have different reasons, but at the core, we all know a home education is far better than a secular education, and we all want God and His Word as a central part of everything we do. What is your ultimate goal by choosing to follow God’s call to homeschool?
Finally, let’s look at the last question: At the end of this homeschooling adventure, what do you hope your child will love? What do you hope he or she will know or will be able to do? What kind of a person do you hope he or she will become? God has a perfect plan for your child. We have the privilege and the blessing to be a part of that plan.
Writing Your Mission Statement
Once you reflect on these three questions and attempt to answer them, you will be ready to write your mission statement. Keep it brief. Be specific. It can be a list of several things, or it can be a simple sentence. It doesn’t have to be long. Your Homeschool Mission Statement can be a Bible verse, a quote, a few important words, or a combination of all of the above. As an example, here is our family’s mission statement. It is based on Matthew 23:37-39. “At the end of this homeschooling journey, we pray that our children will LOVE the Lord, LOVE each other (and those that God puts in their paths), and LOVE learning.”
Think about your reasons for homeschooling. Pray about it. Discuss it with your family. It can even be a favorite quote. I love Mark Twain’s saying so much that I made it our homeschooling motto: “Never let schooling interfere with (our) education.” So our Homeschool Mission Statement and goals reflect the idea that education happens everywhere. It happens when we sit at home, when we walk along the road, when we lie down, and when we get up.
Using Your Mission Statement
Start writing yours. Once it is created, type it and post it on your walls. Write it in your planner or your prayer journal. Use it as your computer screen saver. Refer to it often, especially on those hard days. Use your mission statement to help you refocus, reassess, and reset when things get a little chaotic. Use your mission statement to help you eliminate the fluff so you can get back to what’s truly important to you and to your family. Mid-year, use your mission statement to evaluate the first semester and to help you get back on course or to set a new course for the second semester. Use your mission statement to help you figure out mid-year what’s going well, what’s going wrong, and what needs to get going. Before the last month of school, use your mission statement to remind you of the reasons you are homeschooling in the first place. It will help you focus on what truly matters to you and to your family so that you can focus on the subjects and ideas that matter the most in the last month of school.
Remember, if you don’t know where you are going, then you will certainly end up someplace else. Aim high! Shoot from the heart! Write that Homeschool Mission Statement and use it to keep you on track during your homeschooling journey. You don’t want to homeschool without it!
Originally from New Orleans, Carrie De Francisco is now living, loving, and learning in Southern California with her husband, Mike, her two young adult children, Francesca and Joseph, and their introverted dog, Jesse. After twenty-plus years of homeschooling her own children (and helping others do the same), she tries not to take herself too seriously. Motherhood and homeschooling have helped Carrie appreciate the gift of laughter (and quiet times with her Bible and favorite cup of coffee). She is definitely saved by Jesus but fueled by coffee! Carrie De Francisco is the author of Just Breathe (and Take a Sip of Coffee): Homeschool in Step with God, founder of Coffee With Carrie, a homeschool blog, and host of her podcast, Coffee With Carrie: Homeschool Help.