10 Things I Want my Children to Learn that Schoolwork Can't Teach Them

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Dear Shaylie & Nevaeh,

I love homeschooling you. We have our bad days, but the good days make up for them. Sometimes I get too focused on the lesson plans and forget the real reason why we’ve chosen to homeschool you.

Sweet girls, I want you to know that the most important lessons to be learned aren’t going to be found in any of your school books. If I only teach you academics then I have greatly failed at my job as a homeschool mom. There are so many things I want you to learn, but these top ten are more important than any math equation or science project.

These ten things will provide you with an unshakable foundation in this rocky world:

  1. Your relationship with God must come first. Everything else in this world will fail you, but He never will. I know I don’t always do a great job of modeling this principle for you, but know that your mama is crazy in love with Jesus and I pray that you will be too.
  2. Don’t let anyone or anything ever come between you girls. God has given you a wonderful gift by having a sister so close in age. I know you get on each others’ nerves daily, but your bond is so deep. Family is forever.
  3. Never turn away from an opportunity to help someone. Your greatest blessings will come from serving others.
  4. Always keep your integrity. As our pastors say, “remember who you represent”. Everyday you are a reflection of Jesus. You may be the only reflection of Jesus that someone ever sees.
  5. This world is not your home. You were made for so much more. Don’t lose sight of that, especially when things get rough {and they will}, know that the pain of this world is temporary. Jesus already has your mansion waiting for you. Don’t give up the fight.
  6. Respect yourself. God made you uniquely you. No one else in this world is like you. You are His treasure and you need to act accordingly.
  7. People will tell you to respect your elders, but I think it goes further than that. I want you to love your elders. They are your heritage. Listen to them, they are filled with wisdom. Though they may appear weak now, their strength surpasses anything you can imagine. Value your time with them.
  8. Always say what you mean. You may not get another chance. Words can kill or empower, choose yours wisely.
  9. Never lose your passion. Never let anyone kill your dreams. With Jesus on your side, you can do anything your heart desires. There is no one on this Earth that can stand in your way. Dream big girls!
  10. No one can ever steal your joy. They may hurt you deeply and make you mad enough to scream, but they can’t take the joy of the One who saved you from your heart. Let ’em try, He will defeat them every time.

I can’t wait to see where God carries you in this life. I know He has big plans for both of you and I am so proud that he chose me to be your mommy.




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This Post Has 25 Comments

    1. Thank you!! 🙂

  1. Your list is very similar to mine. I want my sons to be MEN..Not little boys running around in a MAN sized body. Our nation has enough males who still act 12. I want integrity,honesty and a good Work ethic. And I aim for thsen who are so infectiously in love with Jesus that the will preach Jesus with their lives and their mouths!

    1. Hi, Tonia! I agree this world is full of adults acting like children. 🙁 Good for you for raising boys who will love Jesus. Blessings to you!

  2. Love your list! I also want my son to learn to be a MAN of Jesus not just a big adult sized baby.

  3. Amen, Heather! Another one on my list of how I have raised my daughter is: if you are following God’s will, you are SUCCESSFUL! It doesn’t matter if you have a big house, a fine car, all the wealth this world can offer, a prestigious career, or what others consider a perfect family. None of it matters if you are not in God’s will; and please don’t let anyone in this world influence you enough to re-define what you consider success.

    1. Yes, Jean!!! You are right. Thanks for sharing, friend. Blessings!

    1. You are so right, Lindsey. PS, I love your blog. God is using you for great things! 🙂 Blessings!

  4. Well said! I love everything on your list and I strive to do the same for my three. Many blessings to you.

    1. Thank you, Callie! 🙂

  5. This is so sweet. I’ve concluded that, as much as I love the “school” part of homeschooling, it’s really the LEAST important thing about raising my kids to be whole, God-fearing adults.

    1. Amen, Cindy!!

  6. Love it, Heather! It is so good to remind ourselves, and I love how you wrote your girls this letter to remind them, too. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Wendy! Blessings!

  7. Hi! I just saw your post shared on Facebook today. The message couldn’t be more timely! It was another frustrating day for me as I was reviewing my fourth grader on his language lessons. I feel like a failure whenever he doesn’t give me the right answers, I feel I was not able to teach him well. I decided to go to my room and just cry out to God! The Lord in his mercy, reminded me that what I REALLY needed to do was to love my son, to love my kids. He said to look to Him always if I want to know how to love them. Thank you for your post as I needed an encouragement from another homeschool mom. God bless you more!

    1. Hi, Jude! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your day with me. Isn’t it amazing how a little time with God can change our perspective? Keep going, sweet Mama you are a huge blessing to your children. (Hugs)

  8. I love this!!!! I wasnot expecting a letter whenI opened this page—- I think I need to do this for my kiddos—-thanks!

  9. Beautiful list!

  10. I LOVE the list! I don’t have the pleasure of Homeschooling, but the list is still something I strive to teach my three girls too. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Doris! 🙂

  11. I’m a huge supporter of homeschooling…. but this list should not be pitted against school as if a child can’t learn these things if they go to a school. In a way, this list and post demonizes parents who send their kids to a school. Isn’t that exactly the attitude home-schoolers have been fighting against for decades?

    I would have renamed this post “10 things I will teach my own children as I parent.”

    1. Matthew- I’m sorry you feel this way. Never once did I mention anything in the post that suggests a public school child could not be taught these same things. In fact, I never mentioned public school or homeschool {except to say that “If I only teach you academics then I have greatly failed at my job as a homeschool mom.”} This post was about my views on mothering my children as a homeschool mom. I’m sorry if I offended you in anyway, but no I wouldn’t change anything I’ve written here. As for the name of the post, it’s pretty simple. “10 Things I Want my Children to Learn that Schoolwork Can’t Teach Them.” This doesn’t imply that I homeschool. Going strictly by the name of the post, I could be a public school parent and these are 10 things I would still want my daughters to learn that they would never learn in a classroom. Thank you for reading and your support of homeschooling, but we’ll kindly have to agree to disagree about this one! 🙂

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Hi, there! I’m Heather Bowen, and I am so glad you’re here.

My passion lies in helping homeschool moms balance marriage, motherhood, homemaking, and homeschooling all while remaining sane!

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