5 Homeschool Habits To Build Into Your Children

This post is part of the Ultimate Homeschool Series

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It's important to begin (or continue) every year with habits which help us continue on the path God has called for us. Even when the goals are similar, often, having a fresh perspective, a fresh year, and maturing children allows us further direction into fine tuning those habits.

We need to focus on areas that can improve and continue to pour into our relationship with Christ in deeper ways so we can lead our children into a deeper relationship with Him as well.

Here are 5 habits to include in your homeschool year:

Dedicated Discipleship

Not just Bible reading and meal time prayers, but real discipleship; when we read and what we're taught is lived out. When we point out God's promises as He is faithful and learn to trust Him when we cannot see, and talk regularly with our children on these real-life happenings and how they relate to the Bible and what we've learned.

Part of discipleship is discipline.  The rest is recognizing His Spirit and learning to tune ourselves into Him every moment of everyday. It's important we are dedicated to growing our relationship with God and leading our children to do the same. Part of this is done through Scripture and prayer, but the majority of it is living it out and showing our children we trust God and point out how He works in our lives so our children can "see" Him.

Routine, Routine, Routine

Everyone around thrives on routine. My goal is to continue to solidify our schedule even more through adding some important elements to our daily routine.

These include read aloud time (more on that below), devotionals (in addition to Bible reading), meals and chores, and focusing most on those morning hours. 

It's important for my children that we at least do chores and lessons in the same order everyday. It helps them know what to expect and what is expected of them. 

The morning hours are really our golden time of day here. Once lunch is over, our minds start drifting and it's time for something more hands on. So I need to make sure I am utilizing the precious time during the morning to do any work that requires some focus and brain power.

It's really up to the parents to form habits within the child, so we are the ones who need to be on top of making that happen every single day.

I can tell you from experience that when I fail to work my habits and help my children remember to work theirs, they don't work 'em. They are still in training and will need consistency for a long time!

Regular Reading Aloud

Reading aloud is such an important part of parenting. It's not only great for academic nurture, it's excellent mother-to-child nurture. It helps us connect and spend time together.

Reading aloud helps create a language rich atmosphere and opens doors to imagination and critical thinking skills.

It's so easy (unfortunately) to fall out of the habit of reading aloud. It is something that we must be intentional about. Having a stack of titles ready to go, and making regular trips to the library in order to pick up said titles helps with this.

When we fail to plan, I fail to read.

Focus on Fine Arts

Another thing that's easy to do is get caught up in too much book work and drilling and forget about the hands-on learning that really helps open up the creative minds of our children. Just like us, our children need an outlet. I really believe fine arts is that place. A place to unleash their passion in a way that allows their creativity to take shape.

At times, I get so focused on making sure all the academics are covered, I leave little room for creating.

My girls do ballet at a dance academy and my eight year old son is teaching himself piano. But I need to allow for more painting and drawing, too. Most of my children love to write, so I do allow time for story-making. 

You can pick one day of the week to really allow your children to focus on the fine arts they are interested in. They can work at home or you can join a co-op if you feel that option is a good fit for your family. 

Creativity needs to come alive to help academics flourish. It's important we don't neglect that part of our children's homeschooling. 

Learn Through Life

Although this shouldn't be a tricky habit, for me it is. I grew up going to public schools so all my ideas of learning are compartmentalized and formal. I want to integrate our lessons in our everyday life naturally, and also be mindful of more teachable moments throughout our days for spiritual growth and life lessons.

The only way I know how to do this is to be mindful of my moments with my children. There are some things they will learn from me that a book really cannot teach.

Remember, successful homeschooling depends on good habits. 

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There are some habits as homeschoolers that can help lay a foundation for a successful year and deeper relationships.

For His Glory,

Christin

How To Train Children to Overlook Small Offenses

A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. ~Proverbs 19:11

Sibling rivalry seems like an inevitable part of parenting. It's natural that siblings are going to fight and squabble, and while that may be true, to what degree does it become too much? 

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This is beautiful training ground for teaching our children how to deal with conflict-resolution. Did you know many adults have not even had training in such a necessary skill? They struggle at work because they do not know how to deal with conflict. It's important for our children to enter into the world knowing how handle an offense.

What constitutes as a small offense?

Here are some examples from my own children:

  • tone of voice

  • brushing against someone as they pass

  • accidentally kicking a toy when someone walks by

  • receiving someone else’s clean laundry

  • sitting in someone else’s seat

  • someone taking 10 minutes on the swing

Of course, the child causing said “small offenses” should also be made aware of them and taught to use their manners when they make a mistake, “Excuse me, I’m sorry, let me help you”, etc.

Overlooking small offenses does not give our children the right to purposely create them, of course.

Why teach our children to overlook an offense?

A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. ~Proverbs 12:16

  1. It teaches them how to handle conflict on their own. After several sessions of teaching your child to simply let go of a sibling taunting or nagging them, they will be able to handle these conflicts independently. Disclaimer: there may be instances when a parent needs to step in.

  2. It will result in less conflict as the issue won't be taken to the next level. It will simply be ended. Typically, when a provoking sibling does not get the desired response of annoyance and frustration, they will stop doing said behavior.

  3. It teaches our children humility. This is an excellent opportunity to put into action what it means for our children to bring themselves to a lower level of priority. This is not to say they are not important people. Of course they are! But the price to pay for attacking back is far too high.

  4. It teaches our children forgiveness. Each time they overlook an offense, they are forgiving that person of the offense. They are letting it go, and not holding it against them. This is an excellent way to teach our children forgiveness in a most tangible way.

How can we teach our children to overlook an offense? Plus a few more examples:

  • By teaching them to not respond to trite misdeeds. An example would be rude facial expressions, such as sticking out ones tongue. Or displeasing noises only meant to annoy. The key here is not to respond at all.

  • Teach them to quietly and respectfully walk away. If the child is struggling to concentrate because of said behavior, teach them to quietly and without eye contact or word, just move locations.

Several of my children are still learning what it means to overlook an offense. It’s difficult and I get it. It requires the crucifying of the flesh in order to accomplish this. But what a beautiful way to teach them how to live out the Word of God in such a practical way.

Keep in mind, this does take some discernment on the parents part. Praise your children when they put this into action because it is not always easy to do! Also consider the offender's behavior and whether discipline is in order. This type of resolution is not meant to be taken advantage of by the offender.

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. ~Colossians 3:13

What is one way you have taught your children to handle conflict?

For His Glory,

Christin Slade

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Sibling rivalry seems like an inevitable part of parenting. It's natural that siblings are going to fight and squabble, and while that may be true, to what degree does it become too much?