How to Write a Homeschooling Philosophy Statement

Describe Your Family's Educational Goals and Methods

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A homeschooling philosophy statement is useful tool for your own planning -- and for explaining what your student has learned to schools and colleges.

When my older son began applying to colleges, I included an explanation of our goals and methods with his applications. Since I used a narrative transcript that didn't include grades, I thought it would be helpful to explain my goals in designing our homeschooling courses.

Sample Homeschooling Philosophy Statement

My homeschooling philosophy statement included specific goals in the area of language arts, math, science, and social studies. You can read my statement below, and use it as a model to create your own.

Our Homeschooling Goals

As teacher and parent, my goal in homeschooling is to give my children the skills and information they need to become successful adults. When presenting a subject, I focus on those aspects I believe will continue to be useful once the course is done.

Instead of covering large amounts of material superficially, we try to delve more deeply into fewer topics. Whenever possible, I also try to let my children incorporate their own interests into whatever we are studying.

For the most part we do not use textbooks, but rely on books written by experts for a general audience. The one exception is math, for which we use traditional textbooks. In addition, we use documentaries, videos, websites, magazines, and newspapers; related art, literature, drama and movies; news stories; family discussions; and hands-on projects and experiments.

We also take advantage of classes, lectures, and performances for high school students or the general public at local colleges and other learning institutions. And we made field trips to museums, studios, workshops, farms, factories, parks and nature preserves, landmarks, and historic sites.

Time is also allowed for pursuing individual interests and projects that are not part of any structured homeschool program. In my children's case this included computer game design, robotics, writing, film making, and animation.

I do not issue grades, except as required for early enrollment in community college classes. Testing is limited to standardized tests as required by the state, and tests in the math textbooks. Their level of understanding is demonstrated through discussion, writing, and other projects. Where workbooks and textbooks are used, we only move ahead when material is mastered, and go back and review when necessary.

Language Arts

The overall goal in language arts is to foster a love of reading and an appreciation for different types of literature and informational writing, to use their own writing as a creative outlet, and to develop the skills to entertain, convey information, and express opinions to other readers. Reading is done on an individual basis, as part of homeschool book discussion groups, and as a family. Selections include a mix of short stories, novels, non-fiction works and news and analysis. Plays and films are also given a critical analysis. Writing includes essays, research papers, poetry, creative writing, blogs, journals, and personal projects.

Math

In math, the goal is to help my children develop "number sense" by showing what is going on behind the algorithms and encouraging them to employ a variety of ways to solve a problem, if appropriate. We do this with carefully chosen textbooks, hands-on manipulatives, and by using math in other school projects and everyday life.

Science

For science, the goal is to understand the concepts underlying the different disciplines and how they apply to the world around us. We mainly focus on new discoveries and areas of research and their effect. A large part of our studies include designing and carrying out observations and hands-on lab activities. We also learn about scientists and science hobbyists through reading, videos, lectures, and visits to museums, research centers and colleges.

Social Studies

In social studies, the goal is to explore interesting people, places, and times throughout history around the world, and to gain the background needed to give context to present-day events. After covering the history of the world and the United States chronologically over several years (beginning in the elementary grades), we are focusing on special topics and on current events. Every year includes an in-depth history research project on a chosen topic. These can incorporate biographies, geography, literature, film, and visual arts.

How to Write a Homeschooling Philosophy Statement

To craft your own homeschooling philosophy, or mission, statement, ask yourself questions such as:

  • What are my basic goals for homeschooling? When my children graduate, they should be able to...
  • What are my overall goals for each subject?
  • Why did we decide to homeschool?
  • Why do we continue to homeschool?
  • What do we hope to accomplish by homeschooling that could not be accomplished in a traditional school setting?
  • What life skills do I want my children to have?
  • What are our family's priorities (i.e. academic success, community involvement, specific character traits)?
  • What does the ideal homeschool day look like to me? To my children?
  • What are our goals, short-term and long-term?
  • How is learning accomplished in our home?
  • What materials do we use to accomplish our educational goals?

Use your answers to those questions and the sample above to craft a unique philosophy statement that captures and outlines your family's homeschooling purpose.

Updated by Kris Bales

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Ceceri, Kathy. "How to Write a Homeschooling Philosophy Statement." ThoughtCo, May. 31, 2017, thoughtco.com/write-a-homeschooling-philosophy-statement-1833244. Ceceri, Kathy. (2017, May 31). How to Write a Homeschooling Philosophy Statement. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/write-a-homeschooling-philosophy-statement-1833244 Ceceri, Kathy. "How to Write a Homeschooling Philosophy Statement." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/write-a-homeschooling-philosophy-statement-1833244 (accessed December 18, 2017).