Homeschool Vision Statement

Crafting a Homeschool Vision Statement: Developing Intention Around Your Family Culture

Ideal Homeschool?

What brought you to homeschooling? For me, it was visions of my children laughing happily, cozied up with me on the couch. I envisioned them hanging on my every word as I read to them from great works of literature. I imagined, as they aged, the deep conversations we would have as we discussed Big Ideas. I wanted time and freedom and flexibility, yes, but what I really wanted was a family culture that was deeply engaging for all of us.

Acknowledge the Children and Life You Actually Have

Once I actually had children, of course, I realized that my visions weren’t as easily realized as I’d imagined. The children have their own desires and plans, and they don’t always align with mine. Sometimes they do hang onto every word, but far more often, we muddle through and hope to find some joy in the process.

Education Is An Atmosphere

And, still, even with the complexities of multiple children and their resistance and the grumbling and the loss of momentum–still!–I have hopes for the way our family feels to our children.

Charlotte Mason, my educational hero, is often quoted as saying, “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life.”

When we think about family cultures, we are touching on what Miss Mason meant when she said “Education is an atmosphere.” In our homeschools (truly–even in the homes of those who aren’t home-educating!), the atmosphere forms the backbone of everything else.

Our homes and family cultures won’t be perfect, of course–but they can be real and connected and safe. Forming a clear homeschool vision statement or a few family actions or what Sally Clarkson calls “Family Ways” gives you and your children something to turn back to. It puts words and intentionality to the atmosphere you’re attempting to form.

When trying to capture your family culture in a statement, you are writing a vision statement–not a mission statement. A mission statement would include specific goals, but a vision statement instead describes a way of being. I do believe mission statements, even in families, can serve a purpose! But it is a different purpose than defining your family culture. 

Instead of providing specific goals, a vision statement describes the way we want to be in the world, right now. It should highlight your family’s motivations and values. If referred to often, a strong vision statement can act like the rudder on your boat, providing each separate family member with a shared sense of identity. 

Ready to Cast a Vision?

My favorite way to start writing a family vision statement is to start a time for three minutes and write, write, write!

List all of the things that matter to you: good books, kindness, hard work. It’ll be a hot mess of unrelated virtues and ideals, but let the ideas flow.

Ready, Set, Go!

Seriously–don’t keep reading until you’ve jotted down a full 3 minutes of ideas.

Once you’re ready, here are a few family vision statements to look over for inspiration.

In our family, we value stories. We know that, like the heroes in our favorite books, the people we meet are living their own stories, just as we are ourselves. We live with kindness and courage and intentionality.

Our family sees each human as a sacred image-bearer of God. As we seek to love God, so do we seek to love those who bear his image. This means we speak the truth in love, we include instead of exclude, and we value relationships over winning. Because we ourselves are also made in the image of God, we strive to grow in integrity and grit, as well as in our mind and body.

Our family values health and well-being. We encourage each other to care for our bodies, to make mindful choices, and to prioritize self-care. We strive to harmoniously balance physical, mental, spiritual and social health.

Or Keep It Simple

If it feels hard to have a completed statement, try just listing a few (3-5) values or ideas you want your family to value.

Here are some examples:

  • Kindness first
  • Love God, Love Others
  • Do hard things.
  • We are a team.

Sharing the Vision with the Family Team

Your family as a team unit needs to be on board with the vision statement. Most families seem to already know the family values. Having a standard statement offers a rallying cry. Discuss the statement with the family and be open-minded! Consider adjusting the statement to include or remove ideas after discussion.

Display and Review

Once you have a statement, or a list of family values, put them somewhere your family can see. Refer to them often. Use the phrasing so much that your kids will know what you’re going to say before you say it. When you’re intentionally shaping a culture, you may feel like you’re overcommunicating, but you almost assuredly are not. Humans are silly and need to hear ideas ridiculously often before we internalize them.

We find a vision statement to be helpful for the homeschool family in shaping your unique family culture. Taking the time now to craft one will give you and your family a point of reference to look back on over the years.

We’d love to hear what you came up with for a vision statement! Please share yours on our Instagram post.