There are a multitude of subjects to cover in homeschooling, then add into that the list of extracurricular activities you want your kids to experience. It is overwhelming to contemplate everything you want to impart to your kids not only as their teacher but also as a parent. It’s easy to fall into the habit of getting the homeschooling done so you can rush out the door so you can rush home for dinner so you can quick get everything cleaned up and the kids to bed so you can start over the next day. Is this why we are homeschooling? What happened to our high ideals of teaching them character and values before they fly off into the world?
The first challenge to fitting values into your homeschooling is taking the time to do it. I wish there was a guarantee that because we are home with our kids we are automatically teaching them the essence of what we desire for them as their parents. For me personally, I have to make a conscious effort to include those lessons into our day. I have to take time to put aside the academics for a few minutes to focus on the heart issues of why we homeschool.
What are your core values as a parent and a homeschooler? When you decided to homeschool there were probably a few things you had in mind as you visualized what homeschooling would look like for your family. In order to teach those values to your kids, you first need to identify them. For example, one of my core values is my faith. Part of our homeschooling includes an emphasis on faith and building that into my kids. Other core values we talk about a lot are character qualities we want to see in our kids like patience, kindness, and grace.
I would love it if our homeschooling looked like a Hallmark movie. How nice to gather my children around with a fire crackling in the fireplace while looking at each other with adoring glances of peace and harmony. Well, the real version of my homeschooling is that every single morning for the past two months there have been bad attitudes, arguing, and a considerable amount of pouting. This week I decided enough was enough. All the reminders for treating each other and Mommy with patience and kindness were somehow inadequate. The negativity was becoming a huge roadblock to our homeschooling and the peaceful environment I desired for our home. So, it was time to institute a consequence for the bad behavior. Amazingly, our week has been better because I finally addressed the roadblock head on.
If there is something you’d like to teach your kids there is probably a resource out there for it. Values are no exception. There may even be an app to make learning more fun. People of course are our greatest resource. I treasure the positive influence our pastors, co-op teachers, extended family, and homeschool moms have on my kids. They teach my kids by example, the qualities and values that are important to us as a family. Those are the people I reach out to if I need a physical resource. Recently our children’s pastor recommended an app called Bible App for Kids. My youngest loves it and often chooses it first for his iPad time. You can download it for free at www.https://bible.com/kids. Another resource that is super easy to use and comes with short lesson plans can be found at https://www.kidsofintegrity.com.
Pick a Value
Get started on teaching values! Take some time, pick out a value, find a resource and enhance your homeschooling with the ideals that matter most.
Sarah Brutovski is a homeschool mom of three children. She grew up just down the street from where she and her husband are raising their family now in rural Upstate New York. When she is not teaching her kids, grocery shopping, or drinking coffee you might