Coping During a Crisis

Coping During a Crisis

Coping During a Crisis

Coping during a crisis takes thought and intention, which might be in short supply when a crisis hits. Ten years ago, we had one of those years. You know the type; the tough, painful type. Maybe you can relate. One Thursday morning, as we were all getting ready to leave for work and co-op, we discovered that our house was on fire to the point of being totaled by the insurance company, although it did not burn down. A day later, our college-aged daughter, several states away, landed in the ER. Four days later, my 47-year-old sister died. My husband contracted bronchitis and then pneumonia, and then back again. We threw away around 90% of our possessions, but we had to inventory it all first for insurance purposes, an exhausting and laborious process. We went from an extended hotel stay to a rental to an unfinished house during the worst flooding in our area in a century and had to walk through 4″ of freezing cold water to our only working shower for the first month after we moved back into our house. My Dad died a few months later.

Yeah. It was one of those years. It was stressful. We learned a lot. Including, set up and clean up are at least half of every project, it’s o.k. to rest and take breaks as needed, huge jobs don’t get done in one sitting, laughing and crying are good for the soul and sleep is cheap medicine. We had to let go of things we treasured. We had to embrace the new – even when it felt scary and uncertain.

Maybe you are needing some help coping during a crisis, even when we aren’t exactly sure what the emergency is or when it will hit.

Here’s a shortlist of helps as we all get through one of “those years.”

  1. Stick with your routine: When in crisis, do the familiar habits, as much as possible. This will lend a sense of normalcy and familiarity in otherwise unusual circumstances. This is especially important for younger children who rely on the familiar to tell them that the world is safe and all is well. My kids listened to the Story of the World CD’s for hours after our fire- to the point my son memorized portions of it. Jim Weiss’s voice was familiar and kind in a year of loss and upheaval.
  2. Create a new routine: when and if the old one is disrupted, create a morning time with Mom, Dad, and whoever else is home where you share a cup of coffee and cocoa, and chat. Create rhythms to your new normal- read for an hour after breakfast, walk the dog after you read, make lunch, do laundry, etc. When we were living in the hotel, after the fire, we spent hours, literally hours, at the hotel pool doing what I called “Pool school.” It was fun, easy, and relaxing.
  3. Rest & laugh: stress is exhausting. Give yourself permission to take a nap or take a break. Do something relaxing, like watching a movie, going on a walk, taking a warm shower. Something to get your mind off of the current situation and settled. Lower your cortisol levels and breath deeply. Did you know that 15 minutes of laughing is equivalent to a 2-hour nap, releases endorphins into your system, lowers your cortisol levels and gives everyone around you permission to relax? Not sure what to laugh at? Dick VanDyke’s re-runs are a great place to start.
  1. Realize that you really don’t have that much control over things in life anyway: your paygrade, no matter what your position, is not that high. So, take a breath and realize that God is in control, and He is a good God who loves His people well. You don’t have that much power, but you can know the One who does. And that is great comfort and great joy, regardless of whatever upheaval or frightening circumstances we find ourselves in.
  2. Be thankful: no matter what the stress, there is so much to be grateful for. The sun comes up every morning. Spring is coming. We live in a time with hand-soap, modern medicine, and paved roads.

And for those of us homeschooling, life continues, in many ways, as usual. My Orienteering class and I had a great live on-line meeting today, with students from coast to coast participating in an excellent discussion and break-out rooms.

What were we talking about? The Life Skill of Self-Care.

Personally, I’m not a fan of the term- I prefer the term “stewardship” because it recognizes that some things are beyond our control, but we can steward well regardless. The kids went around our Zoom room and shared what was happening in their part of the world, which ranged from school shutdowns to advised homestays.

We then broke into break-out rooms, and they came up with lists of ways to cope during a crisis, utilizing four categories: Physical, Mental, Spiritual, Emotional. Here’s what they came up with:

Ways to Cope During a Crisis

  • Spiritual – Stay in the word, pray, listen to worship music, and go to on-line church. Keep talking to God; keep connecting with Christ. Work on creating fellowship with others, even during a time of quarantine.
  • Social – Call and text people, set times for FaceTime, Google Hangouts, and Zoom meetings. Write letters. Check-in with friends daily, if even with a simple text message, and make chat and coffee dates on-line!
  • Emotional – Do something that makes you happy; eat cake, take showers, limit your news intake! Stay informed, but keep good boundaries to avoid depression and catastrophizing the situation. Read something inspirational. Celebrate the everyday.
  • Physical – Get outside, walk the dog, and teach her a new trick or two, work-out. Don’t neglect yourself; practice regular hygiene (which can be disrupted due to change of schedules or depression). Hot showers are a great way to relax and unwind.

And while class was in session, one student put on a crazy St. Patty’s Day Hat (Celebrate, y’all!) and they all made plans to meet up outside of class via google hang-outs! Which is precisely what we’re talking about!

coping in a crisis family emergency COVID 19

Get Support

Need support as you cope during a crisis, or even when you’re not? We love to come alongside fellow homeschoolers, those who planned to homeschool, and those homeschooling as an emergency measure! Check out our FaceBook page and groups for fellowship and occasional freebies for moms and kids- a great place for a little self-care.

Beyond Personal Finance -Curriculum Review & Give Away

Beyond Personal Finance -Curriculum Review & Give Away

Beyond Personal Finance

Beyond Personal Finance by Charla McKinley is a comprehensive high school program. She designed the course to give young adults a thorough understanding of money, budgeting and stewardship before they graduate from high school. The author, Charla McKinley, describes this course as a smash-up of Dave Ramsey and the Game of Life.

Designed for High School

Online live classes for high school students of True North Homeschool Academy on Finances and Life SkillsWhile the Dave Ramsey course is excellent, it is really designed for adults who are in financial trouble and need a way out of that trouble.

Most high school kids have a difficult time understanding what that could look like. Money is, after all, something most of them don’t have much of, think much about or struggle with. A benefit of Middle-class America is that our kids have their needs met and a good portion of their wants provided for, too. As a result, most teens have an abstract rather than concrete understanding of money. As one of the students in my high school class said, “Bills? I don’t have any.”

And that is exactly why Charla wrote this course. To give kids an idea of what kind of money questions and issues they will face as young adults and how to plan for, manage and think about the monkey wrenches that life continually throws in the way of all everyone out there “adulting.”

Lessons Included in the Course

This program consists of lessons in the following:

  • College and Careers
  • Budgeting
  • Car Purchase Apartment Rental
  • Spouse Selection
  • Credit Cards and Interest
  • Baby & Payroll
  • House Purchase
  • Insurance
  • School Choice
  • Investments,
  • Business Basics
  • Layoffs and Reconciliations
  • Income Tax
  • The Dangers of Divorce
  • Retirement

As you can see, Charla does not hold back. She addresses head-on difficult issues like layoffs and divorce. And while everyone says it won’t happen to them, the statistics say that 43% of American workers will be laid off at least once during their working years and 42-45% of all first-time marriages will end in divorce (and that number rises to 60% for second marriages). Monkey wrenches mess up even the best plans and these are life skills that will prepare our young people to overcome some of those obstacles.

Having Fun While Thinking of the Future

Think of this as a High School Cost of Living Project on steroids. One thing I love about this program is that there is vocabulary included in each chapter. Kids get a great overview of things like withholding tax, deferment, and depreciation. This course is meaty but not boring. Each chapter includes information and goofy videos like Identity Theft, that keep everyone laughing as they tackle serious stuff.

The Teacher’s manual is thorough and includes key terms, answer keys, charts and all the information needed to utilize this program in a class or co-op. Not all of the pages in the teacher’s manual are numbered, however, which makes it hard to track. I went through and tabbed sections for easier use. In my perfect world, I would have loved chapter objectives and a more structured, traditional Teacher’s Manual. This one has so much information, it can be overwhelming. But the value of the program makes it worth taking the time to tab each chapter and highlight the information you want to cover for each class period.

I’ve had several of my kids work through a COLA before and facilitated others students as well, and Beyond Personal Finance is the most comprehensive program that I’ve seen that gives kids real-world information that relates to where they’re at in life- as young adults about to embark on a great adventure.

It’s is a fantastic preparatory program- perfect for homeschools, co-ops, class COLA days or UMS programs! We’ll be utilizing this program with our True North Homeschool Academy online Orienteering class!

Scholarship Information

Students who are seniors and have completed the BPF program are also eligible to apply for their $1000 Scholarship Program. Visit the website to get all the details and requirements. The deadline to apply for that is no later than May 1st. Follow them on social media for updates on the program. If your high schooler needs more career exploration, check out our Young Professional Series of e-books.

The Giveaway!

Sign up for your chance to win a BPF program of your own! We are giving away a single student pack worth $150.00. You can see the product HERE.

The prize is a fun 20 lesson immersive course designed for middle school and high schoolers to learn personal finance skills.

Enter anytime from March 10-25th!

Enter Here:

 

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Lessons Found in Family Travel

Lessons Found in Family Travel

Jet-setting Families

Why travel with your family? It can certainly require a lot of effort! But family travel is full of teachable moments for our children and us! Diapers, strollers, pack-n-play, car seats, boosters, snacks, toys, busy bags, wet wipes, extra clothes, passports, phone chargers…etc. Oh! Don’t forget the babies and the older children! You finally got yourself half-packed for this international trip. Then you went for a bathroom break, only to find that the kids “help” you unpack your bags again. Out the door, sitting in traffic, checking in at the airport, only to find out the airline is slapping extra charges on you for checking in baby gear. Take a deep breath, cue the airport scene from the movie “Home Alone,” apologizing to the people sitting next to your children on the plane, only to arrive half-way across the globe jet-lagged and exhausted.

Sound familiar? Yep! Then why in tarnation would any parents go through the trouble taking young kids to travel, even taking them half-way across the globe?Boys in a car hanging out the window

We Are Global Citizens

When I was single, I worked as an international educator at a University.  Both my research and my mission were centered around teaching college students to be successful global citizens.  I have directed study abroad trips that hosted 300+ students. But now that I am a stay-at-home educator and mom, I can vouch that it is more a lot more work to take three little preschoolers on trips than 300+ college students.  I still have the same mission – to train my children to become successful global citizens, to show them a world that they have never seen before, and to increase their appetite for differences and tolerance.  

A Vision for Homeschooling That Sparks Communication

My vision of homeschooling is not only to impart knowledge and see them off to college in twelve years. My vision for our home education is to train our kids to be effective in a global economy, and ultimately, advance God’s Kingdom to the nations.

So how do we get there while we change diapers and haul those strollers? We lift our eyes and look beyond the hassles of traveling. We model flexibility and problem-solving.  We set examples of cultural appreciation, and God’s love the red, brown, black, and white little children. And while we do it, we as parents learn the most! We get to reexamine our hearts and attitudes towards others in this diverse world. Teaching moments are everywhere while we travel. Being outside of our usual social circle, our kids get to see people and things outside of their routine.  Then Boom! They ask innocent questions that make us think and make them love.

For example, my six-year-old child saw a Muslim woman in headdress when riding the subway. His questions sparked a whole conversation about “modesty” and “respect.” These types of discussions sometimes serve as a mirror into my own heart and attitudes. 

Teachable Moments for Parents and Kids

If you ask me, what’s the one thing that I learned most of my own heart? C.O.N.T.R.O.L. During our travels, we take along the curriculum that we are scheduled to complete, but I have to turn over my need to control and flow with the circumstances. Sometimes the bus doesn’t show up, that tropical rainstorm lasts an hour, the museum is closed for maintenance, and the child with motion sickness drenches you in puke!  One has to learn to laugh it off. I have learned to repeat to myself and our kids “When God closes a door, He will open up a window”. 

The Art of Distraction

True story, we planned to visit an art museum in Taiwan. After forty minutes of commuting, we discovered the museum was closed for an art installation. Both parents and kids were disappointed. We allowed kids a few minutes to be sad and disappointed. My oh-so-dramatic five-year-old even let out some wails. Then I remembered that I had mastered the art of distraction: “Oh! Wow! Look at this little gecko on this tree!” The kids then started to observe that tiny little gecko for five minutes while I search for the next living creature on the sidewalk. Ants, spiders, roots, tree bark and other random things have made up the best teaching moments. Sometimes there is nothing better than a simple observation lesson. Then, you betcha, I will say, “See? If we had gone inside the museum, we would have missed all these interesting sights!” There, drilling the concept in. Flexibility is essential for both homeschooling and parenthood. 

We Learn Everywhere

As homeschooling parents, we do what we do best – make anywhere our classroom!  Homeschool mommies are excellent CEOs of their families. We thrive on lessons, logistics, planning, routines, and order. But any big-name CEO will tell you the value of risk-taking and flexibility. So yes, traveling with little ones can be hectic, but what better way to learn how to give up our control of life and turn it over to God? So, I accept the challenge and imagine that my 100m dash through the airport is a scene on the “World’s Amazing Race” Reality TV show.  Both pit stops and final prize are glorious. 

About the Author: Yating Chang Haller is a freelance writer and international educator.  She works full time as a mom and home educator of 3 little ones (3, 5, 6 years old) and part-time at Purdue University, USA.  She was born in Taiwan and grew up in Singapore.   

To read more about homeschooling and family trips, check out the blog post on Homeschooling Basics. Get tips on adding family field trips to your curriculum and learn more about how traveling and foreign language study work together or read about how to build a unit study. 

6 Quick Fixes for Common Communication Killers

6 Quick Fixes for Common Communication Killers

Communication skills are such a big deal. Without honing these skills, we may convey things we never intended to – or leave out important pieces of information that can change everything! Poor conversational skills can potentially offend or hurt, or don’t make the sale. Excellent communication skills are one of the top job skills potential employees are looking for in new hires. Expertise in this area will contribute to your kids’ success, vocationally, and relationally. So, let’s take a minute and talk about common communication killers and how to fix them.Three young women learning about communication together in a filed of bright tulips

Communication Killers

Avoiding Eye-contact

Not meeting someone’s gaze can communicate that you are trying to hide something, such as an agenda or information. It can also convey social awkwardness. In our culture, eye contact speaks loudly.

Recently, my husband was in a situation in a store where one of the people in line was getting loud and quarrelsome. My husband was speaking to the clerk when this person started directing belligerent comments to him. My husband stopped, turned around, and just looked at the man; did not engage verbally, just looked at him.

Now, my husband is a trained psychologist and martial artist and thus, not easily intimidated, so I don’t recommend this approach for everyone, however, this man who had been causing extreme discomfort in this public space stopped ranting. All because of someone with a calm, non-anxious presence who was willing to make eye contact.

Fix-It: Practice making eye contact with the people in your home when you are talking to them. “Look at my eyes” is a significant first step with littles. Put the phone or other tech devices aside as you converse with others. Eat meals together with no tech present and make a point of seeing and speaking with each other. The family table is a great place to gather and practice all sorts of communication skills

Win-Lose Relationships

Often, we approach situations with the attitude that there is one right or wrong way of dealing with an issue. Instead of this type of “black and white” thinking, consider the possibilities. This is much like creating a pro-pro list instead of a pro-con list. When conflict arises, how can a win-win outcome be achieved? What would be a positive solution for everyone? Of course, sometimes people opt-out and you can’t win with them. It will take even more creative brainstorming on your part to come up with a winning scenario for both of you when the other person lacks the maturity or concern to help make it happen with you.

Fix-It: When conflict arises, pause and reflect on how you can contribute to positive outcomes for everyone. Brainstorm those “win-win” possibilities. Create a  “pro-pro” chart in a problematic situation and determine how to bring about a good result.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw.

Attacking Character

Attacking someone’s character instead of commenting on what they say or do. Be clear about what a person is doing versus who they are. Attacking someone often can mean that we don’t have empathy or compassion for them.

Fix-It: Teach your kids the difference between actions or behavior and the value of the person. Discuss the difference between what your kids “do” and their value as a person. Talk in terms of behavior. For example, you might say “You broke the dish.” or “You did not do your chores.” instead of phrases such as “You are careless.” or “You are lazy.” Help your kids name emotions and teach them to identify the feelings of others. Use phrases like “Mommy is sad that the dish was broken”, “Suzy is disappointed that the toy is lost” and ask “Are you happy that snow is falling?” Knowing how to name specific feelings is a great first step in understanding people. Understanding can lead to empathy and compassion, which leads to clear communication!

Not Listening

It’s easy to assume we know what someone is trying to say and interrupt or jump to conclusions. Listen to understand. Do you listen to hear someone’s heart? This goes beyond just listening to the words, but taking the time to listen to the other person’s heart.

Fix-It: Don’t interrupt when someone else is talking. Hear them through to the end of what they have to say. Respond, “So what I hear you saying is this.” Develop excellent listening skills. Maintain objectivity in the conversation. Push the pause button and take breaks as needed. Remind yourself and the other person that you are on the same team with the same objectives.

Adulsts ignore one another while on social media their phones

Showing Disinterest

We should all display a healthy curiosity about people and what is going on in their lives. Social media teaches and enforces self-absorption. People are hungry to be known, to share what’s important to them, to have someone hear their deepest hopes, dreams, and longings- to have a friend.

Fix-It: Develop the art of questioning with curiosity. Be a student of the world and people. Learn to find out about people; discover their likes, dislikes, wants, and needs.

Being Indirect/Avoiding Difficult Conversations

No one likes to have awkward or difficult conversations. But sometimes they are inevitable. Whether it is sharing about a difficult diagnosis, confronting someone you love about unhealthy behavior or problems at work, we all tend to avoid talking about it.  Avoidance can bring its own set of challenges, especially in regards to issues that have a time factor attached.

Fix-It: Practice what you want to say- write it out to get clear on what the real issue is and how you might go about solving it. Do a test run with someone who is objective. In other words, act out the potential conversation. Bring your notes with you if they bring you confidence and pause. Take breaks as needed to get perspective, calm down, and reiterate the belief that you are all on the same team, working towards the same goals.

Practice and Intention

Like all abilities, communication will improve with practice and intention. Teaching our kids how to communicate well is one of the most vital skills we can give them. That is true regardless of what job or industry they go into or whether they have a large family or stay single.

I’d love to hear how you are intentionally teaching communication skills in your family, so drop me a line here or on Instagram and Facebook.

If you want resources for teaching these types of Soft Skills in your homeschool, take a look around our website and blog. Or listen to our podcast at the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network where we focus on tips and resources for teaching soft skills and life skills for all age groups. Our podcasts, blog, e-books, and online classes can help with teaching your homeschoolers about Stewardship, Teamwork, Career Choices, and Public Speaking.

Proverbs 25:11 A Word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.

6 Quick Fixes for Common Teamwork Mistakes

6 Quick Fixes for Common Teamwork Mistakes

Working Together Leads to Productivity

Teamwork can take you farther faster than working alone or independently. Families are teams, as is your local homeschool group, athletic club, and your church. Teaching your kids how to work together as a team, how to both lead and follow, will allow them to enjoy the beauty of synergy- where working together can produce far more than working independently.

Families working together as a team shown by kids hugging each other in a group or team.

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”  ~Helen Keller

The value of working as a team is obvious, so let’s talk about some common teamwork “killers”  and how to fix them!

Teamwork Killers

  • Lack of self-awareness & lack of empathy
  • Settling on the First or Obvious Solution
  • Taking Turns
  • Role Confusion
  • Not Taking Time for Reflection
  • Doing it All Yourself

Lack of Self Awareness & Lack of Empathy

Not being aware of yourself and others, not taking the time or energy to try to understand another’s perspective, makes teamwork difficult as the group can easily organize around one person’s perspective.

Fix-It: learn to listen well. Seek to understand as much as you seek to be understood. Learn to be curious about others. Teach your kids to be interested as well.

Settling on the First or Obvious Solution

When teams (or families) get comfortable with each other, it is easy to assume we all know what we’re talking about. This can lead to confusion on many levels; good ideas may be overlooked.

Fix-It: learn how to appreciate, develop, and utilize the art of brainstorming. Encourage your team to do the same. Invite all ideas, without editing, including the absurd and politically incorrect. Set all judgment aside and generate as many ideas as possible. For even greater fun, set a timer and see who can produce the most ideas in the shortest amount of time!

Taking Turns

In every group, there are extroverts and introverts. The extroverts will be happy to do all the talking – happy to be front and center of every decision. The introverts will be glad to sit back, stay quiet, and fade into the background. The problem with not giving equal time to both types is that everyone loses out, and synergy doesn’t end up happening.

Fix-It: give everyone equal time and take turns talking about ideas and working them out. Work on developing excellent communication skills by waiting for quieter members to speak up and teach the more exuberant talkers in your midst to spend time listening and hearing others on the team. Practice the art of not interrupting. Value the input of all team members

The Romans battle as a team showing the productivity of working together and the resulting victory.

Role Confusion

Without clearly defined roles and responsibilities, it gets easy to duplicate effort or overlook things. Roles and responsibilities allow people to take ownership, make mistakes, and problem solve.

Fix-It: be clear about significant roles and responsibilities: who does what, under what circumstances? Positions may change according to age, gender, skill, and project. For example, the roles for making Thanksgiving dinner will be different than for finishing the basement, going on a vacation, or caring for someone who is disabled.

No Time for Reflection

Without clearly assessing how your team is working together (or not), it will be impossible to know if you are working as a team.

Fix-It: make time for regular assessment. Check to see how everybody is doing, what everyone needs, and how well you are meeting your objectives. Again, objectives will vary, depending on the vision, mission, and goals, ages, stages, resources, and skills. Regular assessments allow the team to adjust as necessary to gird up weak links, take full advantage of skills and abilities, and shift team members around for training as needed.

Doing Everything Yourself

Great teams have to work together- that means everyone is working. If your group consists of one person doing all the work, it’s time to train and expect others to do pitch in. As moms, it often feels easier to do it all yourself, but that’s a short-sighted view that won’t equip your kids or allow your team to work as effectively as it potentially could.

Fix-It:  train your team to work together. Allow people to rotate from leadership roles.  Let your team learn from mistakes and celebrate success. Look at the big picture and invest time in training – you won’t regret it.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. ~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

As a homeschool family, your team may have additional challenges to overcome. Get more tips specifically for Using Teamwork in Your Homeschool. Working effectively in a group is a soft skill that is sure to catch the eye of modern employers. Learn more about tools and resources that position your homeschool student for career success at our Soft SKills 101 Podcast and become versed in how to teach the essential life-skills for our digital age!

A group of young people at a job working together as a team.

Communication is Key to Success

Communication is Key to Success

The Basics of Good Communication

Communication is the most important of all the soft skills. It is a valuable basic life skill and affects every area of our lives. It enables success at work and in relationships with family and friends. It’s our ambition at True North Homeschool Academy to help you teach those critical and practical life skills, so, of course, communication skills are of the utmost importance to us. Through the years, we have discovered and utilized many resources that we will share right here!

An orange megaphone on an orange background depicts how communication is key to success.

Four Essential Types of Communication:

  • Verbal – Verbal communication skills are ranked first among a job candidate’s “must-have” qualifications.
  • Written – This type of communication is essential both for business and enjoyment.
  • Non-verbal –  Non-verbal communication includes things such as the way we dress, signals, and body language.
  • Emotional – Emotional communication skills vastly improve both business and personal relationships.

Let’s Break Down Each Type of Communication:

Verbal Communication Skills

We are all familiar with verbal skills: this includes how well you speak or write, how concise you are in conveying your message, and how winsomely persuasive you are during verbal interaction. There are four types of verbal communication. They are:

  • Intra-personal Communication – This form of communication is extremely private and restricted to ourselves. This can include private journaling, our thought process, and even metacognition. Positive self-talk is an important skill your child can learn that will help them through difficult times when they may be tempted to dwell on negative thoughts. Check out our Affirmation Cards to keep positive thoughts flowing!
  • Interpersonal Communication – This form of communication takes place between two individuals and is thus a one-on-one conversation.
  • Small-Group Communication – This type of interaction takes place amongst a small group.
  • Public Communication – Speaking to a large group publically or even public writing can be considered as part of this form of communication. Our excellent Speech Club is a resource for teaching students to speak and gain the confidence to participate in public speaking.
Written Communication Skills in Business
  • Transactional Written Communication – This is a message sent to get results.
  • Informational Written Communication – In this type of business communication, the sender is delivering a message for the receiver’s benefit. Since this is less dependent on the receiver, there is no response needed. If the receiver has questions or concerns that would bring the conversation back to transactional communication.
  • Instructional Written Communication – This message gives receivers directions for a specific task.
Written Communication for Entertainment
  • Plays
  • Poetry
  • Novels
Non-Verbal Communication

Instead of written or oral words, non-written communication relies on non-verbal cues like physical movement, symbols, signals, etc. to express feelings, attitudes, or to give information. These most often include:

  • Eye Contact
  • Dress
  • Facial Expressions
  • Gestures
  • Posture and Body Orientation
  • Space and Distance
  • Touch
  • Silence
Emotional Communication

Blonde woman in a yellow field of flowers using body language to communicate.Depending on how and where you were raised, you may express some emotions differently. Factors that can affect our emotional communication include gender, social morays, and more. Here we will consider six basic feelings:

  • Happiness
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Disgust
  • Surprise

Emotion is commonly expressed with:

  • Facial Expressions (such as smiling)
  • Body Language (using a relaxed stance)
  • Tone of Voice

Now that we have broken down the primary forms of communication, you can see that excellent communication is a worthy goal. Skills like how to communicate with one another have a massive payoff in our work and personal lives.  Be sure to include projects and lessons that will help your child learn to express themselves in your home and your homeschool.

What are the vital communication skills to teach your kids, regardless of age?
  1. Basic etiquette and Good Manners
  2. Netiquette (good manners and thoughtfulness online)
  3. The Art of Small Talk  (conversational skills like simple jokes and stories)
  4. Name Emotions (pointing these out to your children will help them to identify and deal with them readily)
  5. Help Them Set Goals (knowing their end game will allow them to communicate effectively in any situation)
  6. Show Them How to Evaluate (and then use the most effective form of communication)
  7. Mindfulness (let them know it is ok to “push the pause” button and be mindful of themselves and others)
  8. Awareness (help them become aware of their nonverbal communication)
  9. Active Listening Skills ( they can become engaged and active listeners)
  10. The Capacity to Communicate with Self-confidence and Humility
  11. Identify and Understand (so they can empathize with the emotions of others and deal with their feelings as well)

We all need to be able to express thoughts and feelings well and accurately. We are so confident that communication is an essential soft skill that it is central to many of the resources you will find on our website or at the Soft Skills 101 Podcast.

It’s easy to fall into the idea that these types of soft skills are just something we are good at or not! But that’s not true – everyone can learn to be better at these types of things. Like we mentioned, soft skills like communication make our lives and relationships better! In this digital age, as careers and our workforce continues to change, the human touch of excellent communication becomes even more valuable. Take a quick look at some of our ideas and resources (listed & linked below), and as always, let us know how we can support you in your homeschooling!

Want support in teaching your kids communication skills?

Listen on your favorite app or visit the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Website for more discussions about teaching our children and check out our Podcasts on Communication:

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