Sunday, May 29, 2011

Homeschool Failure - The Business Model and a Philosophy of Education

When a company embarks in its business venture, the board of directors develops a business plan, which includes a vision statement and a mission statement. The vision statement is a detailed description of what the company desires to accomplish within a set number of years, which serves as a guide for directing the company toward completing the long-term goals listed. A mission statement describes why the company exists, as well as the company’s current capabilities and focus. Essentially a mission statement is where the company is presently, and the vision statement is where the company plans to be in the future. Both of these serve as an important tool in the development of a strong and successful business. Neither of these can be eliminated if the company wants to be successful in their business venture.

Some might think it a bit excessive to develop both a mission and vision statement for your homeschool, but it is not. A business can be defined as serious work or an endeavor that requires an investment with the expectation of making a profit. Could a homeschool be described in that manner? Home education is certainly a serious work that requires an investment of time, money and sweat equity, in which you hope to produce a young adult who is adept in various life skills. The outcome your child experiences is your profit, or positive gain. So, why not plan your homeschool as you would a business? Plan for success and stick to the plan!

Homeschool parents should be in agreement of their homeschool’s objectives and motivations, in order to provide a measure of accountability and to be like-minded in this endeavor. If you are married, your husband, as the head of your home, should either help plan or approve the mission and vision statements of your family’s homeschool. If you are a single parent, you are in charge of your homeschool and might consider seeking outside counsel to assist with accountability and the focus in your mission.

When Mark and I began our own journey of homeschooling we decided to join a local support group, so that we could experience the support and friendships of those who were climbing the same mountain that we were beginning to ascend. This particular support group was somewhat of a pioneer homeschool support group, of which my parents were members when I was homeschooled. These seasoned support group leaders prudently recognized the need for vision and consequently required that each prospective member develop a “Philosophy of Education”. This proved to be an excellent requirement that charged each member of the group to determine and to put in writing their chief objectives behind their decision to homeschool.

Our family’s philosophy of education included similar concepts that one might find in a business’ mission and vision statements. In establishing our own educational ideology we were recording the reasoning behind our choice to home educate. Through this simple, yet inspiring, one-page summary of our thoughts and goals, we preserved our purpose for our family’s home education course. Through the years we have modified our philosophy of education to better fit our family’s revised vision, while continually implementing the principles in our summary. This has proved to be a driving force, compelling us closer to the established goals for our children.

Take a look at our family's Philosophy of Education for some idea starters and tune in next time for more on how to develop your plan and set your goals! Sign up to receive e-mails or follow this blog on the left hand sidebar! Check out other posts under the category: Homeschool Failure!

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