I mentioned a day or two ago that one of the homeschooling starting points I've read about is writing a family mission statement.
I think this is a great idea. We tend to be planners anyway but don't often set actual goals to meet, or at least I don't. This is a great time to start. We are talking educating our children, right? So, Scott and I talked briefly last night. Being that he's packing today and leaving Georgia in his dust tomorrow we probably won't be discussing it too much more for the time being. But it's on my mind. What we agreed on doing, which we've done successfully with other topics, is think about it separately and use email and phone calls to to come together about what we'd like to accomplish this coming year with homeschooling.
Some of the topics that can be included in a family mission statement we've already talked about and agreed on. For example, our time frame. When we first agreed to homeschool this next year we agreed we'd do it for a year and see where to go from there. We also agree that the kids will be enrolled in something outside the home, whether it be a co-op class or something fitness related, but Scott's leaving it up to me what, when, and where. And I'm waiting until we move to make those decisions.
In fact, Scott's leaving a lot of it to me, in regards to homeschooling and life in general. He has told me before that he thinks so much at work he appreciates not having to do it too much at home. Don't worry, though, if I head in a direction that he's not OK with, he'll let me know. With that in mind, this family mission statement will probably be written by me and approved by him.
I'm not sure if that's a cop out or if I'm just that good!
I have been doing the research and will be doing most of the schooling, so I guess it makes sense that I answer the questions regarding what I'm going to teach and how. I'm planning on teaching the kids together using unit studies. Scott just wants assurance that they'll be learning what they need to according to someone's standards. That's something I worry about too, but I've found a few places where standards have been written and they will be figured into our studies.
We'll use a combination of reading, hands-on, and field trip studying to accomplish our goals. I'm going to attempt to use units that appeal to both Jace and Gracie. I would like to have some things that Gracie is more interested in, though, so that she can "teach" Jace a little bit. He is a little cocky about knowing more than her, coloring better than her, etc. I'd love Gracie to feel some pride and joy in telling him about something.
Scott and I have always tried to allow the kids to follow their natural interests, but we also want them to be well rounded. Boy or girl, our kids will know how to cook, clean, sew, change a tire, use a hammer, and put things together. This will be kept in mind throughout all our studies. Even though I'll be doing most of the teaching, I plan on using Scott when he's available. When he's in off-crew I'll plan a study where the kids can do a little wood working with him, or something fun like that. I'm also not opposed to getting extended family and friends into the mix too. If I happen to know that someone has a special talent and they come close enough to tap that talent for a lesson or two with my students...well, then we will.
That's what I've thought about the past few days. I would like to create a formal statement but still have a few more areas to think about. But I guess I've got a good start.
Hmmm...maybe I am that good.