So this is part 3 of a series I began on creating a strong foundation for every homeschooler. If you are just checking in for the first time, please take time to review this and then this, too. As a review, this is our family’s Mission in homeschooling and generally, in raising our children:
To create a fun-filled and loving environment at home, to help students discover their gifts, to encourage creativity, and to teach how to diligently study God’s Word.
It defines what we do on a daily basis. That is our MISSION. In a sense, it answers why the Simpao HomesCool exists. It answers why we have opted to home educate our children instead of letting them attend a regular school like the 99% of kids their age.
So ask yourself these questions:
- What do we do in the__________( say your surname) homeschool?
- Why does ______________(say your surname) homeschool exist?
As mentioned in previous posts, your vision is your preferred future. This is what you “envision” to happen as a result of your mission. In a sense for as long as our children “live” in our homes, they continue to be raised and homeschooled even if they have been released to regular schools. So, your mission and vision may actually go beyond the years of your homeschooling lessons.
Vision: To see the family love God, love others and love learning.
Take note that I have included the word “family” in our vision. This is because the homeschooling journey is not exclusively for the students but truly for the entire family. The main teacher ( usually the mother) is also molded by the homeschooling experience. So as a result of homeschooling, we desire as a family to see ourselves “loving God, loving others and to love learning.”
As we continue to set the foundation of our “homeschool”, we now move towards CORE VALUES.
Let me contextualize this definition of Core Values online:
Core values are the fundamental beliefs of your family/ homeschooling. These values are the guiding principles that will determine decisions, action and behavior. These values can help in assessing if our daily homeschooling experiences including chosen material and activities are aligned with our homeschooling_goals/mission.
These values are what you hold dear as family and they will be evident in your choices in your homeschooling journey.
Here are some values for our family :
- Love for God and His Word
- Love and Respect of others (this involves cooperation/being a team player)
- Love for Country
- Servant Leadership
- Physical Health through Sports/Proper Nutrition ( we are still struggling in the nutrition part because I can’t seem to make the children love all kinds of fruits and vegetables, we keep trying though) .
Your choices for curriculum, readers, read-a-louds, projects, homeschool co-op or support group’s activities, outsourced lessons, extra-curricular programs, field trips, sports coaches, MAPE teachers or lessons, etc can be determined with always your core values in mind, as you strongly holding on to your mission and vision as you see the big picture.
For instance, in our schedule, we have decided to do BIBLE reading/ meditating/lessons daily. That’s because that holds a priority in our lives. In desiring to highlight Love for Country, we try to always be aware of current events and try to teach Philippine History and Filipino as a language passionately. Let me just give you examples on what we involved ourselves with to emphasize the importance of Philippine History and Culture and the Filipino language:
- Regularly watch Filipino material ( Pepito Manaloto, Inang Yaya, Magnifico, Penguin Penguin Paano ka Ginawa?, Tagalog Plays like Prinsipeng Munti, Ang Hukuman ni Mariang Sinukuan, I Do Biddo Bidoo, Dolphy movie )
- Read Filipino storybooks and chapter books
- Discuss national current events thoroughly
- Hired a Filipino Tutor when I could no longer handle all subjects for all 4 children
- Regularly attend Exhibits and Trade Shows of Philippine artists and products
- Adjust lessons during periods of great national concern ( elections, disasters, national holidays)
One of the things though I know I could have done differently (if I had the chance to do it all over again ) is to include Fluency in Tagalog as a Core Value or as a primary goal in our homeschooling. Doing so would have made us more deliberate and intentional in “realizing” this goal. (I am giving this as a reminder to those who have preschool or even younger homeschoolers) It is unfortunate, and I take the blame for it, that our younger children struggle in speaking fluent Tagalog because we opted to speak (and continue to do so) to them in English. Tagalog is not natural for them and I know I have gone way past the learner’s window of maximally being fluent with a 2nd language for our children. We can still adjust, try to find ways but the circumstances are no longer ideal. Sigh .
Instead of describing how these core values find their way into our daily lessons, let me just show you photos of experiences and maybe you can guess how these activities help us teach and encourage the core values I have listed above.
After you have created your own homeschooling family mission and vision , may I invite you again to come together with your spouse/ partner/ homeschoolers and determine your core values as a homeschooling family? You may have to take into account, character concerns for your child/children and try to find ways to deal with them through your homeschooling lessons. These values I believe stand the test of time, however, age and various seasons in our family lives may require you to make some adjustments to address various situations that arise.
From these values, you can decide the themes of your field trips, the subject matter of chapter books you’d like to expose your children to, the Bible verses to memorize and the content of the entertainment activities (plays, musicals, exhibits). You can also learn to say NO to a whole lot of other things as you weight them against your values .
When you have completed your homeschooling family’s Vision/Mission/Core Values, make sure you discuss these with your children. Don’t make the wording of your statements too complicated, the simple, the better. They should be easy to memorize. Let your kids memorize them too. As mentioned in previous posts, no one really taught me to do this Mission/Vision thing earlier on. I just had Bible verses in my head/heart that encouraged and reminded me of what we were doing. Looking back, it would have really helped us more if we were all aware of the foundational principles of our Simpao Homeschool.
For Art, you can create posters or reminders in your classroom for your own’s family’s Mission/Vision and Core Values! (And I’d love to see them! If you’d like to share them with me, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org!)
This August 2016 , I will only have one homeschooled student left (4-3=1!!!) and I will discuss our own Mission/Vision/Values with him for sure.
Ephesians 2:20-22 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21 Weapostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22 Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.