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A few days ago, I heard the most shocking headline of my life. From the Washington Post:
Mama, as horrifying as it is that a huge portion of the rising generation doesn’t know about the biggest evil in modern history, it’s easy to understand why.
Because no one taught them about it.
You see, as much as we want to believe that there are some things that are so culturally ubiquitous that our kids will learn them simply by existing in the world, that just isn’t the case anymore.
And it got me thinking about what I really want my kids to learn during their time in my home.
So that I can make a plan to deliberately teach those things.
Because mama, we no longer have a culture that holds the same common values dear.
Here are 7 things to explicitly teach your kids.
Because not only will they not learn them by accident, but in most cases our public schools and public discourse are actively teaching the opposite of what we want them to on these topics.
1. Conservatism & History
If more than half of the rising generation has no idea what Auschwitz was, then I can only guess that the percentage of the population that has any idea what’s in the Constitution is even smaller.
Teachers and public officials are deliberately skewering the meaning of our nation’s most important legal document.
And they’re not doing a better job teaching our children the truth about the country’s founding or history either.
If you want your children to have knowledge and appreciation for the United States and to know the truth about the rest of the history of the world, you have to take matters into your own hands.
If you’re looking for a good place to start we love this animated series with an all-star cast from the early 2000s.
2. Manners & Ettiquete
As a child, my parents made sure we knew how to set the table exactly right. (Though I’ll still never understand why the spoon sits outside of the knife.)
But mama, even saying please and thank you is not a given among kids today.
And if I got a “Yes, ma’m,” I’d probably fall over.
But these are the markers of polite speech.
And they matter, in the impression your children will give to other people, and in how they will feel about themselves.
I am also making an effort to teach my children to do the things that I have let go, but that I know that my parents and grandparents saw as common place.
Things like sending thank you notes, writing letters and even being sure to RSVP to invitations.
If you’re looking for a primer, I have always had a weakness for Emily Post.
And her great-granddaughter-in-law has an etiquette book just for kids, which looks totally adorable!
3. Money Sense
One of the reasons that poverty is often a multi-generational curse is because parents who are bad with money do not know how to teach their children how to do things differently.
Everywhere your kids look they will see the message that they can simply borrow their way to whatever they want to have or achieve.
And if you don’t teach them differently, then this is exactly what they will believe.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my kids to start life at 22 years old with a bunch of debt and nothing but a philosophy degree and plans for more student loans to show for it.
This book is an excellent guide for teaching your kids how to master money.
And this kit is an excellent resource for helping your kids put what they learn into practice.
4. The Gospel
We often make things way more complicated than God ever intended when trying to lead our kids to Christ.
Because we imagine that our children must have the same biases, doubts and fears that we have as adults.
But, as God tells us in His word, nothing is more pure than the faith of a little child.
If you want your kids to know about the good news of salvation, and to understand it well enough to come to saving faith, then you just have to teach them early and often what the Truth is.
In a simple and straightforward way.
5. A Trade
If I’m honest, throughout my teens and early twenties I looked down on friends who didn’t attend college.
And then I graduated with mounds of debt and no idea how to turn my literature degree into a paycheck.
And once I did start working, I had to keep at it until my loans were paid off, even after I had my first baby, and I would much rather have been home full-time with her.
All the while, my high school friends who had chosen work or trade school had been working and saving, with no monthly obligation to Sally Mae.
If God leads my children down a path that requires college, and He provides the means for them to attend, of course I will support that.
But I will also do all that I can while my children are young to help them choose and train in a trade.
Because if the poop hits the fan, I’ll put my money on the plumber to support his family before the philosopher.
I know that the trend today is for adult children to live with their parents until well into their 20s or even 30s.
Just in case this whole parenting thing goes right, and we raise up our kids to go out into the world and they actually, you know, go…
On the off chance that that happens, it would be nice if they can actually do their own laundry and prepare their own meals as well.
But in order for that to happen, we have to teach our daughters and our sons how to cook, do laundry and mow a lawn while they are still living under our roof.
Which means that instead of doing all of these things for them, we need to wean them toward doing things for themselves.
Here is a great round-up of chore charts to get you started!
A few weeks ago a Christian friend shared that her 10-year-old daughter had asked her what sex is.
My friend gave a brief age-appropriate answer and moved on.
But Mama, while it might be awkward to explain sex to your kids, you need to do it.
And you need to do it in the context of God’s plan.
Because if you don’t, it is very likely that no one else will.
Church youth ministries are increasingly leaving discussions about purity to parents.
But you can bet that the rest of the world will share its message with your kids.
And Mama, it won’t be about purity.
If we want our children to wait for sex until marriage then we have to tell them so.
How To Win The Culture War At Home
The world is engaged in a battle for our children’s souls.
But as a homeschool mama, you are in the unique position to counter the most harmful messages your children will hear.
All you have to do is include deliberate lessons on the things that you most want your children to learn. And I have included links to some excellent resources to help.
What else are you making it a point to teach Mama?
We would love to hear in the comments!