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Homeschooling and Socialization: A Cause for Concern?

Homeschooling and Socialization: A Cause for Concern?

Parents choose to homeschool their children for a variety of very good reasons, and the evidence has proven that homeschooling and socialization aren’t at odds with the success of homeschooling. Let’s dive into some facts.

Homeschooling for Good Reason

If you’re considering homeschooling, you’ve likely come to that point for any number of good reasons:

  • a desire to transmit a culture or worldview to your child
  • academic opportunity
  • build a strong family unit
  • traveling sports
  • the opportunity to involve your child in entrepreneurship
  • travel or RV life
  • special needs or twice-exceptional child
  • a child has been bullied
  • safety not found in public schools
  • the cost of private schooling

Isn’t Homeschooling and Socialization Important?

Yes, it is. But, how do we actually define socialization? Is it only peer-to-peer interaction? Or is it reasonable to define socialization as the ability to be social with individuals from all ages and walks of life?

Statistics indicate that homeschoolers have positive outcomes regarding socialization, and in some instances even better.

So, when we talk about homeschooling and socialization, what are we really talking about? What are we actually being asked?

Socialization or Accommodation

There may be a true concern from some about the child’s ability to interact with others. Actually, what may be being asked is how well-adjust the child might be to the ways of the world. Are they accommodating? Will they bend to the demands of the culture at large?

Homeschoolers with vision have something else in mind. They do want to pass on a culture, but not the one the world hands them. At True North Homeschool Academy we believe that Education is the Transmission of Culture. We are coming from a decidedly Judeo-Christian point of view. We are people of the Book. 

So, why then do we care about socialization? We care because socialization helps us with our most important given task, to share the Gospel.

Life Skills, Soft Skills,

Now, this doesn’t mean we’re raising little missionaries in the traditional sense. It means “always being ready to give an answer for the hope that we have.” So, what kind of socialization do we need to have in order to make an impact for the Kingdom? Two things: life skills and soft skills.

Life Skills are the building blocks of knowing what to do and how to do it in our personal life. Learning these things requires a level of socialization. We do by seeing others do. We apprentice. And we are an apprentice to others.

Think of how Jesus apprenticed to his earthly father, Joseph. Ponder how that prepared him for the task given him. Life skills are essential.

Soft Skills are those personal attributes that allow us to interact well with others, allowing us to have peaceful and healthy relationships.

They are also known as power skills or personality traits. Soft skills are those skills that everyone seems to understand implicitly. They are related to manners and social moves. For kids with learning disabilities, however, soft skills can be elusive and confusing. This is the art and science of socialization!

And this type of socialization is necessary for every single person, including homeschoolers. As homeschoolers, we have to be able to think creatively and critically to communicate with the world around us. As Christians, this is essential in sharing the Gospel and helping others find True North.

Finding True North

In a nutshell, this is the entire point of socialization – the ability to transmit truth and help others find their hope in Christ, their True North.

Education is the perfect companion to this socialization, but it doesn’t have to take place in a traditional school setting where peer-to-peer socialization is the measure of successful socialization.

We are called to give an answer (defense) for what we believe with gentleness and respect. This goes beyond mere logic (though we do love our Logic!) and relies on the soft skill of communicating with creativity, clarity, and grace.

That’s socialization homeschoolers can feel good about.

Preparing Your Kids for Socialization

Homeschooling is more than school at home, it’s the school at the heart of the home. And this is such a great opportunity to embrace training in socialization for the Gospel.

True North Homeschool Academy is committed to equipping and nurturing parents as they educate their children. We believe that Education is the Transmission of Culture and are coming from a decidedly Judeo-Christian point of view. We are people of the Book. 

So, how can we help? We have the only small-class, live, dynamic education platform designed for homeschoolers on a mission.

True North Homeschool Academy teachers are a group of passionate, qualified, creative educators providing carefully curated Core Courses and Clubs, delivered by utilizing cutting-edge technology, gamification, and solid academic pedagogy. We understand the unique challenges and opportunities of homeschooling.

Providing more than academics, we give our students the opportunity to develop wisdom. They collaborate and learn with students from around the world. A perfect setting to socialize in a way homeschool parents can trust.

Summer and Fall Classes and Clubs are Enrolling Now.

Leadership and Soft Skills

Leadership and Soft Skills

When we think of a leader, we tend to think of someone who is charismatic, smart, and a “take charge” – that go-to person in any situation. We look at a leader as someone who has know-how (hard skills), but I can tell you – it’s also someone who has soft skills. Leadership and soft skills go hand-in-hand. 

What are Soft Skills?

Soft Skills are those personal attributes that allow us to interact well with others, allowing us to have peaceful and healthy relationships.

They are also known as power skills or personality traits. Soft skills are those skills that everyone seems to understand implicitly. They are related to manners and social moves. For kids with learning disabilities, however, soft skills can be elusive and confusing.

4 C’s of a Soft Skills Education.

These would include:

  1. Collaboration- Collaboration is better known as teamwork. Can you lead, follow, and interact maturely with other team members? Do you problem solve and handle your own emotions well, or are you causing problems for others on your team? Do you understand the team hierarchy well? Are you willing to lead, follow, and get out of the way? All of these skills go into being a good team player, at different times and in various seasons. A good team player, 
  1. Communication- Employers are currently stressing the need for students to have excellent communication skills, including the ability to persuade by written and spoken communication. In particular, they want to hire those who can “sell” (i.e., persuade) both orally and using the written word.
  2. Critical Thinking- Employers are currently stressing the need for students to have excellent communication skills, including the ability to persuade by written and spoken communication. In particular, they want to hire those who can “sell” (i.e., persuade) both orally and using the written word.
  3. Creativity- Creativity is all about thinking outside the box, generating new ideas or tweaking old ones to fit new situations, and interacting with materials, people, and resources in unique ways.

These soft skills are essential tools in the leadership toolbag. 

What is Leadership?

Leadership is both the ability to research and prepare for what’s ahead as well-being to lead, guide, or instruct a group or individuals, teams, or organizations.

Increasingly we want our children to step up and lead when called upon, especially in the world we currently live in. We want them to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason. 

They don’t need charisma, they need that internal ability to govern themselves and lead by example, be willing to speak up, and encourage others to be leaders in difficult situations.

Preparing for Leadership with Soft Skills 

Preparing tomorrow’s leaders starts with soft skills. One of the most important soft skills is the art of persuasion. 

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed trying to explain your point-of-view to someone, especially in today’s online environment, you can see just how important this skill is. 

That’s why I am taking part in the Life Skills Leadership Summit

Leadership and Persuasion

The Art of Persuasion, by Lisa M Nehring

One skill that current employers is finding lacking in new hires is the ability to sell. With the constant shorthand of texting and 9-second tik-toks and reels, the fine art of Persuasion is being lost. Why is the ability to sell so important? What are some ways that parents can help their kids develop this skill?

Grab your free ticket
! Join some of your favorite homeschool speakers and leaders as we strive to raise leaders in this generation. 

*This post contains affiliate links. If you click through the link and make a purchase, Lisa Nehring / True North Homeschool Academy makes a small commission. Thank you.

Music is a Life Skill

Music is a Life Skill

Many of us consider music an elective and one of those homeschool subjects that we may “get to.” But I contend that music is a life skill which informs us in many areas of our lives. Chiefly, It allows our kids to develop executive functioning as well as transferable skills.

I encourage you to carve out time for music. Just consider that you probably already do. What’s on your playlist? How many hours a week do you listen to music while you workout, or are in the car? Music is an integral part of our lives. Accordingly, the songs we listen to, the movies we watch, as well as the worship we offer can change our mood and – above all – lead to redemption. 

Close-up of female hands correcting music score

A Universal Language

Music is a Universal Languages, along with Math and Latin. As has been noted, we can communicate to others with music, even if we lack a common language!

I’ve teamed up with Melissa Grande, a professional Musician and one of our amazing True North Homeschool Academy teachers to talk about some of the obvious benefits of studying music!

10 Benefits of Studying Music  

  1.  Stress Management & Therapeutic Benefits – Music calms the soul, gives kids the ability to express emotions and work off the wiggles! It utilizes many neural pathways to learning. Music education is kinesthetic, and auditory, but also visual as they develop eye-hand coordination and the ability to read music.
  2. Quick Thinking Skills – playing an instrument requires the student to think quickly. That requirement increases exponentially if they are playing with a band of any kind. Kids become quick thinkers as they have to check what’s going on with other musicians.
  3. Social Skills – these become well developed through music as students learn collaboration & communication skills. Skills are required for coordinating with others in the home about best practice times. Social skills are used when working with other musicians, coordinating with teacher and developing as a performer. 
  4. Responsibility and Discipline – are a natural outcome of music studies as students learn to take care of their instruments. It also requires that they focus on practicing and tough out the physical hardship of developing their craft.
  5. Problem Solving – is one of the many gifts of studying any art. Students must simply work to understand the music. The sounds of their instrument and how to create music with others involve problem solving skills.
  6.  Time Management and Deadlines – are integral to developing as a musician. You must show up to lessons on time, show up to practice and performances while juggling other responsibilities and demands. 
  7. Pride in Accomplishments (and learning that you have the ability to Do Hard Things). We want good things for our kids, and might even have to guard against serving up fun too often. Instead, teach them to hold out for deep joy and fulfillment when they have overcome and can enjoy their accomplishment.
  8. Perseverance and Patience – we know that good things come from years of practice and investment. Excellence comes with practice. Our kids learn this as they wrestle with loving their instrument and playing music over the long term.
  9. Creative Expression – this might seem obvious but is not to be overlooked. Music allows our kids – and us- creative expression. Who hasn’t lip-synced at the top of their lungs in the car alone? Who hasn’t cried, hearing a touching song, or choked up singing Handel’s Messiah? Music moves our spirit and soul and unlocks hidden emotions and allows us to become more fully human.
  10.  Self Expression – along with creative expression, music allows us to express ourselves as individuals. We all have a song to sing and a beautiful story to tell. Music allows us another avenue to share that with others! 
Pretty young musician playing classic digital piano at home during online class at home, social distance during quarantine, self-isolation, online education concept

A Lot of Bang for Your Homeschool Buck!

Music is one of those courses of study that give you so much bang for your buck. Your kids learn a fantastic academic skill, that can garner them scholarship dollars and amazing opportunities. As they develop their skills, music will help them maintain their positive mental health. They will develop transferable skills that will hold fast throughout their lives. 

Not sure where to start with Music Education in your homeschool? Check out True North Homeschool Academy Music classes. We believe in and value music education so much that we offer k-12th grade opportunities that will inspire and delight! 

Boy with a clarinet plays music. Online music lesson concept

Check Out K-12 Classes to Get Their Creative Energies Flowing

  • Music at the Movies– a life changing Music and Apologetics course! Pair this with Strategy: War and Peace for an integrated approach to world view and history !
  • Introduction to Music Theory -learn the Basics of Reading Music
  • The Art of Songwriting – perfect for budding musicians and writers! 
  • Introduction to Voice – learn how to sing- this course can also count towards science credits.
  • Art & Music I – one of our most popular Elementary classes last year! This is a Charlotte Mason inspired course that teaches Art through the Seasons. Children learn to play the tin whistle along with learning about music.
  • Art & Music II – for those who couldn’t get enough of Art and Music I. (or for older kids) Students will again have inspiring Art through the Seasons lessons and learn rhythm through bucket drumming! 

From Handicrafts to Technology

Take a look at more than 30 electives available on our website. True North Homeschool Academy offers elective courses that are creative and practical.

  • History of Rock and Roll
  • How to Study Your Bible: Biblical Philosophy
  • Graphic Design With Canva
  • How to Study Your Bible: Biblical Genres
  • Spanish 4
  • Health – High School
  • French – Level Two
  • American Sign Language 1
  • Computer Illustration
  • Introduction to Computer Science: Part Two – One Semester
  • Spanish III
  • Heroes of Jewish History
  • Introduction to Apologetics
  • Personal Finance
  • Photoshop
  • Form and Color
  • Speech & Rhetoric
  • Spanish C
Future of Work

Future of Work

The future of work is an important topic. It’s where our kids will live. We are training our kids for that future, whether we are mindful of it or not. Homeschooling offers us many opportunities to prepare them.

Today’s students will be working at jobs not yet created, working in technology that is just now being developed, and will be part of a fast-paced and ever-changing world. Technology is developing at a rapid pace!

Today’s Workforce

Today’s workforce is quad-generational with different values, motivations, and work styles. Work is less structured and more agile. Employees want flexibility and immediacy and customer expectations are growing; they want immediacy in response and getting their needs met. Furthermore, technology is accelerating the pace of business.

What Economies will Play the Biggest Roles in the Future?

  1. Big Tech Economy
  2. Precision Economy
  3. Exodus Economy
  4. Empath Economy
  5. Gig Economy

Let’s take a look at each of these economies and consider some of the new technology that will affect and change the future!

Big Tech Economy:

Robotics & Automation

  • drone deliveries
  • driverless cars

AI will affect industries across every aspect of life:

  • Transportation
  • Medical
  • Finance
  • Health Care
  • Education
  • Urban Planning

3- D Printers

  • 3-D Printing is changing industries across the board

Precision Economy:

  • Sensors more widely adapted for business
  • The expansion of data will require more analysts
  • Behavioral scientists & Gamification experts
    • help people detox
    • get the most out of people
Go ahead and continuously improvement concept, silhouette man jump on a cliff from past to future with cloud sky background.

Exodus Economy:

People looking for sustainable lifestyles

  • upcycling and
  • community energy

Empath Economy:

  • Tech will be stewarded and managed by IT
  • Managers and automation will take over many dull, dirty and dangerous jobs
  • Living high tech will force us to embrace emotional work
    • Education
  • Spiritual Leaders
  • Mental Health Workers & Emotional Care
  • Entertainment

Gig Economy:

Includes a Labor Market Characterized by:

  • Short-term contracts
  • Freelance work

Future workers will need technical skills and soft skills, particularly Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration, and Communication Skills. The good news is that a solid high school course of study will lay a solid foundation for all students. Future workers will need the ability to upskill and re-skill and have a zeal for lifelong learning.

What’s the Best Way to Navigate the Future?

As always, I recommend start with the end in mind and working backwards. What kind of lifestyle does your student want to have, where do they want to live, what work do they believe in and want to invest in doing?

Assess your student, your current resources, and your location, as all of these offer various challenges and opportunities.

And don’t forget that you are one of your student’s best resources. What are your areas of interest and trained vocation? Your kids have a jump start on whatever it is you share with them, because of what you already know.

If you aren’t sure where to start to prepare them for the future of work, begin with a typical course of study and build from there. Still unclear? Our Academic Advisors would love to help you craft a plan for success!

Blue Digital cyberspace and digital data network connections concept. Transfer digital data hi-speed internet, Future technology digital abstract background concept.

True North Homeschool Academy classes that will set your student up for future success:

As you can see, homeschooling provides unique opportunities to prepare for the future of work! If you want to read more about how to help your children explore careers take a look at our blog post on How to Accelerate Your Career as a Homeschool Student and take a look at the classes mentioned above to learn specific skills.

What are Soft Skills?

What are Soft Skills?

What are Soft Skills?

What are Soft Skills?

Soft Skills are those personal attributes that allow us to interact well with others, allowing us to have peaceful and healthy relationships.

They are also known as power skills or personality traits. Soft skills are those skills that everyone seems to understand implicitly. They are related to manners and social moves. For kids with learning disabilities, however, soft skills can be elusive and confusing.

Hard skills are easily definable skills that are often job-specific, such as knowing how to speak German, code a computer, or write in cursive; those skills that get us the job.  Soft skills are more difficult to define and are those skills that allow us to keep the job. You know the adage,

“You are hired for your hard skills, you’re fired for your soft skills.”

What are Soft Skills?

3-t have recently heard about the “4 C’s of Education.” These would include

  1. Communication
  2. Collaboration (Teamwork)
  3. Critical Thinking
  4. Creativity

Public Schools are beginning to work specifically to train kids in these basic soft skills, as they are so necessary for success in academics, job ability, and stability, and managing and maintaining healthy relationships.

Communication

Communication, in particular, is easily identified as the queen of soft skills, as without it, we can hardly function.

Communication Skills Consist of 4 areas:

  1. Verbal
  2. Written
  3. non-verbal
  4. spoken

Employers are currently stressing the need for students to have excellent communication skills, including the ability to persuade by written and spoken communication. In particular, they want to hire those who can “sell” (i.e., persuade) both orally and using the written word.

Collaboration

Collaboration is better known as teamwork. Can you lead, follow, and interact maturely with other team members? Do you problem solve and handle your own emotions well, or are you causing problems for others on your team? Do you understand the team hierarchy well? Are you willing to lead, follow, and get out of the way?

All of these skills go into being a good team player, at different times and various seasons.

Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking is the ability to analyze facts and form a conclusion, using deductive and inductive reasoning, formal and informal logic, and the scientific method. Critical thinking allows us to be proactive, instead of constantly reactive, strategize, and take the long view, deferring our own short term gratification for long term pay-offs.

 Creativity

Creativity is all about thinking outside the box, generating new ideas or tweaking old ones to fit new situations, and interacting with materials, people, and resources in unique ways.

Time and Distraction Management

Time and Distraction Management is the ability to manage one’s time effectively to accomplish small and large tasks, repetitive as well as on-going tasks. This also has to do with the ability to manage distractions, be that a little sibling, social media notifications, or our self needs or interest. Developing good time management habits is critical to being able to interact with the world maturely.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Flexibility and Adaptability require having the ability to change and flex as needed. Our world is growing increasingly complex with radical and sudden shifts occurring on both a micro and macro scale. We must teach our kids to flex and adapt as needed as well as to know how to set appropriate boundaries and to stand firm when time and circumstances demand it.

Work Ethic

Work Ethic is the value that hard work is intrinsically valuable and worth doing for its own sake. Having kids who are diligent and detailed oriented in their work can mean the difference between success and failure in so many areas of life.

Leadership

Leadership is both the ability to research and prepare for what’s ahead as well-being to lead, guide, or instruct a group or individuals, teams, or organizations.

 Loyalty

In a world that makes it increasingly easy to “block” or “ghost” someone, loyalty is a soft skill worth developing. Standing by one’s faith, family and friends is the mark of someone with integrity and other well-formed, soft skills. Everyone is irritating, demanding, and in need of salvation and standing by and next to each other while recognizing our own and each other’s humanity is what being loyal is all about. The soft skill includes patience, kindness, self-control, and the willingness to overlook the other’s failings.

Integrity

Integrity is the foundation of all soft skills. It is the quality of basing our behaviors on principles instead of situations, being honest and morally upright—integrity based on the Gospel of Truth, instead of our own or others’ desires.

What are Soft Skills? Soft skills are those skills that take a lifetime to master and can always be improved upon.

All of us have soft skills that come naturally to us, and those that are a struggle. Regardless, we can all develop a lifestyle of learning so that we continue to grow and develop to glorify God-given who He has made us to be, and in doing so, shine His light in a world that is growing increasingly dark.

What are Soft Skills and Where do I Find Out More About Teaching Soft Skills?

Click on the links in this post to view courses offered by True North Homeschool Academy teachers who have goals that are aligned with yours as a homeschool parent.

We believe in the importance of Soft Skills so much that we host a weekly podcast on Soft Skills 101: Life Skills for a Digital Age!

Please join us over at the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network for more great discussion and information on Soft Skills!