And just when I start to feel a bit too comfortable, when the current season lays easy on me like a worn garment, a shift occurs. Similar to the natural changing of the seasons, this shift seems simultaneously gradual and sudden—early on, we saw the signs, felt the slight temperature change—but now that it is upon us, we realize it’s time to embrace something new.
The season of the “homeschool experiment” has come to a close.
We have entered our third year to homeschool, and as my second child now fully joins our school days, and as I fine-tune our daily and weekly rhythm, it becomes clear that we’ve embraced an identity that we never would have imagined for ourselves.
We have embraced home education.
And with this admission, I now throw off the well-worn comfort provided by the “experiment” disclaimer. That season has passed, being replaced by a new vision—and while it can still feel slightly stiff at times, I know it’s worth wearing in.
I’m reminded of my word for this year: PURPOSE. (By the way, about half of those tangled vines were blackberries, and we had so much fun picking wild berries in our backyard this summer!)
Something that I think often helps people hone their purpose is a mission statement, and recently I realized that I’ve never written a mission statement for our homeschool. For those of you who homeschool, do you have a mission statement? Of course, you don’t need to home educate for this to be relevant, as a mission statement applies to other aspects of life as well: a family, a business, a ministry, etc. So, after some thought, here is what I came up with:
Our choice to homeschool is a yes, not a no. We are saying yes to ADVENTURE, yes to TOGETHERNESS, yes to CURIOSITY, yes to PLAY, yes to great BOOKS, and yes to a simple, intentional life. By choosing to say yes to these values, we are striving to create a culture that nurtures both the minds and hearts of our learners, preparing them for lives of PURPOSE.
It’s not perfect, and likely we’ll tweak it from time to time, but it defines our vision a bit more clearly. If you haven’t created a mission (or vision) statement for your homeschool or business, I highly recommend it.
So now, for those who are interested, here is our curriculum plan for this year (with lots of links):
Spelling: All About Spelling
Math: Right Start Math (teacher-intensive, but excellent!)
History: Story of the World
Writing/Grammar: Copywork (we enjoyed these from Magician’s Nephew)
APPS AND RESOURCES
For the Kids:
Scratch Jr (coding skills)
Strathmore Visual Journal (for watercolor nature journaling)
Eeboo Fairy Tale Game (great for creative play)
For the Mom:
Spotify (or Pandora) All Sons & Daughter’s Station
Art of Tea “Tea for Her”
We still love our daily themes, although I must admit that we don’t always get to them. Yet even still, they give us a daily goal, because they tend to be our favorite activities (aside from read-aloud time), and they are always the last thing we do for the day.
Finally, I have one more item to add. This is the acknowledgment that some dreams I once had for our homeschooling journey no longer fit our purpose. A huge organic garden and a chicken coop full of egg-laying hens, while romanic in vision, does not fully line up with our mission statement and could easily distract us from our greater goals. Plus, I can hardly remember to water and weed my current flower beds.
So, I’ve let these dreams go. They are for someone else. In order to say yes to our true vision, we will have to say no to some lesser (for us) dreams. And that’s okay.
That is what this new season of purpose is all about.
P.S. I recently had the amazing opportunity to share my homeschooling + Storyweaver journey on the Cohesive Home Podcast. I would love for you to check it out!