Something I always recommend to new homeschoolers is to write a family mission statement. The value of a mission statement for a new homeschooling family is irreplaceable. I also strongly believe that Mom and Dad need to sit down apart from each other (or vow not to peek) and write separate lists of what is important to them. Then, convene together and take the time to discuss and learn from each other. For seasoned homeschoolers, a good idea is to go over your mission statement each year and see if anything has changed.
What is a Family Mission Statement?
A family mission statement gives a clear understanding to each person in the family as to what your family stands for. It can be as detailed and formal as you like (or not so detailed and not so formal). It’s up to you as a family to decide what the family mission statement will contain.
It will guide your family choices throughout the years, providing a clear purpose, values, and goals.
How to Create a Family Mission Statement for Your Homeschool
Below is a list of things to think about discussing for your mission statement. These are a starting point and you should certainly add to and take away as you see fit.
- religion, will all, none or some of your books be written from your religious background? Will you expose your children to other religions.
- budgeting, will you be budgeting school books or using the library?
- sports, are athletics important to your family and who will be involved?
- socialization, are you concerned with whom your children are around, and are you planning on creating the type of “socialization” that you believe is good for your child?
- philosophy, which philosophy do you lean towards? (Do your homework)
- college, are you raising college bound children or not?
- involvement, who will be involved in raising and educating your children? (hubby, you, friends, family, other moms, co-ops, state standards)
- siblings, will you be educating siblings together or separate?
- history, history is a messy ugly story some times, how will you teach history?
- timeframe, will you homeschool for two years, until high school or all the way through?
A mission statement may also include future goals that you want to set for each child and character traits that you want to instill in your children. Take the time to work through these issues before they become issues of contentment. Being on the same page as your husband is the best place to be when homeschooling and raising children in general and if there are things that you can not agree on, I would advise to leave it alone. Address it at a later time and be happy with the things that you have agreed on!
Start with a family meeting
Set up a time to sit down as a family with no tv, phones, outside distractions. During this time talk about why the mission statement is important, and what it contains.
Ask each person what values/traits they think are important and would like to add.
Create a list of all the possible items discussed.
Know that there isn’t one right way to write a family mission statement. Some families write theirs out essay style; others create a bullet point list of the values they strive to live by; while others stick to one short phrase that sums it up for them. In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, Covey mentions a few families that even wrote their mission statement as a song.
Create a draft
If you have older kids (teens) in your house, ask them to write up a draft based on the discussions from the family meeting. Have more than one teen? Ask them to work together to create a mission statement they feel will best suit the whole family.
Finalize your mission statement
Come back together as a family to discuss the draft. Make adjustments as agreed upon by the family.
Display your mission statement
Consider turning your family mission statement into something you can display. Have younger children create a frame or coloring for a printed statement. Have a shorter statement made into vinyl letters to put on your wall.
Once your mission statement is complete, display it somewhere everyone in the family can see it. Try to choose a high traffic area in your home or a very visible spot where everyone tends to gather.
For example, you may like to display your mission statement in your entry way near the front door, in your living room, or on the wall above your dining or kitchen table so you can see it while you eat meals together.
More Help for Creating Your Family Mission Statement
In addition to coming up with a list of values and principles that guide your family, Bruce Feiler, author of The Secrets of Happy Families, suggests brainstorming a list of phrases that really capture the goals and mission of your family. For example, Sean Covey’s (Stephen Covey’s son) family chose a line from the animated film Meet the Robinsons that captures their goal as a family: “Keep Moving Forward.”
Feiler’s family chose, “May your first word be adventure and your last word love,” as one of their catchphrases.
Your phrases can come from books, movies, poems, or speeches. Or they can be catchphrases you completely make up yourselves.
- Family Mission Statement Questionnaire Printable
- Family Mission Statement Guide
- 21 Great Family Mission Statement Examples
More Things to do Together as a Homeschool Family
- More than a Movie: 50 Ideas for fun and frugal family nights
- Favorite Board Games for Family Gatherings
- Family Friendly Movies for all Ages
- Engaging Themed Activities for Every Month of the Year
~ Originally posted April 2009, written by Brenda