One Thing You Must Put First in Your Homeschool

Academics vs Relationships in Your Homeschool

School is just getting started for some of you.

For me … we wait until after Labor Day (because we can!). I absolutely believe school shouldn’t start until September (but that’s another conversation).

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As I’m gearing up for another school year, I’m thinking about priorities ... What subjects I’ll teach ... What order we’ll do things in.

And with all of that, I’m also thinking about what I put before ALL academics in my homeschool.

Because over the years I’ve learned that if I put this first … everything else has a much better chance of falling into place.

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Hey guys! This is ToriAnn Perkey, and from my homeschool to your homeschool, I want to talk about a really important topic today -- it's the question of what's more important relationships or academics.

This is a tough question because any time in your homeschool you're going to wrestle with both. You're going to have to be worrying about making the academics happen. We’ve got to be teaching the subjects, and the skills, and the learning, and all of that, but we're also in these relationships because we're interacting, and we're the parent, and they're the child and there's us and the spouse and all of this.

Sometimes everything's chugging along, and it's going awesome. You're like, “Woo-hoo, it's working!” And then sometimes everything is a mess -- the academics aren't working or the relationships aren't working, and it's like, “Well, which is more important? If something's not working and I can only focus on one, what should I do?”

So, everyone may not agree with me, but I strongly, strongly, strongly believe that if you have to pick between relationships and academics, you want to pick relationships and this is why. If you pick relationships, and you get your relationships in a good place -- so, let's say you're struggling with a kid. You don't have a good relationship and you're fighting every day and it's like, “Well, do I solve that or do we still …” You're fighting and they're not doing school work or do we do school work?

If you stop the school work and you focus on the relationship, if you focus on getting in a good place, then you can go back to the academics. You can go back to the learning and you can go back and say okay, now we're going to work on this. But if you try to force the academics, you try to make this happen when the relationship is not in a good place, this is not going to do very well. It will not go well.

We can't learn if our relationships aren't in a good place. Like Maslow's hierarchy of needs -- after you have your basic needs met, like eating and safety, the next level is relationships, and learning comes after that. If you don't take care of relationships, this learning stuff -- it will be a train wreck.

So, if I have to pick -- and there have been times when I have picked -- I have picked relationships because the parenting was an issue, the discipline was an issue, or a kid was really struggling, or we were having depression, or anxiety, or a learning disability, or there was friction -- there are all sorts of things happen in relationships. I will always stop, address that. Sometimes it takes a while. Sometimes it takes days, or weeks, or months. I will address that and then we'll figure out how to problem solve this. Sometimes you can do a little bit of this while you're working on this, but I'm here to tell you this is my focus, this - relationships.

I always will pick that first because in the end if they learn their times-tables, does not matter to me as much as whether or not we can still communicate. In the end, if they don't learn whether or not World War II came before or after World War I, that does not matter as much as whether or not we get along and whether or not we have a good relationship. Because if this is intact, the kid can go learn this on their own later on. It's not ideal, but if this isn't working none of this will happen.

So, which is more important? Well, they're both important, but which one do you pick first? I say pick relationships. If you're in a situation where it's really you're doing this with a kid right now, and it's kind of a train wreck or it's super toxic, would you step back and assess if maybe it's time to pull back from academics and put more of your energy and bandwidth into healing that relationship? Please, please because I think it's going to really serve you well in the long run.

Yay! Okay. So, that's what I wanted to say today about relationships and academics and trying to sort all that out together.

My name is ToriAnn Perkey, and I make these videos every week so that you can be a super successful and confident homeschool mom.

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One Thing You Must Put First in Your Homeschool
One Thing You Must Put First in Your Homeschool
Choose between academics relationships for homeschool

About the Author ToriAnn Perkey

I'm ToriAnn Perkey. I've been homeschooling since 2004, when my oldest daughter was 3 1/2. I'm a mother, mentor, teacher, presenter, and musician. One of my favorite pastimes is learning about ... anything! Read more here.