I admire homeschooling parents, and yet I don’t envy them. It seems tough, and I never wanted all of that responsibility. I’ll let school handle that, I thought.
Then I was listening to a podcast, and heard something from a speaker that has stuck with me. He stated that any time your kids are home with you they are being homeschooled, and they can “either learn things that matter or they can be learning from the Flintstones.” This declaration was common sense. Besides, who still watches the Flintstones? And yet, it really got under my skin. Anytime our kids are with us they are learning something whether we want them to or not. Even parents that aren’t homeschooling, are, well, homeschooling.
So yikes, what had my kids been learning with me? The results were a mixed bag, and I realized that I needed to look at our days differently. Perhaps I should look through the eyes of a homeschooling mom.
What Our Kids Should be Learning at Home
Not only should we be reinforcing what they teach at school, but there’s just so much that isn’t taught in depth there. We want our children to succeed in money management, healthy eating, connection, effective communication, responsibility, cooking skills, and leadership skills. But where will they learn these if not from us? And how can we make sure that we fit these lessons into our busy lives?
The best answer I’ve been able to find so far is to incorporate these lessons into systems and rituals. The kids have daily checklists to learn responsibility and then get an allowance to learn more about money. We work on connection and communication during our family rituals. We set family goals every year. It’s all a work in progress, but it helps thinking of myself as a homeschooling mom.
So, today, did my kids sit in front of screens? Or did they…
- help fix something?
- cook a fun recipe like during our healthy eating project?
- play games or build something?
- discuss doing hard things at dinnertime?
- do a chore?
- have free playtime where they used their imaginations?
- try a new vegetable?
- learn a different way to control their anger?
This isn’t to say that all television and electronics are bad (mom and dad need breaks too)! However, we have to be aware that when they are using screens it’s taking away from time that’s spent learning valuable life skills. It’s about being intentional. I’m definitely NOT perfect at this. We have plenty of bad days and get into ruts just like everyone else. But, I do think it helps tremendously to remind myself that I am indeed in charge of my kids’ education. It isn’t up to our school. It’s up to me. And the responsibility is possibly the biggest one in my life.