We have been working together as a family on a mission statement for our School of One Pupil. It's not a simple matter, and you can't just go copy a good one out there. It needs to reflect the values you have as a family, each one of you.
We've been working on five foci: mental, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual (they was suggested in an article I read.) I kind of look at the spiritual askance. I don't quite know how to deal with it yet, as our family is not religious. We'll think of something though--religious tolerance, respect for religious beliefs, ability to make up your own mind, knowledge of the world's major religions... Something.
We've already made some ideological adjustments. It's definitely nice to have a guideline. Husband's biggest concerns were around the social focus. Why anybody thinks that being in school will help your social skills is beyond me, but he's thinking along those lines. I think I will be able to meet his concerns around social skills without sending her to school, but we'll see.
The mental focus was an interesting one. We are still working on that one, but the two areas that we have decided upon as being of utmost importance were math and writing. Math for him. He has decided that he wants Mi'ita to finish Calculus by the time she finishes high school. I didn't meet that goal myself and it has left a whole series of brick walls in my life, so I stand behind it. It is a good goal to strive or, even if she doesn't eventually meet it. Not everyone is up for Calculus, but Mi'ita has a good mind and is good at math, so it I think it's good to put it out there.
Writing was my emphasis. Her reading is plenty adequate basically forever. That doesn't mean that you can put anything in front of her and she will understand it. It does mean that she is not learning to read anymore; she's reading to learn. It is a tool she has mastered.
Not so for writing. She is writing plenty adequately for a fourth grader. That is not adequate for life, though. I have not been focusing a lot on the writing skills and that has bothered me as it is important. In light of this new mission statement in progress, though, I've added a little to the plate. She has to keep a daily journal. Husband added an interesting element. He wants her to read an article out of the New York Times World Section, twice a week, and write a summary of it. Mi'ita's quite good at geography and world history, but her modern political history is as bad as most kids'. It's as bad as mine, I'm ashamed say. We'll both be learning.
It's good to have mission statement, even one that's in progress.