Academics are an important part of homeschooling, but they’re not everything. Here are some valuable life lessons that can impact homeschooled students.
One common question I hear homeschooling parents ask is: How can I prepare my kids for college?
This isn’t a terrible question to ask. It’s important to prepare your children for college! But as someone who was homeschooled all the way until college, I’ve found that the greatest value in homeschooling was in how it prepared me for life beyond college.
Life Lessons I Learned Through Homeschooling
You can prep your teen for SATs and ACTs all day long. But if she isn’t learning crucial life lessons, then she’s in for a rude awakening when she graduates from college.
I’m not saying to ignore the grades or the government standards or the co-op requirements. But I encourage you to keep these four life lessons at the heart of your homeschooling:
1. How to Love Jesus
I list this one first because it is, by far, the most important lesson. My dad has been a pastor since before I was born, but that didn’t mean I was going to love Jesus.
My spiritual education went beyond going to church each week. I remember being 4 when my dad taught me the basic tenets of the gospel. Every night, he would put us to bed with a Bible story and a song.
As we kids got older, my parents required us to read the Bible before we ate breakfast. Was my heart always in it? No. There were times I lied about reading the Bible so that I could eat some Cap’n Crunch. (Sorry, Dad.)
But when I was 12 years old, I realized there was a darkness in me that I couldn’t fix on my own. And I knew that in order to get rid of that darkness, I had to do one thing: Surrender to Jesus.
When God rescued me, all that spiritual knowledge and discipline my parents taught me kicked into gear. I no longer “had” to read the Word and pray every day. I loved doing it!
That discipline has stayed with me until now, over 15 years since I got saved. Knowing and loving Jesus has dictated how I cultivate relationships, how I spend my money, and even how I run my business!
And that’s not the only way my parents trained us spiritually. We also took homeschool character classes, including Bible study courses and practical classes about godly living and family.
Teaching your child how to have a personal relationship with Christ is by far the greatest gift you could ever give them. You can begin now by implementing those daily disciplines and life lessons during homeschooling.
2. How to Love Reading
My homeschool years were full of books, books, and more books. My mom had me read about 100 books each year in middle school and high school—whether for literature, history or fun.
And yet, reading comprehension was always my lowest score in standardized tests. I may not be a natural reader, but because my mom made me read so much, I had no problem with the quantity or difficulty of college reading assignments.
But my parents were also intentional about the types of books they had us read. We read textbooks here and there, but the vast majority of the books we read were living books.
If you’re familiar with the Charlotte Mason method, you know that living books are those written in a conversational and narrative style. The authors are passionate about the topics they’re writing about, which makes the reading fun!
If all I read during homeschooling were dry textbooks, I probably would have hated reading. But because I enjoyed what I read, I learned to love the very discipline of reading.
Even now, six years after graduating college, I regularly read for fun and personal growth. This is a crucial skill to take into adulthood!
If you can teach your children to love reading, you are laying the world at their fingertips.
3. How to Love Writing
I think loving to write goes hand in hand with loving to read.
The best way to learn to write in a particular style is to consume quality content in that style. No matter how old you are, you’ll always learn a skill first and foremost by mimicking it.
My mom made sure we had plenty of opportunities to write based on what we read. We wrote essays and book reports, of course. But she also gave us fun assignments, such as writing novels, short stories, poems, and more.
I remember writing a diary entry from the perspective of a pioneer in a covered wagon when I was in middle school. That history lesson stayed with me!
No matter how old you are, you’ll always learn a skill first and foremost by mimicking it.
Learning to write well obviously had tremendous benefits in college. But even after I graduated, I took these life lessons into my job at a Christian magazine, where I worked as an editor and journalist.
I’ve written hundreds of articles about people who are changing the world for Jesus. And I know that never could have been possible if my parents didn’t teach me to love writing.
Your child may not become a professional writer, but that doesn’t matter. Knowing how to write well—and love it—can equip them to impact lives for Christ in whatever field they pursue.
4. How to Love Learning
Let’s not kid ourselves. Homeschooling is hard work—whether you’re the teacher or the student.
Because of that, homeschooling is the perfect atmosphere to teach life lessons about being a self-motivated learner.
I’m talking about teaching your child to research online, read books, hire a tutor/coach, or take extra classes—all because they’re hungry to learn.
When your kids take an active responsibility for their learning, they cultivate a mindset that stays with them their entire lives. A hunger to learn follows your kids into their careers, their walks with Jesus, and even their relationships.
My parents always made my siblings and me feel as though we could do anything—if we were willing to learn and work hard.
That mindset has served me even now as I’ve launched my own content marketing business and blog, where I teach Christian entrepreneurs how to grow their brands online. I’ve had to research for countless hours, take dozens of courses, and interview helpful professionals so that I could learn how to launch out on my own.
These four life lessons made that dream possible!
What is your child curious about? What would they be willing to work extra hard to learn about? Cultivate this passion—and watch God do amazing things.
Jenny Rose Spaudo
Jenny Rose Spaudo is a Jesus-centered homeschool graduate and content marketing coach. When she’s not spilling marketing secrets on her blog for Christian entrepreneurs, you can find her soaking up time with her husband, Diego, or mentoring young women in the Word of God. Learn how to grow your business in a way that honors Christ at JennyRoseSpaudo.com!