I wasn’t homeschooled, but a lot of the most valuable skills and ideas that I use as an adult are things I learned outside the classroom. Sharing as much time as possible with wise family members made me who I am. I’m grateful for the time they spent with me. I plan to homeschool my son, and one of the reasons is that I believe homeschooling will make it easier for me to pass on to him the lessons I learned from my family.
My father owned his own business. During the summers, he would take me on his rounds as often as possible. The benefit was immeasurable. I saw how to work with people, how to build relationships, and how to effectively organize time. We would often shop for business supplies, and he always let me help him find the best prices. I was learning life skills that most of my peers didn’t learn until much later.
Now I understand that not everyone has the kind of flexibility or resources that my dad did, but the point is that including your children in the day-to-day activities of adult life has huge benefits. Many of today’s young adults who did not have as much interaction with “adult tasks” have no idea how to do basic things such as balancing a household budget, cooking a meal, repairing a toilet, or adding wiper fluid.
I also remember my mother patiently letting me measure out each ingredient in measuring cups when I would help her cook. Today my wife is glad that I can give her a break every once in a while and prepare a halfway decent meal, or team up with her in the kitchen for more elaborate creations. Here’s a blog post about one way to get your kids involved in the kitchen.
You have valuable skills to share with your children, and homeschooling makes that easier since they’re with you throughout the day. Maybe it’s running your errands with you, working on that household project, or shopping for car insurance. Let them look over your shoulder and help when they can. Maybe you can even tie the activity to what they’re learning. Kids should be kids, but I think it’s important not to shelter them from the responsibilities they will face in life. They’ll thank you later.
Share the valuable lessons that you learned from being at home with your parents in the comments below!