A Lesson in Character

Social Graces Should Surround Us

In the daily life of homeschooling it can be easy to forget some key points.  Yes, assignments need to get done.  Yes, appointments have to be kept.  Yes, household duties need to be completed.  The list goes on…

As parents we are privileged to be able to spend our days with our children.  Teaching them academics, but also the social graces needed for a fruitful life.  All the academics are great, but will only turn out a knowledgeable adult without the common sense on how to use that knowledge for a greater good.

So how can we teach these social graces?  Definitely not from a book.  You can get ideas and inspirations from books but the ultimate lesson is in modeling those characteristics.  Characteristics that are so important that they will make a lasting impression on our children.  We can also encourage them to follow our example and look for ways to grow in social graces.

5 Great Ways to Get Started

1.  How often there are events or social gatherings where someone new is present.  No one really knows the new girl and she might sit off to the side or by herself.  Do we look around the room to see an opportunity to introduce ourselves and make them feel welcomed?

2.  A familiar scene is when a group of women are chatting and a person comes up that knows one of the women in the group and chats only with them.  Does the woman coming up make a point to say hello to the others and meet them?  Does her friend make a point to tell everyone, “This is my friend ____.” and a little bit about her to initiate conversation.

3.  It is easy to remind our children to say please and thank you.  Do we use these words with our children as well?  Or just shoot out commands?  Do we tell our friends please and thank you?  Spouses like to hear it too.

4.  Opportunities to serve a family or individual in need are constant.  Bringing a meal, mowing a lawn, running errands, taking care of children or the sick and elderly are all beautiful gifts that are deeply appreciated by the recipients.  It shows love in action.  Involving our kids to help us with these tasks makes them all the sweeter.  We get to spend time with our children bringing love to others.

5.  Teaching your children to pray for others is invaluable.  It not only teaches them where true trust lies as we put our humble requests at God’s throne, but it shows compassion for others in an outspoken way.  The children hear our prayers for a special intention and can create their own because they have heard real life examples.

In reality living social graces is living as a Christian.  Including others so they don’t feel left out, taking into consideration another’s thoughts and feelings about a situation, saying we are sorry when we have done wrong, forgiving those that have hurt us, looking for opportunities to bring joy to others, these are just some of the daily lessons that really make the homeschool education more than just a set of academic requirements.

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