For 31 Years The Teaching Home Has Been Providing Homeschool Families
Information, Inspiration, and Encouragement from a Distinctively Christian Perspective.
Co-Editors: Veteran Home-School Sisters, Sue Welch and Cindy Short
of our instruction is love
from a pure heart
and a good conscience
and a sincere faith.
(1 Timothy 1:5)
2. How To Set
With your mission statement in hand, you now can set
goals. These goals form the plan that will enable you
to fulfill your mission statement.
For goals to be practical, they need to be:
1. Specific and Measurable
• Describe in detail exactly what you want to accomplish.
• Use terms that can be clearly evaluated.
• Break down large goals into separate objectives.
• Set target dates for reaching each goal and objective.
• Set goals that are realistic, yet challenging.
• Adopting goals that God has already set for us in His Word will ensure that His strength and wisdom are available to us as
we strive to meet those goals.
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God,
who gives to all liberally and without reproach,
and it will be given to him." (James 1:5)
"My grace is sufficient for you,
for My strength is made perfect in weakness."
(II Corinthians 12:9)
3. Reviewed and Revised
Although your mission statement will always retain your
basic values, vision, and purpose, you might want to fine tune it
from time to time.
• At least once a year, evaluate your goals and your progress in reaching them.
• You can revise your goals if necessary.
How To Use Your Mission Statement
Your goals are the daily applications of your mission
statement; you can make these valuable tools work for you in
1. To Remind You of Your Goals
Write out your mission statement and goals and post them
where your family can be reminded of them daily.
You might want to have more than one copy printed or done in
calligraphy and framed to show the importance they have in your
2. To Help You Decide
What To Do
When decisions or disagreements arise concerning proposed
actions or the use of family resources, refer to to your mission
statement and goals. This keeps your family focused on what is
really important, rather than letting the immediate or otherwise
good opportunities crowd out the best.
Of course, for a Christian family these should be in keeping
with God's Word, which is the final authority for our faith and
3. To Help You Decide
What To Do First
Prioritize your goals in importance and chronological order
to help you make decisions.
4. To Govern the Use
of Your Time
Yearly, monthly, and weekly goals need to be translated into
the activities on your daily schedule. We cannot reach our goals
if we do not set aside adequate time in which to work toward
of Small Goals
Small, daily goals can be reached by established routines,
chores, and habits. Their importance is crucial for two reasons.
First, these small steps are the only way to reach your
long-term goals and fulfill your family mission statement.
You cannot climb a mountain without taking that first step, and then
the next, and the next. Likewise, your family's mission
statement cannot be realized without translating it into:
• Specific goals
• Plans for reaching the goals
Second, seeing these practical, incremental steps as part of
fulfilling your mission gives meaning to what might otherwise be
considered the mundane or unimportant details of daily life.
How Dads Can Help
with the Planning Process
Speaking on Home School Heartbeat, host Mike Farris, HSLDA Chairman and General Counsel, shared how dads can support their wife at the start of the new school year:
Homeschool dads are often the first to say that home- schooling is a team effort. But without a vision for how this looks on a practical level, dads can quickly lose sight of this ideal.
Dads, one of the first things that we can do is to come alongside our wives as they prepare for the new school year.
To start with, set aside a planning session with your wife.
1. Discuss your homeschooling plans for this year together – what worked last year?
2. What goals should you set for the coming year?
3. Think through each child's needs as well as your homeschooling program as a whole.
4. Map out a schedule that will help you to achieve those goals.
As you take time to plan this with your wife, don't overlook how important it is for her for you to have a listening ear.
You can support your wife well by simply being an objective observer – listening to her concerns with openness, offering your own perspective, and together coming up with practical solutions to avoid future problems.
If the details threaten to drown out the big picture, be the first to remind your wife why you began homeschooling originally: because it's the best for your children. – Mike Farris
Read or listen online to this 5-part series of "How to Help Your Helpmate."
Farris discusses practical ways that dads can bring balance to the homeschool household.
• Help with the Planning Process
• Help with Teaching and Housework
• Give Her a Break
• Prioritize Your Marriage
• Set Spiritual Goals
Home School Heartbeat
Produced by Home School Legal Defense Association, Home School Heartbeat is an informative two-minute daily radio program which draws upon HSLDA's considerable involvement and front line experience in the home schooling movement.
Home School Heartbeat began broadcasting in May of 1991 and is currently airing on over 600 affiliates nationwide. (See Station Listings.)
Programs address a wide variety of topics – educational, legal and spiritual – all of which are of interest to any parent, whether they have made the decision to home school or are considering home education for their children. (See Home School Heartbeat Program Archives.)
Sign up to get Home School Heartbeat's daily e-mail transcripts and HSLDA E-lerts.
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For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) For the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23)
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4. We must personally receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. (John 1:12)
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. (Ephesians 2:8, 9)
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Homeschool Foundations Series, Part 2
Setting Goals for Your Homeschool
1. Start with Your Family Mission Statement
Don't worry – it's really simple and easy!
2. How To Set Useful Goals (Sidebar)
Plus how and why to use your goals.
3. Setting Specific Goals and Objectives
Objectives are stepping stones to reach your goals!
How Dads Can Help with the Planning Process
by Mike Farris, HSLDA Chairman
• Birch Court Books: Curriculum & Methods Evaluations
• Basic Christian Education: Bible-Based Curriculum
• Judah Bible Curriculum: Uses the Principle Approach
• Sing 'n Learn: Audio Resources for All Subject Areas
Goals help keep your family focused on what is really important, rather than letting the immediate or otherwise good opportunities crowd out the best.
We trust that this Homeschool Foundations Series will help you lay a good groundwork for a successful and enjoyable school year ahead!
The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian
Home is a homeschool, family-run
business operated in our home since 1980.
1. Start with Your Family
A family mission statement is a written declaration of your
family's purpose in life. It is a clear, simple, and succinct
sentence or paragraph which a child can understand.
Your mission statement will then be applied to each area of
your life and be
implemented by your goals.
Your family's mission statement:
• Will reflect your values, what you want to be, and what you want to do.
• Will determine the use of your time, energy, and money.
• Is used to initiate, evaluate, and refine all of your life's activities.
• Is a declaration of what each member of your family will live by.
• Should include your spiritual values, the fundamental truths and foundational principles upon which you will build your lives.
• Will enable each member see himself as part of a team cooperating to achieve a God-given task.
You Can Do It
Just because a mission statement is so important and awesome
sounding, doesn't mean that it needs to be an overwhelming task.
You, no doubt, already have a purpose that your family
operates under . However, it is valuable to take it out, look at
it, and put it in so many words.
Writing your family mission statement together as a family
can be an exciting and unifying experience. And the rewards are
sure to become evident as together your family follows your
planned path into the future.
Our God-Given Mission Statement
God created us for a purpose and has written a mission
statement for us in His Word. Jesus condensed this into one
sentence when He said:
"You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your strength,
and with all your mind;
and your neighbor as yourself." (Luke 10:27)
Jesus added to this a specific command, "Go into all the
world and preach the gospel." (Mark 16:15)
Paul described our mission, "We are ambassadors for Christ." (II Cor. 5:20)
This, therefore, is a good place to start. A very generic
Christian mission statement could be worded as, "Our family will
love and serve God and others, and spread the Gospel."
Joshua simply said, "As for me and my house, we will serve
the Lord." (Josh. 24:15)
Read a step-by-step guide and how to include your family in Newsletter #80.
Fine-Tuning Your Wording
After you have agreed on the main points, refine your statement by working on the wording of the phrases or sentences you will use.
• The wording should be appealing, meaningful, and easy to remember.
• Be sure you have included your purpose, what you want to be and do.
• Include verbs to add dynamism and describe what action you will perform in living your purpose.
• Make your statement simple, clear, short, and understandable to the whole family.
• Be creative if you wish by making your statement into a motto (e.g., "Love and Service Above All"), a poem, an acrostic using the letters in your last name (e.g., Short: "Serve God, Help others, Obey authority, Reach the lost, Teach our children"), etc.
Using Your Mission Statement
Make your statement a permanent and practical part of your family's life:
• Type or write out your mission statement and the Scriptures you based it on.
• Post your mission statement where all can see and be reminded of it. This can be decorated and framed to show its importance to your family and visitors.
• Make laminated copies of various sizes for wallets, notebooks, bookmarks, placemats, etc.
• Have everyone memorize and review your statement and verses.
• Refer to your mission statement and the Scriptures on which it is based whenever opportunities to apply them occur in your everyday lives.
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2. How To Set Useful Goals
3. Setting Goals and Objectives
for Your Home School
Goals form the detailed plan that will enable you to fulfill your mission statement.
You might start by asking, "When our children leave our home to begin their own families . . ."
• What kind of people do you want them to be?
• What values do you want them to embrace?
• What knowledge do you want them to possess?
• How do you want them to behave?
Take time to think and pray about all aspects of your
children's teaching and training and write out goals for each
area. This will give purpose and direction to your efforts and
help ensure that your children will achieve excellence.
1. Break these general goals down into objectives for each child to reach each year.
2. Plan detailed objectives for each month or week close to the time for implementation.
3. Discuss these objectives with each child, and explain how they fit into the big picture of his future.
4. Revise goals and make them more specific as individual strengths or callings appear.
5. Set an example by working toward your own personal goals and welcoming evaluation.
Long-range goals for your children's education and training might include the following.
1. Goal: Knowledge of God and His Word
Consider your responsibility for your children before
God; He commands you as parents to teach your children
His Word, the most important thing they will ever learn.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your might.
These words, which I am commanding you today,
shall be on your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your sons
and shall talk of them when you sit in your house
and when you walk by the way
and when you lie down
and when you rise up.
• Read, teach, and discuss God's Word in many situations when you are together throughout the day.
• Systematically study God's Word together (e.g., in a formal Bible study curriculum, such as Judah Bible Curriculum) and help your children memorize and meditate on God's Word.
2. Goal: Salvation and Spiritual Growth
Your children's salvation is your first priority. (See ideas of how to Lead Your Child to Christ.)
Then follows spiritual growth through loving dedication and obedience
to God, knowing and speaking to God in prayer, Christian
fellowship, and ministry to others.
• Make personal application of Scripture and guide your children's behavior through example, teaching, discipline, and training throughout each day.
• Teach your children that God's Word is the final authority for our faith and practice and teach them how to look up what God says about any given thing using Bible study tools such as a concordance.
3. Goal: Character Development
Ranking higher than academic training in importance to
Christian families are character qualities, good manners, and
• Train your children in these areas and minimize the harmful influences from outside your home.
• Model your own dedication to God, good character traits, disciplined habits, and enthusiasm for learning.
Strengthen Your Bible Class Next Year –
with Judah Bible Curriculum, K-12!
• Make Bible class the centerpiece of your Christian
• Establish your children's future with the Biblical
• Train Godly character to guide them through all of life.
• The Bible is the textbook. Using the Principle Approach,
your whole family can study the Bible together, develop
comprehensive Bible knowledge, and apply Biblical
principles to guide their lives.
The reason Christians want their children to be well
educated is so that they have the skills and knowledge to better
serve God and others, as well as to appreciate and enjoy God and
4. Goal: A Christian World View
We want our children to view all they are learning, as well
as all of life, in the light of Bible truth. The facts, truths,
and principles revealed in God's Word should form the basis for
each course of study and the standard for evaluating its content.
The practical uses and applications of acquired knowledge
are also unique for Christians. (Read more about teaching each subject from a Christian
• Use Christian curriculum with a built-in Christian worldview in all subjects and/or interpret all educational materials in the light of God's Word.
5. Goal: A Solid Foundation in the Basics
Basic skills (reading, writing, math) must be thoroughly
mastered and then retained through review so children can
acquire, use, and communicate knowledge in other subjects.
• Emphasize basic skills.
• Slow the pace or add more practice if necessary for a child to master a skill, rather than trying to build on a shaky foundation.
• Use excellent, time-tested methods (such as phonics to teach reading), as well as unique materials written especially for use in homeschooling.
6. Goal: An Excellent, Well-Rounded Education
The reason Christians want their children to be well
educated is so that they have the skills and knowledge to better
serve God and others, as well as to appreciate and enjoy God and
• Provide your children with a variety of real life experiences that build the background knowledge for academic learning as your children accompany you throughout the day in many situations in real life.
• Give each of your children individual attention and meet his unique needs.
• Learn and accommodate your child's readiness to learn new concepts, his abilities or difficulties in various areas, his personal interests, and his tendencies to learn best by either sight, sound, touch, or movement.
• Show relationships or connections between facts in the same or different subject areas and in previously acquired knowledge to help your children understand and remember what they are taught.
• Make available a variety of educational resources and reference materials.
• Use your child's curiosity, needs, and interests to motivate learning, and you can stimulate new interests through reading, conversation, questions, and family activities.
7. Goal: Confidence and Independent Thinking
We want our children to have the courage, good sense, and
strength of character to think and make decisions for themselves
based on Scripture, truth, and logic, rather than follow the
crowd and the latest trends.
• Encourage your children to develop confidence and independent thinking away from the peer pressure to conform and in the security of their own home.
• Give your children time to explore new interests and to think.
8. Goal: Family Unity
God's goal for us is to have a home filled with love, joy,
and peace where each member of the family relates to others as
• Experience unity, closeness, and mutual enjoyment of one another as you spend time together working, studying, and playing.
• Take advantage of flexible scheduling to accommodate parents' work and vacation times and allow time for more family activities.
• Learn teamwork as each member of your family makes a contribution to the success of your home school.
9. Goal: Social Skills
Social skills will enable your children to show love to and
serve others. These skills include understanding others,
communication, cooperation, managing conflict, leadership, and
lovingly meeting the needs of others.
• Practice social skills in the context of normal family life and under your guidance in groups of friends, families, and your local church.
• Avoid negative socialization by peer pressure to allow your child to develop confidence in interacting with people of all ages and stations.
"Do not be misled:
Bad company corrupts good character."
(I Corinthians 15:33)
10. Goal: Life Skills: Practical Preparation
for Adult Life
The skills needed to prepare your children for the practical
responsibilities of everyday life include such things as
financial skills, running a home, cooking, shopping, driving,
repairs and maintenance, voting, researching information, and
keeping one's body fit and healthy.
• Give your children training and practice in these skills as they work with you throughout the day.
• When able, give your children can take responsibility for entire areas, thus rehearsing for adult life.
Set Specific Objectives for Each Child
After you have set and reviewed your long-range goals for your children's education and training in all areas of their lives, you are ready to determine specific goals and objectives for each of your children for the coming school year.
Break down goals into objectives to be reached this year, quarter, month, or week, leaving details to be planned closer to the time for implementation.
Take an inventory of each child's knowledge, skills, aptitudes, interests, learning style, and character in light of your goals for him. You can do this in several ways.
• Informally. Simply write a few notes from your everyday observations of each child on a notebook page.
• Testing. Use results from standardized tests.
• Free online diagnostic and placement tests from Alpha Omega Publications.
• Scope and sequence. Check off the skills or knowledge that your child has attained. Free online: A Beka Books, BJU Press, or World Book.
• Daniel/Language arts - Learn to read this year.
• Jane/Life skills - Learn to make a main dish each month.
• Ryan/Math - Learn times tables.
• Kayla/Character - Be loving and helpful to little brother.
These specific goals will take your children towards the long-range life goals you have set for them.
Teaching and training your children at home can provide the optimum opportunity for your children's spiritual training and character development, as well as their social and academic welfare!