At the time, I thought we were pretty weird, but I now see our struggle as a healthy thing. I now know that we really are in a tug of war with the way of the world and that we must choose the side on which we will stand. We have the choice of building our family on the shifting sands of the values of our post-Christian culture, or to build it on the rock of faith in Jesus Christ and all He represents.

Our family home-schooling mission statement reflects that we have chosen to pound a stake in the ground. We will stand against the ravages of our turbulent, valueless times. We choose to home school on the side of our Lord Jesus Christ. To us, that encompasses:

S - Strength in family relationships

I - Intimacy with Jesus

D - Depth in spirituality

E - Excellence in academics and life preparation

S - Sanity in social and emotional realms

A mission statement is not a statement of goals. The mission is the foundation upon which goals are based. While goals may change from one school term to the next, the mission or vision for our family remains constant.

Whether you are a new home schooler or are beginning a fresh season of home schooling, taking the time now to clarify and focus your home-schooling vision will keep you encouraged and will help you sort out the many paths available to you. If an activity, book, approach or method will sustain your mission, it is a good choice. If it will detract from your mission, it should be disregarded.

(This article will be continued in Part II.) 

Christine M. Field practiced law for eight years before becoming a full-time Mommy. She and her husband live and home school their four children in Wheaton, Illinois where her husband serves as Chief of Police. Three of their four children are adopted, one through a private adoption and two are from Korea. She is the author of several books, including Coming Home to Raise Your Children (Fleming Revell, 1995), Should You Adopt? (Fleming Revell, 1997) A Field Guide to Home Schooling (Fleming Revell, 1998), and Life Skills for Kids (Harold Shaw/WaterBrook, 2000). Her fifth book, Help for the Harried Home Schooler (Shaw/WaterBrook 2002) will be available in January 2002. In addition to her contribution to Crosswalk.com, she writes columns for several magazines, including Home School Digest and Open Arms Magazine. Her work appears regularly in Hearts at Home Magazine and others. Her articles on life skills have appeared in Focus on the Family Magazine and Single Parent Family.

Christine loves to encourage others. She has spoken to many groups, including small fellowships and large conventions. To contact her about speaking to your group, or to share your tips and ideas about home schooling, you may email her at FieldFamily@HomeFieldAdvantage.org or visit her website at www.HomeFieldAdvantage.org. You may write to her at The Home Field Advantage, P.O. Box 261, Wheaton, IL 60189-0261.