I have been homeschooling for five years now. In this time I have had my highs and lows. Everything from teaching a perfectionist to getting a dyslexia diagnosis. As I have been teaching both of my children I paid a lot of attention to the lessons I taught them. I wanted to raise intelligent well rounded adults. I have worked on different things each year. As of late though, I have realized that they are watching and learning from the things I don’t say. I wanted to share 10 things your homeschooler learns by watching you. Some of these may surprise you.
1. How to react to conflict – Every day your child is watching you as you respond to conflict. Whether it is between you and your child, you and your spouse, or you and a friend, they are watching. The way that you deal with conflict will show through to your child on a daily basis.
2. How to react to disappointment – Another big thing you child is watching is the way that you handle disappointment. When things fall apart in your life or don’t go to plan, how do you react? Your child is internalizing this and setting it as their normal.
3. What the educational standard is – This one is one where I dropped the ball. I was so obsessed with a certain GPA in college I didn’t realize my daughter was watching. She learned than an A is the goal above all goals because that was how I saw it. I was disappointed if I got a B. I felt like I failed. She learned this and internalized it. As you approach education with your child, know that they are watching you to find out what the standard should be.
4. Which people are important – You can tell your child all day that everyone is equal. However, they will watch the way you treat everyone you encounter. They are looking at your social encounters to find out how they should handle the same situation in the future.
5. What the priority is – I can tell my child every day that Jesus is number one in our lives. If I don’t show that in the way I live though, it won’t be considered true. The way I live will communicate clearly what the priority is and my children are watching that. What do you prioritize?
6. How to invest their time – One of the big things your children will learn is how to invest their time. How much time do you spend on Facebook, Pinterest, or other well meaning “breaks” from the day? Your children will learn how to spend their time based on where you spend the bulk of yours.
7. What clean is – One of the things my children watch closer than anything is what clean is defined as. Let me clarify. The standard of clean I set will be the standard of clean they make for themselves. I won’t tell you your house needs to be perfect. I won’t tell you to let it all go either. I will simply say, “look around. Is the house that you live in the standard you want your children to have?”
8. What friendship looks like – I have a few very close friends who I love more than anything. They are amazing and such a joy. My children watch these friendships. They watch how we spend time together, laugh together, grieve together, and even how we handle disagreements. In watching my friendships they learn valuable truths that will carry in to how they handle their friendships.
9. Our Marriages/Relationships – Children watch everything and one of the big things they watch is a romantic relationship. My daughter will learn more about how a man should treat her based on how my husband treats me than by any words I say. My son will learn more about how to treat a woman from his dad’s actions than he ever will from his words. What does your relationship with your spouse or significant other communicate?
10. How to handle money – How do you spend your money? Do you use the words broke or not in the budget? Do you impulse buy and then regret it later. Do you spend money like water or do you spend it like your wallet would die if it left? The way you handle money will say a lot to your children about what should or should not be done with money. For me, I try to do the opposite of most of what my parents did.
What have your children picked up from watching you? If there are lessons you wish they would not have learned there are ways to move past that.