4 Life Skills Homeschool Parents Teach Mostly Through Example

a dad hugs his daughter
As homeschooling parents, we want to ensure our kids know math, history, spelling, reading, and other traditional school subjects. But did you know there are many things we teach those kids—who are with us all day long—that have nothing to do with school or what might be found on a standardized test. When you’re doing life together all the time, there are many lessons your kids will learn just by being around you. Here are four of them:

1. The Handling of Questions

How many of us have been put on the spot when asked a potentially controversial question about homeschooling? Suddenly all eyes are on us as we work to figure out just how to answer a question that might not have been asked nicely or that makes us angry. Or it could be a question that we have been asked a hundred different times and we’re tired of hearing.

4 Life Skills Homeschool Parents Teach Mostly Through Example

This is how our kids learn to deal with difficult questions and situations—by watching us handle them. Do you fly off the handle at the person who has asked the question, or do you answer it with patience and kindness? Do you freak out in the middle of an uncomfortable situation, or do you deal with it calmly? Remember: Your kids are watching and learning from your reactions!

2. The Value of Privacy

Because your kids are with you all day, it’s probable they will hear some of those things that aren’t meant to be repeated outside of your home. I’m not necessarily referring to language but private conversation you share with them, future plans that aren’t quite public yet, or your opinions about how other people do things.

It is important for kids to realize it’s possible to not be completely on the same page with someone (thus, your opinions at home) but still be kind to and productive with them in public. Talk about an important, real life skill!

3. The Meaning of Commitment

There are so many opportunities to get involved in as a homeschooling family. The great thing is that your level of involvement is completely up to your family. Will you fill your calendar until it is bursting at the seams? Will you choose to stay home all the time? Will your activity level be somewhere in the middle? It’s completely up to you, but know that your kids learn things about commitment choices while they are running—or not running—to everything under the sun.

Your kids also learn about commitment and what it means when you sign up for an activity or agree to be somewhere and then do—or don’t—show up. There is a fine line between flexibility and failure to commit. Know that your kids are learning about the difference by living life with you.

4. The Importance of Balance

Some days are simply busy, and there isn’t anything you can do about it! But hopefully your children can witness you taking a break to do something for yourself. It is good to take a break. It is good to have time to sit. Self-care quotes look wonderful as a meme on Facebook, but self-care is really best taught to your kids by example.

Since homeschool families are always together, your kids will be able to witness firsthand what happens when a parent doesn’t take time for herself. Whether it’s enjoying a book and a cup of coffee or sitting in the front yard staring at the clouds, show your kids what self-care looks like so it can be part of their habits as they grow and move into adulthood.

While we are out and about and doing life with our kids, they are watching our interactions and responses to everyone we come in contact with and every situation we are a part of. Let’s make sure we’re modeling the things we want them to learn!

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