Sunday, September 6, 2009

5 Things You Must Teach Your Children

Have you ever stopped and thought about 5 things that you must teach your children before they leave home? I say "must" because these 5 things will probably be so important to you that you couldn't imagine NOT teaching them to your children.

One of the beauties of homeschooling is being able to look back over everything you were taught, not taught, and life experiences and compile a list of "must-knows".

Einstein and I discussed some of the waste of time topics we were taught in every school we attended (middle school, high school, undergrad and doctorate!). How about the Kreb's Cycle? Ya, I've referred back to that a whole bunch in life.

Or how about the fact that every stinkin' math teacher in response to "when will we ever use this?" reduntantly repeated "oh, you'll use it every day." True, I use math in some form everyday but it's never the way they taught it. It's in the form of fractions (cooking) or the basic skills (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division).

I don't often (all though I have) solve for some unknown variable or compute the area of a nonagon.

Knowing what it is that you want you children to be equipped with as they leave the nest is hugely important. Perhaps I may sound like I have had this list filled out for a while Last night Einstein asked me and I was forced to thoughtfully come up with an answer.

Here are the 5 topics my children will learn from me before they graduate:
1) How to persuasively write.
2) How to defend their position on anything (debate).
3) How to create a healthy, balanced menu and cook those items with little effort. (girls)
4) Reasons why our family makes the choices we do: homebirths, breastfeeding, chiropractic, awareness of environmental toxins, ... Teaching them these things is probably my #1. They not only affect them but their children and so on.
5) How to budget. We follow Dave Ramsey and they are already familiar with him.

Einstein's list is similar, here is his:

1. About God. This includes prayer, what the Scriptures teach us, the Gospel, theology, and NT Greek to read the original NT language.

2. Love for learning through books.

3. How to start, grow and run a business successfully. (Preferably a home-based business.)

4. True health. How the body works and heals, and what can be used naturally to assist it's healing.

5. How to write and speak persuasively. (The better one is at this, the easier it will be to accomplish #3 above.)

6. Family Values. Includes marriage, kids, modesty, etc. (basically a subsection of #1 above.)

I didn't include a thorough working knowledge and understanding of the Bible in mine because I thought it was too obvious. But it is the #1 priority we work towards every day. ;)

I encourage you to prayerfully create your own list. It's never too early to start working towards those goals. Actually it makes them much easier to accomplish the earlier you start.


  1. Some other topics to teach before leaving the nest, (and I will add that teaching comes from the grandparents too) although these topics are not life saving or as important as the ones stated in the post, I feel these a important as well. You mentioned planning and creating healthy meals, I would include how to grow some of your foods. This is a dying art.

    Canning your foods, also a dying art.

    Sewing...simple tasks like threading a needle and sewing on a button may seem like a no big deal, but being able to save a garment from the cast off bin is essential. How many times have you bought something and the seam has worked loose or the button fell off. Irritating but not for the person who can whip a stitch into it.

    Learn to play a musical instrument!

    The love and art of creating something with your hands, this too can include baking, cooking, sewing, gardening, painting. Before there was television, radio and electricity...what did one do? They worked hard, took care of the homestead, family, community and friends, read and had conversations! wow! They made things and they just sat still and listened to nature and pondered the wonder of it all.

  2. All great ideas, Mom! When we move to a house on land we'll definitely be growing our own food. Can't wait for that day!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. I came to your blog through a comment you left on McMama's blog. I have two little ones four and two and I am considering home schooling but have been feeling a little unorganized, confused and overwhelmed by the opinions of others. I was encouraged when I read your blog and I think I will be sitting down tonight with my husband to make a list of things I must teach my children. Thanks again for sharing, I know I will be back.

  4. Thank you for visiting, Krista! Definitely check out my post called "Are you smart enough" ;)

  5. My list is a lot longer, but two things come to mind in reading yours. If I may:

    One of my personal goals is to have each of my children be able to cook and entire Thanksgiving dinner by themselves before they leave for college. If they can do that, they will be able to feed themselves for life. Preparing that meal covers all of the basics of cooking while teaching how to put on a whiz-bang dinner. It will also come in handy if my boys marry a smart, beautiful, funny, friendly, resourceful and delightful woman who does not cook. That leads me to my second thought. That same smart, beautiful, funny, friendly, resourceful and delightful woman who does not cook has an BS in math and an MS in engineering and frequently tells people who ask her if she uses math in her job, "No, I don't use math every day, but studying math taught me how to think. I do that every day in my job."


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