For anyone in education, a semester break is always a good time to start fresh. To evaluate what’s really worked during those first several months of a school year and what hasn’t. To clean our educational houses, so to speak, by doing away with those practices and habits that didn’t serve us as well as we hoped and planned they would for whatever reason, i.e. what worked last year, just isn’t working this year or with this child. It’s a time to regroup and refocus around those things that are currently making our homeschooling experiences successful ones.
Oddly enough, if you haven’t already (some states require it), one of the many things that could help you regroup and refocus is actually naming the school you run there in your home. Sound silly? Then you might be surprised to learn that establishing a name for your home school is as fundamental to focused and purposeful homeschooling as establishing an educational philosophy. As a matter of fact, it carries with it many of the same benefits.
It acts like a compass.
Much like establishing your educational philosophy, a well thought out name can guide you, give you a sense of purpose, and create a sense of identity for both you and your students. A name can act like a mission statement, putting a finger on what you believe is most important about education or why you started this home school endeavor in the first place.
Your school’s name you should be a daily reminder of what you believe about how students learn and how potential is nurtured. It can keep you and your students on course by being a constant reminder of your fundamental values, priorities, and purpose.
It makes it real.
A good name also has the ability to legitimize your endeavors in your own mind and in the mind of your students. (Faith Academy is now in session. Sounds so official. Yes, you’re really doing this!) A name puts a tangible title to a very intangible idea, especially for small children. It can create a sense of significance and pride to what might have been just gathering around the kitchen table before. A purposeful name makes what you are doing a reality and, as a result, can actually empower you and your students to move forward with confidence.
Things to Remember
Because naming your home school can have such a positive impact on how both you and your students perceive what you are doing in the classroom, there are a couple of things to keep in mind when choosing a name.
- A name is something you speak over your endeavor every time you say it. And that can have a real impact on you and your students. Make sure what you choose is positive and empowering. What do you want to be declaring about yourself, your students, and both of your efforts? Create a positive, focused, motivated message with your school’s name, one that speaks to the very heart of your purpose for educating at home and what you hope to achieve.
- Choose a name that sounds professional. The name you choose will last throughout your and your students’ home school careers. It will be used to report scores, represent your children’s education on college applications (if you intend to home school through high school) or on job applications when your student applies for summer or part time jobs. So, think twice about The Love and Grow Learning Center, The PJ Learning Place, or other similar names that might be great or funny when students are 5, but not so much later on.
- It can earn you educator discounts. Many education supply stores, online suppliers, and textbook publishers offer discounts, samples, and more if you can order with a school name instead of as an individual. Now, that is a very tangible benefit of having a school name that everyone can appreciate!
As the new semester begins, there is no better time to refocus on what is important about the education process you have begun in your home. And while creating a name for your home school may seem like an insignificant thing, it can do more to ensure on-target success for you and your students than you might realize. Just like a good educational philosophy is there to act as a guide by reminding you of your purpose and goals, a positive and empowering name could be just what you need to start fresh and create a purposeful educational environment that ensures your daily classroom plans and practices continue to match up with your larger goals and purposes.
Photo Credit: Marin
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