“When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” -Roy E. Disney
Whenever Jason and I set off on an adventure, whether it be a new business, opening offices or our latest adventure—homeschooling our children—we first get clear on our core values.
Our core values are our guiding principles for making decisions as well as our reason for why we are doing what we do. Defining these values helps us in so many ways. It gets us on the same page so we are clear in our intentions and know what we both are working toward. Having clear core values also helps by preventing “decision fatigue.” When we solidify the overarching reason for something, making all the daily little decisions becomes so much easier. Ever had paralysis by analysis? So many decisions to make that you get overwhelmed and can’t move forward? Our core values help prevent that.
Here’s an example: In our office (and our home) one of our main core values in “health.” If we are ordering lunch or dinner for the office as we sometimes do, we don’t get overwhelmed thinking about the menu. Pizza? Wraps? Sandwiches? Nope. Delicious salad chock full of nutrient veggies and meat on the side. Check, done.
So one of the first things we did on our homeschool adventure was to establish these core values. These are why this is important to us. When people question us (with good intentions or not), our why helps us feel grounded in our decision. This is a decision we didn’t take lightly. We have been contemplating it for four years and feel very secure in our reasons why.
So here are our core values for Adventure School:
1. Freedom: We believe our kids need and deserve the time and space to play and create. Our Levi loves daydreaming and staring out the window at home and on long car rides. When he was in first grade, he came home one day really upset and told me that he didn’t have time to daydream or play anymore since he isn’t in kindergarten. Honestly, some of my best ideas and creations have come from me making that quiet space for myself. Kids learn through playing. Kids have incredible imaginations and, as parents, Jason and I want to protect that space for them. We have freedom in our schedule. We have freedom in our schedule for slow mornings, time outside in nature, and for self-driven exploration. We do have a bit of a hectic schedule so we get creative on getting it all in, but having this freedom to move things around as they work best for our family is important to us. We don’t feel the need for our kids to participate in the rat race of life just yet!
2. Leadership: We believe we know what is best for our children. We lead with gentle guidance while giving them the opportunity to help direct their curricula encouraging their love of learning and exploration. We have set resources for certain subjects they follow— math, science, language arts, reading and writing so they stay “on track.” But we let them self direct a lot of the other activities and magically weave in lessons and learning without it really even being a major issue. Kids are naturally inquisitive, so we commit to being present with them throughout the day and letting the magic happen. We also want to inspire our children to know their purpose and to be leaders so they can inspire others to do the same.
3. Knowledge: We believe knowledge is power and that we live in the age of information. We provide the resources to help our children learn about any topic they are interested in. We have one child who wants to be an engineer and is always wanting to learn about how things are made, as well anything about outer space, rocket ships and robots. Another child is really into sports, defying gravity and hopes to one day be in the X Games. And our youngest little lady loves to sing and perform. We help provide them with resources with which to pursue those interests and use them as touch points for lessons.
4. Contribution: We believe that everyone has a purpose and that serving others through this purpose will make our world a better place.
5. Health: We believe children deserve to understand the importance of properly moving and fueling their bodies and we provide the environment in which they can do so. This is a big one for us. We want our children to understand early on how absolutely incredible and powerful their bodies are if treated properly. As chiropractors and natural healers, we hope that one day this can be more of a foundational aspect of children’s elementary education in general. It’s shocking just how little we are all taught about the human body, how it works and how important healthy fuel is.
6. Communication: We believe everyone is different and unique, and that we all deserve an environment that matches our communication and learning style. Since moving here, and well before we had kids, I had been told that we live in an area with “really good schools.” I do agree, we are fortunate that our schools have incredible resources, an ample budget and so many extracurricular options it’s difficult to choose which one is best. However, as a class mom many years in a row, I have seen and witnessed firsthand that our schools don’t cater to all learning styles. It is important to us that our children are supported and encouraged whether they think inside or outside the box. Our ability to think outside the box is honestly a huge part of what has led Jason and me to much of our success. We want our children to have the option to communicate and learn in whatever form is best for them as they grow and mature.
7. Love & Respect: We believe parenting through empathy and connection teaches our children to love and respect others. In a time when we can all be anything, we want them to know the importance of being kind. Maybe that sounds simple and basic, but take notice when you are out in public and notice some of the grown-ups who could have used more time on this one!
So these are our core values—the main reasons this adventure is important to us. When the going gets tough, we’ll be glad that we took the time to establish these. Our values will most likely adapt at some point along the way, but for now they are our guiding light and a simple reminder of the bigger picture so that the small battles or challenges each day don’t get us down.
“Achievement happens when we pursue and attain what we want. Success comes when we are in clear pursuit of why we want it.” -Simon Sinek