If you are following along my “How to Homeschool” series, you just went through a discernment process of deciding whether or not homeschooling is right for your family. The next step in getting started with homeschooling is to find your why. This step is often skipped, but it is a helpful and it may get you through tough times ahead. So lets find your homeschool why.
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Why Do I Need a Homeschool Why?
Home education is more than just the Three Rs: Reading, Writing, and ‘Rithmetic. Home education affects each member of the family, the way the home is arranged, the way daily life ebbs and flows, and how the family socialize.
In the words of Charlotte Mason,
Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.Charlotte Mason
Reasons to Have a Homeschool Mission Statement (a Why)
Maybe you think this step isn’t important for you, but I do think that if you take the time now to write down why you made this choice, it will help you in the future when you planning your year. Or even in February when you are doubting your decision to homeschool entirely.
Perhaps in the future, your situation will change significantly, and you will realize that the reason you chose to homeschool doesn’t exist anymore.
Or perhaps when things get tough, and reflecting on your why will help you refocus on what is important.
When Should I Find My Homeschool Why?
There is no wrong time to contemplate your purpose or the meaning behind your tasks. I do it all the time when I wash dishes. But here are some times you may consider putting in the extra effort to meditate on this topic.
- When you are first starting out homeschooling. Finding your why should ideally happen before you make your curriculum choices. Making curriculum choices is a very overwhelming task and so it helps to have the big picture in focus first.
- When you have already been homeschooling but want to refocus. If you have already been homeschooling and you think you could use something to anchor you, you may benefit from this practice. If you have not consciously done this before, you may have at least partly done it subconsciously because you were planning through a certain lens and trying to achieve your homeschool goals. It is also possible that you haven’t done this at all and you are feeling that your homeschool plans and practices don’t line up with your family’s goals.
- At the end of each homeschool year. I have a whole post about essential homeschool year wrap-up tasks, and one of them is to assess your year in light of your mission statement and “why.”
- When you are planning your homeschool year. I like to revisit my why and my goals regularly when I plan my year. I feel like it is a good time to refocus and recall why I am doing this.
How to Find Your Homeschool Why
Get out a pen and notebook, or sit in nature or in a quiet place where you can reflect. You may want to begin with some mental prayer asking the Holy Spirit to guide your reflection time.
Here are some questions that may help you formulate your Why:
- What is really important to us?
- How do we want our children to grow up?
- What do I hope my child will remember when he or she looks back on homeschooling?
- How do I want to feel day-to-day? How do I want my children to feel?
- What words or memories do I hope my children cherish as they grow?
- What do I think makes a good adult?
- How can I create the atmosphere I desire?
I have a free downloadable worksheet with these questions for you below. Remember, it will be helpful to write down your thought process here as these ideas will inform things like your scheduling and curriculum choices for your homeschool! We will visit those in future steps of this series.
Examples of Finding Your Homeschool Why
There isn’t a wrong way to do this. Perhaps you will write something down now and then over the course of the next months you will grow and change and reconsider what you wrote. If you are having trouble with your “why,” I would suggest that you start small. Write down one true thing. IT doesn’t need to be all encompassing.
Your why may be as simple as,
I am homeschooling because I want my children to have a Catholic education.
or as complex as,
I am homeschooling because I feel called to be attentive to educational special needs, give my children a classical education, spend more time in nature for their mental health and have the freedom to travel as a family.
I think it is a good sign if your reasons evolve as you do. Or maybe you know your purpose and you will not deviate from that.
Either way, your choices going forward will be made more clear once you keep your “why” as a frame of reference.
Write Your Why
Once you have established your “why,” I want you to engrain it on your heart and mind. Write it down somewhere you can easily see it and be reminded of it. Consider building a family mission statement, a motto or a quote for your year that reminds you of you why and helps you refocus in the moment.
A scripture verse that reminds me of my “why” and has helped me to regain focus in tough times over the years is
Every good and perfect gift is from above.James 1:17
Parenting is a Tough Gig
I am not going to sugar-coat it. Parenting is a tough gig. No matter if you are a homeschool family or if you choose to send your children to school, you are in charge of the upbringing of a little soul and all that that entails.
The point of spending time reflecting and writing down a why for your homeschool is so that when those tough moments come in, you are able to find solace in remembering why you made this choice, and gain the strength to follow through on the hard thing you are trying to do.
Remember, our society may tell us that hard things aren’t good or worth doing. People may ask us why would we want to homeschool? It sounds hard! Take the easy way. The easy way is the right way.
But we know that we can do hard things. Hard things can refine us and make us stronger and better.
Find Your Homeschool Why Journaling Printable
Don’t forget to get your printable below! You can check out the rest of the How to Homeschool series here.
No time right now? Pin it for later!
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