Do you remember the show Mission: Impossible? Each episode began with a tape recorded message explaining a covert mission and ending with “Your mission…should you decide to accept it…” The message alerted the agent to the dangers involved in the mission and ended with the words, “This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck…” Then smoke dramatically rose from the tape recorder as the secret message was instantly destroyed.
Fortunately, our homeschool lives don’t have that much drama (though they may sometimes feel like they do). Equally fortunate is the fact that our mission is not impossible, but rather quite possible. Similar to the message relayed in that classic, old TV show, I would like to challenge you with the following words…”Your mission… should you decide to accept it…is to make this school year your best one yet.” The key? A simple mission statement.
Companies typically write a mission statement to define who they are and what they stand for, as well as their intended goals…a verbal snapshot if you will. While vitally important to companies, a mission statement can prove equally important to the ultimate success of your school year.
An annual home school mission statement can prove invaluable to each year’s success. The foundation of that statement will remain relatively unchanged from one year to the next, but the dawn of each new school year inevitably ushers in exciting new phases, challenges, issues, and growth opportunities that will necessitate a tweak here and there.
Your home school mission statement can help define who you are as a family, the legacy you want to pass on to your children, what you want your home school lifestyle to look like, the atmosphere you want to create, as well as individual and corporate goals. Your mission statement can be an important tool in analyzing what is important to your family and its unique God-given blessings. Once defined, your mission statement will help you and your husband determine where to invest your time, energy, money, and ultimately will help you stay on target.
If you haven’t already written a home school mission statement, now is a perfect time. It is also a great time to go on a date with your sweetie! Set aside a date night, without distractions, for the purpose of shaping your home school mission statement. Pray individually beforehand about what your home school should look and feel like and your intended goals for the year.
This is the night you decide to make the coming school year your best one yet and will design a plan to make that happen. It is when you and your husband agree to no longer compare your family to another, but craft your home school into something uniquely your own by taking into account your children’s individual gifts, talents, and interests.
Spend the evening discussing your children’s strengths, weaknesses, and your plans for helping them grow in each of those areas. Discuss both the short and long term goals you have for each of your children, your family as a whole, and yourselves. The nature of these goals will, of course, be academic, but should also be spiritual, physical, family, church, extra-curricular, and service-oriented, as well.
One aspect of our family life that can suffer when we begin having children is our marital relationship. We naturally become so focused on our children and their needs that we often forget to set aside time for each other, so take this opportunity to change that. Your mission statement should also include marital goals and spending more time together as a couple, so bring your calendars with you to schedule regular date nights throughout the school year.
As you determine the particulars of your family, your family values, what you want your home school to look like, the legacy you want to pass on, as well as this year’s intended goals, you will simultaneously be drafting your own personal home school mission statement. Write it down and post it in your home where you will see it regularly.
This verbal snapshot will help you say “no” to superfluous activities with which your mission statement does not align, and it will help you maintain focus throughout the year. If chaos erupts, your mission statement will serve as a faithful friend and help get you back on track. Most importantly, your home school mission statement will prove your Mission: Possible by helping you make this school year your best one yet!