Whether actively or passively, we are always teaching: teaching others about ourselves, teaching others how to treat us, teaching others about our ideals, teaching principles to govern life, teaching faith or the lack thereof…simply teaching.
Maybe you have not considered this possibility. I really didn’t until I had several of my own children in my home and I watched the way younger children would mimic behavior of an older child. At that time, I coined this phrase in our home: “You are always teaching.” I have tried to help our children learn that they are always teaching others in every interaction (or even in the lack thereof) each day.
I teach them, too. Though I am not part of the homeschooling community, I do agree that what children learn at home–the most basic of lessons–helps to shape and mold their lives in myriad ways. My parents were teaching us Robert Fulgum’s Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten lessons before we ever set foot in a formal school, and I have tried to do the same for our children.
I find that sometimes the most passive teaching can be the most effective–words passed through daily chores together such as clearing a table after breakfast or cooking dinner together. I find conversations come up in queries regarding song lyrics or film topics, school happenings or world events.
We take time to formally teach, too, through a time set aside on Monday nights for a specific family evening of lessons and music and activities and a treat. We have a goal to create moments of discussion with our children, individually, regarding each one’s concerns and triumphs.
We are always teaching!