At the risk of sounding like a narcissist, I have a working title of ‘The Principled Principal’ because I’ve found myself in a position to help parents investigating homeschooling. I could call myself ‘The Superintendent’ but that’s also a bit egotistical saying I’m super anything. But regardless of what I call myself, I relish the thought that I can help homeschoolers. After all, I’m a retired homeschooling mom enjoying the 20/20 of hindsight and no current responsibilities. I also have the luxury of taking a ‘big-picture’ view of the current concerns of the parents asking these questions. I think I must have read some advice extolling the benefits of writing a mission statement. So this is what I remember about my process when I wrote my mission statement back in 1998 when I made the first move to take my kids out of public school.
Spring of 1999 my girls were in the 3rd and 4th grades. This was our first year in a new school district and I was butting heads with administrators who didn’t want to transfer my older daughter’s IEP or recognize her diagnosis of dyslexia since she was not behind in her reading ability. Our previous school had a wonderful program and we saw real improvement in just the last six weeks of her 3rd grade year. But we moved a few districts over and the new one didn’t have that program and saw no reason to purchase it (despite the fact we had a diagnosis, an IEP, and proven results.) It was much easier for them to ‘fail’ to transfer her IEP and I was looking at a legal battle that would drop her through the cracks in the meantime.
While that was going on, my younger daughter was referred for testing, put on medication, and put through the IEP wringer for ADD. (No H.) So after spring break I spent a day observing her classroom and I instantly knew I had to withdraw her immediately. Instead of using the summer to research my options, I was at home with my impulsive/distracted child winging it! My other one had the choice to stay home but she preferred to go to school to see her friends until the first week of the 5th grade she found herself in a separate set of classes from her friends and still no help for the dyslexia. She came home.
Now she has a daughter. She’s my first client. I love the idea of helping my granddaughter learn at home. She has so many options I didn’t have back in ‘99! (Hello, Internet!) Back then it was all about the public library and used book stores. In one way she’s incredibly lucky, on the other hand the sheer number of choices is overwhelming! That’s where my perspective, experience, and research skills may come in handy. I’m also retired and looking for meaningful work.
At Wood Haven Christian Academy I was the principal, teacher, and curriculum developer. I was on a roller-coaster hanging on for dear life! I could have used a superintendent back then. So that’s what I hope I can build for all the parents looking into homeschooling. I’m not gunning for the parents’ job. I simply want to encourage parents as they climb on board the roller-coaster. This really is gong to be a fun ride, folks!
My mission is assisting and supporting homeschooling parents with a combination of big-picture perspective and creative problem solving solutions and resources.
Your assignment (should you choose to accept it) is to write your own mission statement. Post in the comments if you would like to share.