So, I mentioned a few days ago that I had decided one of my early steps in planning next year's homeschool would be to create a mission statement. I first read idea in an article written by Brenda (her personal site) at Curriculum Choice. Thankfully she gave me permission to add or delete from her list of suggested topics. And I did just that. I wrote it the night that Scott was out fixing things long after bed time. He got a chance to read it today and commented. And here's the final result:
Gebel Family Homeschool Mission Statement
I. School’s duration
a. We’re agreeing to one year of homeschooling. Mama will be focusing on Jace and Gracie, but admits that Tyler will probably learn something in the process.
b. Our Family School will begin in late summer/early fall (depending more on when Mama feels settled after moving than anything else). We’d like to flow into a relaxed year round schooling experience, being able to take breaks (or loosen our schedule) when Dada has leave or family visits.
a. If Tyler still needs some one on one regarding speech, we’ll do our best to incorporate that into our homeschool. It would be great for that to be an in-home process again, but if we need to take him someplace we can do that as well.
b. Jace and Gracie will be allowed to choose one thing to join to begin with. Depending on finances and life we may allow more later on, but we’ll start with one.
c. We’ll find a support group or co-op that jives with our style of schooling.
III. What we’ll teach
a. Our academic goals will be based around the Core Knowledge Sequence. We’ll start with Kindergarten and 2nd grade ideas but will likely overlap with 1st grade and 3rd grade ideals as well.
b. We hope to teach practical skills as well as academic knowledge. Things like sewing, cooking, and woodworking will be included with various units.
c. Fitness and health are also important topics that the Gebel Family Homeschool will enjoy learning about and engaging in.
d. Responsibility and independence will be high on the list of traits we’ll encourage during our schooling and the rest of our lives as well.
IV. How we’ll teach
a. Mama will be the primary teacher. However, if friends or family have any talents we can tap into…we will.
b. Mama plans to use mostly unit studies, working as many subjects (writing, reading, art, music, math, history) into one theme (butterflies, presidents, dinosaurs) as possible. Some will be purchased curriculum but most will be homemade, integrating the things from III on the outline.
c. Mama plans to do lots of hands-on activities and go-sees.
d. We’ll utilize the library, the internet, our game closet, anything and everything we can to learn, learn, learn!
e. Jace and Gracie will both have opportunities to “teach” the other.
V. Money matters
a. Since we’re not purchasing a particular curriculum it’s hard to say how much we’ll spend on homeschooling. We hope to use the library for most of our books and our pretty well stocked art closet for crafts and activities. There will, however, be items that need to be purchased. At this point I’m budgeting $20 a month for materials.
b. As often as we can, day trips and activities will be free. We may invest in yearly passes, though, to the zoo or a museum or some other really cool place to learn!
c. Extracurriculars will need to be less than $30 a month.
d. $100 a year is set aside for Mama’s continuing education.
e. Money may be set aside for babysitting as well, unless some sort of sitting exchange can be found.
VI. Continuing education
a. To begin mama’s continuing education, she’s investing in a few books that she’s previewed and learned a lot from.
b. Mama is attending an online expo this year and hopes to attend a conference or convention at some point over the next year, especially if it looks like we’ll be keeping our Family Homeschool open for another year.
c. Mama will continue to read books and blogs on the subject of homeschooling. She’ll also write frequent posts on her own blog sharing and learning what works for us and what doesn’t.
VII. Record Keeping
a. We have binders for progress reports and select art work/projects/awards already. We’ll continue to pull out things we really want to keep for looking back on.
b. Goals will be assessed in a free style “how are we doing” write up each six months, in November and May.
VIII. Tid bits
a. Mama will take time to herself.
i. This may be as simple as an hour of quiet on the weekend where the kids have to be in their rooms, outside, or watching a movie so she can write, take a bath, or sip wine.
ii. She will also take time away from the house and the kids. Massages will be had!
b. Tyler will be allowed to wander to and fro, but will also have a set of toys that are specifically for homeschooling times. He may get to join in art projects.
So, what do you think? Are you ready to put your family goals in print?