Kindness. Unity. Peace. Flexibility. Generosity. Diligence.
Values are the ties that bind a family together. They differ from family to family, however these values help to steady the perspectives and behaviors of each family member so that the collective outlook, the way they view the world and their unique set of circumstances provide a bigger sense of hope, meaning, and significance, especially when facing challenges and difficult situations.
I realized pretty quickly into our homeschooling journey that our home was not really operating the same way my teacher classroom had. There I had rules. I had developed a system for classroom management that worked for multiple kids who were not my own, and all my teacher wits and tricks to be able to keep things running smoothly.
But our own offspring, these little humans who we love unconditionally, provide a new level of emotional distress to deal with at times.
I came to understand that, while I would have told you that one of my most important values is peace, my home and our learning environment was anything but peaceful.
She wouldn’t listen.
I’d get frustrated.
She’d push back.
I’d roll my eyes behind her back.
It was an endless ping pong match of anger and attitude. On both sides.
I finally figured out that, to set up both of us for success, we were going to have to hash out what exactly makes this family run — what’s most important to us? What are our values? Once we did that, everything fell into place. We had an agreed upon framework for setting expectations, behaviors, routines and everything else we needed for success doing school at home.
If you’ve been struggling to do school at home effectively, here are two quick tips for a) finding out what your family values even ARE and b) using those family values as a springboard to dive into the school pool without sinking straight to the bottom.
1. Have a Family Values meeting with your people. It’s time for a real heart to heart with everyone inside your family team. Be honest with each other and admit together that school at home is going to need a “break-in” period while the family is getting used to the new dynamics.
Explain that during this time, you’re going to work together to develop a system and structure that works for everyone, each individual student and the adults too. Invite your child into the conversation to gain their perspective and suggestions about how they think homeschooling should go and what they feel they’ll need to be successful..
Note: Keep in mind that some kids will respond differently — some will want to have influence right away while others may find it overwhelming after not having much input when they were school students. Listen, process, and use your intuition to receive their ideas from a place of curiosity rather than control.
2. Ask your child what matters most to them. Honor the differences and similarities that feel most important to your child as you define a new approach to learning.
Ask them what they disliked about their previous situation, and create a more comfortable way of doing things as you move forward.
Have an awesome day!
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