Monday, July 8, 2019

Step 1. Creating a Mission Statement for One's Homeschool

After completing seven years of formal homeschooling and having six children, I knew more than nothing (still far less than everything), but I still took Pam Barnhill's course "Put Your Homeschool on Auto-Pilot" for $69. This course was worth every penny and my time watching the self-paced videos. Unless you feel like a superstar homeschooling mama who knows what she is doing (does she exist?) I highly, highly recommend it.

I am beginning my annual blog series on planning one's homeschool year! This year, I am publishing 4-6 weeks early because we are going to be moving homes, so my homeschool year has to be done being planned this very week. (Then it's on to two weeks of packing up boxes, Moving Day, three weeks of unpacking the house, and school begins with my Orientation Week!)

How Do I Create My Homeschool Mission Statement?

Step 1 is to develop a Mission Statement for my homeschool. Click here for my blog post about this step from last year.

For 2019-20, I don't feel a need to change our Mission Statement except that we are making adjustments toward achieving our goal of life balance.

For example, we have made curriculum changes that are not as rigorous or time-consuming and to allow us follow more of (but certainly not completely) our own schedule than an outside schedule. Reading the history textbook plus reading 24 living history books plus writing a book report for each one of them plus writing various essays and worksheets throughout the year made for an excellent sixth grade history course. It would have made for an excellent high-school history course! But the tradeoff was eating away at much of our life. So, we've made some changes and will see how they go!

Personally, I think our family's homeschool curriculum will still be pretty rigorous for 2019-20, but it also allows for:
  • sports, including our seventh grader trying to be on a hockey team
  • music, lots of music!
  • entrepreneurship--our seventh grader's lawn-mowing business, our fifth grader's piano teaching
  • going to Mass a couple of times during the week as well as Confession on a third day
  • children doing their regular chores, including taking on cooking responsibilities (something we lost much of last year)
  • perhaps, just maybe, being done with school by around three o'clock each day so the children can actually play before dinner (something we lost last year)
  • not having to do weekend school unless we are working ahead in order to travel

Each homeschooling family has to ask itself: What are our priorities?  Do we run a farm? Participate in travel athletics? Travel often as a family? Run a business together? Stay home but husband works tremendously long hours or travels weekly for work? Have special medical needs for Mom, Dad, or one of the children? What are the needs unique to us?

The next installments will be about choosing curriculum, planning one's daily schedule, and writing procedure binders.

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