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The leadership education folks designed a manifesto that outlined the vision of Thomas Jefferson Education, and I thought it was a great general vision document.

I read it to the kids during Amber’s Mine, and Elias’ first comment was, “Yeah! We should make a Mitchell Manifesto.” Which just goes to show how brilliant Elias is. 🙂 Actually it reminded me that I don’t have to come up with all the ideas in the family. Even seven-year-olds are perfectly capable of coming up with awesome ideas. So, I turned my print-out over and asked them what kinds of things should we put in ours. Here are the notes I took — all their ideas:

  • We like “education to match our mission”
  • We should talk about having a strong core of values
  • We should talk about spiritual stuff
  • We should talk of loving learning and life
  • We should say we won’t be distracted by screens, that we’ll go on our own path (to greatness!)
  • We’ll learn the lessons of the past and study civilizations
  • We want to study God’s creations, nature
  • We’ll be ambassadors for homeschooling and other stuff
  • We’ll make our ancestors smile down upon us from heaven!

This was a month or more ago, and I just got down to tinkering with the layout with Grace’s help and Noah’s advice. We are about 80% there, I think, but I was in the mood to share what we have so far. So here it is, the Mitchell Manifesto version 1.0:


It’s rough, but you get the idea. We start by talking about the foundational phases of learning, talk about our life path, then touch on the two passions of my kids (history and nature) then talk about how we’ll better the world at the end. Grace and I have some swirly designs to add and some more text to tweak, and then I’ll put it up in an editable form in case any of you want to tear parts of it up to make your own family manifesto. Comment if you want anything in particular about the final document. I’m using MS Publisher to make it, but I may be able to get it in to Word or something.

This is one of the parts of home education that plays to my strengths — the WHY AM I DOING THIS? stuff, the vision. Everyone wants to know what purpose is served by the things they do… don’t they? We ask children to spend 6-8 hours a day, five days a week for thirteen plus years, and the WHYs we often give them are pretty flimsy. How sad it is if the only WHY we offer is so that they can go to MORE school i.e. college. It is also sad if the only final answer is so that they can “get a job”.

What is an education really? What would you want your education to have been? What would your ideal education for your kids be?

I’d love your input!


Live, learn and play!