As homeschoolers we teach our kids many different subjects. This year I’m teaching my kids the basics (math, grammar, spelling, reading, writing, science, history) plus art/music appreciation, photography and art journaling. But the most important things we teach aren’t always in academic lessons. We also teach our kids each day by what we do and how we act, teaching by our example. They are great at mimicking our actions, our words and our attitudes. So we have to keep that in mind as we go along. Some of the things we teach by example are kindness, politeness, loyalty, and friendship. We also teach practical skills by example.
The kids watch us as we clean our homes, care for the pets, care for ourselves, and cook the meals each day. I remember when my daughter kept following me around with her mini-broom as I swept the kitchen. It was cute and practical, learning as she went. When she was old enough I let her help me. That is how teaching by example works. We might have them help us as they are able to do so. We can give them chores and assign them responsibilities when they are capable. As they grow older we may even hand over some chores.
When my son was a toddler he loved watching my husband work on the car or anything mechanical. My husband set out a few tools that CJ could play with when it was reasonable, or the plastic toddler versions. After a while CJ knew which tools were which. My husband would ask for a tool and CJ would hand it to him. Now at ten CJ is a perfect helper for many projects that are done around the house. My husband’s example has shown the practical skills of tool usage and also the character based skills of hard work, follow through and determination.
We set our kids up to be successful adults, ready to handle themselves and deal with the world, when we teach them by example. What practical or character based skills are you teaching by example? I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.