Seeing Outside Our Own Windows

As we continue in our series of posts using the word HOMESCHOOL as an acronym, we come to the letter O. 
What I’ve Learned About HOMESCHOOLing: 

Seeing Outside Our Own Windows
Swimming lessons, basketball practice, family holiday plans…Which science curriculum should I use? Did Scott finish his math homework? Did I pay the water bill?...

Sometimes it is very easy for us to get so busy in our own little world that we lose sight of the big world around us. This is especially easy when we are homeschooling, because so much time and energy must be centered on our children and our home.

I urge you, however, to recognize the importance of seeing outside your own windows and investing in the lives of others—not only for yourself, but also because of the awareness it creates in your children!

It is more comfortable and less messy to hunker down at home and only focus on our own family’s needs, but life is not all about us! This is a very important life lesson our children not only need to hear, but also need to experience.

See the value of others.

I know this may seem hard to comprehend, but everyone does not do things the same way your family does! 

Although I am being a little bit facetious, our homeschooled kiddos do need to realize that this is actually a fact of life. The world is full of unique people, from many walks of life, who have different abilities, backgrounds, and interests.

They need to be taught that all people have value—no matter what their ethnic background, financial standing or physical abilities may be.

We can “talk teach” these lessons, but experience is a much better tutor! 

My cousin’s family spends a week each summer volunteering at a homeless shelter in the city so that her teenage girls can get a hands-on view of life and understand how blessed they truly are. Last summer, the girls actually asked to spend an extra week at the shelter, instead of going on vacation, because they wanted to help the people they had gotten to KNOW over the years!

See the needs of others.

How can your family reach out and help those in your neighborhood? In your community? Around the world? How can you actively meet the needs of other people? 

Here are a few ways our family has found to reach outside our four walls:
  • donating non-perishables to the local food bank
  • saving up coins to fill baby bottles for the local pregnancy center
  • collecting supplies for our town’s homeless shelter
  • packing Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes
  • shoveling snow for an elderly woman in our neighborhood
  • cutting a shut-in neighbor’s grass
  • making meals for sick family members and friends

What are some ways that your family has found to meet the needs of people around you? 

The richness that comes as we reach outside of ourselves cannot be produced through a book or a movie. It must be personally experienced. In order to raise compassionate adults, our families must be others-centered, not just home-centered. 


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