You Could Say We Were Pretty Much Just Surviving.
I had a vision.
During our early years of homeschool, I was determined to make my kids love learning. We did some pretty amazing things together. We went on adventures. We did hands-on activities. We read wonderful books. We even homeschooled outdoors on beautiful days. It was such a great honeymoon phase.
But then my vision exhausted itself and I ran out of ways to make homeschool exiting. The vision started to overwhelm me. The pressure of planning “fun” stuff to do all the time eventually led to homeschool burnout. Slowly, we started losing our way and shifted from the vision. This wasn’t fun for any of us. You could say we were pretty much just surviving. It was at this point I realized we weren’t getting all we wanted out of our homeschool experience.
What Was Missing?
Well, two things were very much needed to help us get the most out of our homeschool experience. The first was performing a facelift to our homeschool vision. I talk about that facelift, here. The second was constructing a plan of action—a mission statement, if you will.
I could see the vision clearly, but there was no structure. I was drowning in Pinterest searching for enrichment activities, rather than finding a curriculum that already included them in the lessons. I was searching for fun things to do in our small town, rather than connecting with local homeschool groups that specialize in field trips. I was trying to teach it all, rather than outsourcing the subjects I wasn’t as enthusiastic about. I needed a more structured plan than just “I will make learning fun.” I needed to get specific about how I was going to accomplish that goal without burning myself out.
Why Mission Statements are an Integral Part of Homeschooling
Having an effective mission statement will literally make you feel like you’re on a mission! It’s that fuel we all need to jump out of bed in the morning ready to conquer, rather than allowing the day to conquer us. Like a vision, a mission statement plays an integral role in your homeschooling journey because it sets out a strategy of objectives that help you achieve your goals.
Would you ever drive somewhere you’ve never been to before without first seeking direction? You might want to visit the Eiffel tower, but if you don’t know how to get there one of the following might happen:
- You never try and give up before the journey begins.
- You get lost and end up going in another direction.
- You exhaust all your resources along the way.
It’s unfortunate that many homeschooling families give up, lose their way, and/or exhaust all their resources due to lack of mission. That’s what I’m here to talk about today: how to be on a mission and thrive in your homeschool, rather than just merely “surviving.”
Let’s Get Started!
We’ve already established that a mission statement is the essential plan of action that makes the difference between surviving and thriving in your homeschool. But, just so we’re all on the same page here, let’s go ahead and define “mission statement,” shall we?
A mission statement simply describes the purpose and plans of your homeschool. It is comprised of four components:
- Your Vision: Your vision is made up of your purpose, picture of your ideal homeschool, and the core values that will shape your journey. Read more about vision, here.
- Your Core Values: Your core values describe the fundamental beliefs of your family’s belief system and help determine if you are on the right path to fulfilling your homeschool goals.
- Your Goals: Your goals are the desired results you envision for your homeschool.
- Your Objectives: Your objectives comprise the action you put into place to achieve your goals.
I’ve already talked in-depth about solidifying your vision and core values last week. This week, I’ll dive a little deeper into setting goals and objectives. Many people think the two are one and the same, but the terms differ slightly. Your goals refer to your desired results, while your objectives refer to the course of action to achieve those desired results.
Setting Goals for Your Homeschool
There’s setting goals and then there’s setting solid goals. As a homeschooling family, you want to ensure your goals are set on a firm foundation. There are generally five rules to keep in mind when setting solid goals. They should be specific, attainable, measurable, flexible, and motivating.
- Specific—make sure your goals are clear and concise rather than vague and ill-defined.
- Attainable—make sure your goals are challenging, but realistic.
- Measurable—make sure your goals have time stamps by which you can measure progress, celebrate wins, or reevaluate if needed.
- Flexible—make sure your goals are unique and adaptable for every member of your family.
- Motivating—make sure your goals inspire you and your family to get excited about your homeschool day.
Setting the Right Objectives for Your Homeschool
Objectives are like the navigation app of your homeschooling journey. Because of this vital role, you want to ensure you’re doing these three things:
- Brainstorm—make sure you consider your plan of action from all angles to include dates, time, available resources, unexpected changes, etc.
- Prioritize—It’s tempting to include objectives that sound good on paper, but make sure your objectives illustrate what your family needs and values most.
- Individualize—It’s a good idea to consider each individual in your family when writing out your objectives to ensure your mission statement is fair and balanced.
Print this FREE copy of my Goals and Objectives Cheat Sheet to get started on formulating—or finetuning—your homeschooling goals.
Cheers to thriving in your homeschool today!
Need to Catch Up?
Welcome to Week Three of my series, The Homeschool C.U.R.E.
In this series, I’ll be giving an in-depth discussion on how to make The Homeschool C.U.R.E. applicable to your homeschooling journey. Check out the post below to catch up on this series!
Week Two: Before You Start Homeschooling, Do This
Want to Organize Your Life Right Now?
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Tag, You’re It!
Have you ever written a mission statement for your homeschool? Let me know in the comments!