Academics Aren’t Everything: Character

I was going through some of my old homeschooling files and came across a list from fifteen years ago(!) of skills, character traits, or abilities I wanted my child to learn in preparation for adulthood. Before you read any further, I’d like you to take a moment and make your own list. Don’t worry about making sure they are your top ones; just list five skills, character traits, or abilities (or more) which you believe are important for an adult to know to live a happy, fulfilling, God-honoring life.

Do you have your five? Are you sure?? OK. Take a look at your list. How many of them are academic subjects or things taught in school? All of them? Probably not, unless you thought that’s what I was asking you to list. Some of them? Possibly. None of them? Could be.

Most of us are going to list at least some skills, traits, or abilities that are related to character, relationships, or life skills. Here are the five that came to mind for me: A personal relationship with Christ, compassion, communication, self-confidence, and critical thinking. Your list may be similar or it may look vastly different. God made us all different; and that’s good!

Academics are important but if we know what our priorities are, we remember academics aren’t everything. Don’t sacrifice opportunities to teach compassion or to learn how to communicate in order to squeeze in one more chemistry lesson or one more field trip. Take time to invest in your child’s character and the person God wants him or her to be. And don’t forget to tell your child how great they are!


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2 Responses to Academics Aren’t Everything: Character

  1. Joy says:

    You’re right on! As believers, we are here to lead others to the Lord. Yes, we should be good stewards of what God has given us and give our children a good education, but if they don’t grow up to have a burden for a lost world, we’ve missed the boat. Our priority lists are very similar! Thanks for emphasizing this to a homeschooling community who so often loses sight of why we are really doing this!


  2. Alissa says:

    This is such an important post that all homeschoolers should read and act on. For my son I have always tried to instill character values like empathy, self confidence and having a servant’s heart. However, I neglected to write these thoughts down and revisit them with my child. This is a wonderful suggestion for all homeschool parents to implement before the flurry of the next school year begins.


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