Do you ever feel uncertain about your choice to home educate your children when others criticize your decision? Our family is in our 6th year of home educating, so I understand this feeling all too well. But I believe that knowing and living by our family values can help us stay confident in our decisions, even when facing cynics and critics. Here are five ways in which home education can encourage strong family values:
Gain confidence in our choices
First, having a clear understanding of our family values gives us confidence in our choices. In her book, Dare to Lead, Brené Brown reminds us that having clarity of values is crucial. She believes that having a clear understanding of our values can be a guiding light to help us stay focused on our goals, even when facing criticism and doubts. If we know our values, it’ll be easier to keep going when things get tough. This confidence allows us to stick with it even when others criticize our decision to home educate.
Shape the direction of home education
Our family values give us a roadmap for our education. While curriculum is important, you must remember that it’s there to serve you and not the other way around. I often get asked about what curriculum we use for home education. I don’t mind sharing what we use. Our choices evolve over the years as we come to a better understanding of our family’s needs and values. By knowing our values, we can tailor our education to meet our family’s unique needs and interests. This means we create a well-rounded education that promotes lifelong learning.
Education that nourishes the mind, body & soul
It’s also important to think about how our family values contribute to a well-rounded education that nurtures our minds, bodies, and souls. As educator Charlotte Mason says, “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life.” So, by bringing everyday experiences into our learning, we create this beautiful holistic education that sees the child as a whole person.
There are many days when the curriculum gets put to the side because everyday life takes priority. In the past, I was hard on myself for not accomplishing the checklist of tasks that need to be done. Over the years, I continue to learn to make the most of those everyday moments. Our eldest brought his guitar when we went on holiday in April. What started one day as an opportunity to play for enjoyment turned into a special family time singing worship songs together. This experience encouraged him to download new songs to learn regularly and take learning to play the guitar more seriously.
Another great thing about home education is the opportunity to learn with our children. Learning together not only promotes a love for knowledge, but also demonstrates the importance of being curious and eager to learn. As our children progress in their education and face more complex challenges, we don’t have to rely on outside help to teach them. Instead, we have the privilege of learning together as a team.
Time for other pursuits
Lastly, home education allows us time for other interests and activities. Our short 2-3 hour school day gives us the freedom to pursue our interests, hobbies, practice hospitality, and spend time outdoors. This freedom allows us to prioritize what’s important to our family and the time to live out our family values.
In the end, having a clear understanding of your family values provides a strong foundation for your home education. You can personalise your approach to home education, which promotes lifelong learning, fosters a love of learning, and gives your children the tools they need to succeed. So when faced with criticism or doubt, remember why you home educate in the first place and stand confidently in your beliefs.