Academics are important, but they are not the most important skills we teach our children.
Some of you are nodding your heads, and others are ready to stop reading and call me crazy. No matter which side you are on, hear me out.
Academics are important, and in our home, we strive to make sure that our children have an education that will allow them to pursue whatever options God might be calling them to, which could include entering a four-year university.
However, academics are only third on my list of overarching goals for our homeschool.
- To teach my children about Jesus and help lead them to a saving relationship with Him.
- To give my children the skills they need to be independent and productive adults.
- To prepare them academically for whatever path God leads them to pursue.
What Do You Mean Life Lessons?
In this context, when I say life lessons, I am speaking about learning life skills. This could include any number of skills. For example, cooking, cleaning, making phone calls, setting up appointments, and laundry.
In our home, it also includes our homestead tasks. My children learn to garden, care for their chickens, raise animals, and more. This teaches them skills needed to help provide for themselves and their families, responsibility, work ethic, and more.
Home and car maintenance and repair also fall under life lessons. Car maintenance might be as simple as teaching them to pump gas. I once had a dear friend who owned a car and made it to college without knowing how to pump her gas, which made things very challenging for her.
Life lessons can also include less tangible skills like visiting those who are grieving or sick and sending cards to people who are lonely or going through a tough time.
There have been times when we have been going through difficult family times, and we rarely opened our textbooks. When my grandfather was dying from cancer, and we spent as much time as possible with him, when our town flooded and we focused on hurricane relief work, and the weeks right after our youngest children were born. However, my children learned life lessons far more valuable than we find in textbooks in those times.
How Do You Teach Life Lessons in Your Homeschool?
Sometimes when I hear people talking about something else I need to teach my children, I start stressing about adding another curriculum or one more thing to our daily to-do list.
However, you do not necessarily have to plan life lessons in your homeschool, you certainly do not need a curriculum, and they will lighten your load over time.
Include your children in your day-to-day activities. Have them help you in the kitchen, fold clothes, start the laundry, gather the eggs, or whatever other chores are required.
Over time, they will do the tasks more and more independently, which benefits them and your home because you do not have to do it all.
As you help those around you or deal with challenging situations, make sure to include them. This will look different for different children and different ages, but children learn so much through being involved.
Resources For Life Lessons in Your Homeschool
If you want a curriculum to help you be more intentional about life lessons in your homeschool, SchoolhouseTeachers.com (aff) has some great electives for home economics, money management, cooking, homesteading, and other life skills.
Do not underestimate the power of simply living life with your children and including them in daily tasks. They will learn skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.
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