The Power of Gratitude in Your Homeschool
As we celebrate Easter this weekend, I’ve been reflecting on gratitude. The practice of gratitude as a tool for happiness has been in the mainstream for years. Long-term studies support gratitude’s effectiveness, suggesting that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being, and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.
But while we may acknowledge gratitude’s many benefits, it can be difficult to keep it up, even for kids. It’s far too easy to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives and homeschools. And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential, it needs to become more than just an Easter or Thanksgiving word. We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.
That’s why practising gratitude makes so much sense. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing, including our homeschools.
Gratitude isn’t a blindly optimistic approach – we don’t have to whitewash or ignore the bad things in life. It’s more a matter of where we put our focus and attention. Pain and injustice exist in this world, but when we focus on the gifts God’s given us, we gain a feeling of well-being. Gratitude balances us and gives us hope.
There are many things to be grateful for: colourful petals poking out of the snow, legs that work, friends who listen, chocolate, fresh eggs, warm houses, a child’s ability to read, our health, hummingbirds … What’s on your list? What’s on your child’s list?
Ideas for Practising Gratitude in Your Homeschool
• Keep a gratitude journal. Have your child list what they’re thankful for. They can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal will remind them to think in a grateful way. You can set a good example and keep a journal, too.
• Keep a jar for collecting everyday miracles. Make one for yourself and one for your child and decorate them. Then add what you’re thankful for to the jar daily, weekly, or once in a while. We like doing this together before bedtime.
• Make a gratitude collage together by drawing or cutting and pasting pictures.
• Practice gratitude around the dinner table as a family or make it part of your beditor routine.
• Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.
• When you or your child feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.
• Notice how gratitude affects your life. Encourage your child to write or sing about it, to express thanks.
As you and your children practise gratitude, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you feel!
How do you practise gratitude in your homeschool? Please let me know in the comments below!
Love, Luck &
Author’s content used with permission, © Claire Communications