Lead by Example

One of my favorite parts about homeschooling is that I get to learn right along side my kids.  My love of learning has grown even deeper over the past couple years and I just can’t seem to get enough.  Sometimes I feel like I’ll never have enough time in this life to be able to learn all of the things that I want to learn… fortunately I can continue to learn and progress even after this life.

Something that I am realizing more and more is that, as a mother, I am to lead by example.  And in order to lead by example, I must be a student as well.  This is proving to be a very joyful task.

At the Garden Bank By Hans Andersen Brendekilde


I can’t remember where I read this, but it stood out to me so I wrote it down…

“Give yourself permission to spend a little bit of time each day/week on your education.  The investment in yourself pays off in so many ways.  First, you set an example of self-education that pays dividends of them owning their own education.  That’s less effort for you, more success for them!

Second, it will give you a well to draw from.  You’ll think bigger thoughts!  Have more inspiring ideas that you’re excited to share!  Feel taken care of because you’re filling your bucket!  Remember, an investment in your education is not a withdrawal from your kids’.  It will pay dividends in gold.”


I have always believed in having some quiet alone time for my own personal growth and pursuits, but recently I have been more intentional about filling my time with things that not only fill me, but also are things that I want my children to emulate.   So I have jumped in and I’m a student right next to my kids – especially in regards to warming and educating my heart with the arts.


Harriet Beecher Stowe’s reflections on the mother as teacher:

“The most fearful thing about this education matter is that it is example more than word. Talk as you will, the child follows what he sees, not what he hears. The prevailing tone of the parent’s character will make the temper of the household; the spirit of the parent will form the spirit of the child.”


“What you make a child love and desire is more important than what you make him learn.”  (Alice O’Grady)


I loved this post from Marlene  (Well-Educated Heart)
“There is a section in the Restoring the Art of Storytelling book where the storytellers talk about warming your own heart first:
“The parent…should first enrich his own personality through an understanding of the essential values of literature and of life. The person whose life is colorless, whose emotions are pallid, whose experience is narrow, whose appreciation of beauty is undeveloped, whose knowledge of literature is limited, should face squarely the fact that he is not the one to guide the development of a child. He should kindle the flame in his own life before he attempts to pass on the torch. ” (Esenwein)
(PS–Don’t let that statement discourage you! You only have to be one step ahead of your kids)
How to obtain a rich personality:”By loving the beautiful, by reading the worth-while, by filling the mind with those things that are worth passing on, by cultivation of a cheery disposition, by striving towards high ideals.” (Margaret Eggleston)
“Love paints the pictures, writes the poems, sings the songs, bears the burdens and does all the great and abiding deeds.” (Wyches)
“A deep and abiding soul life is more important than the mouthing of many words. The measure of our influence is not what we say but what we are…” (Wyches)
“The story which lacks an inner spiritual quality is…devoid of power to stir a soul.” (Edward St. John)”. (Marlene)
I have definitely seen a lot of examples of my kids following my (bad) example over the years.  I am far from perfect and my words/actions/attitudes of my children often remind me of that.  But like Marlene said, I just have to be one step ahead of my kids.  And that’s what I’m trying to be intentional about doing.       
I am trying to kindle the flame in my own heart and life and be more able to pass that torch on to my children.
I love the moments when I see my kids following my (good) example and developing their own love and desire for things that are meaningful and worthwhile.
Here’s an example from a couple weeks ago…
Roxanne brought a lego creation over to me and told me that she made a family tree!  She then pointed to the lego guys and told me who was related to who. 🙂  This made my family history loving heart happy.


A couple weeks ago when we were in the mountains, Roxanne voluntarily joined me for nature journaling.  But then this past weekend, we were in the mountains again and Evelyn and Roxanne got out their notebooks and colored pencils all on their own and decided to nature journal even though I wasn’t even joining them at the moment (I was helping Jershon cook the dinner).  It made me happy to see them initiate nature journaling for themselves. 🙂



“Feed your heart.  I can’t emphasize this enough.  If you want your children to sing while they work, you sing while you work.  They need to work beside you so they can see what you’re doing.  They don’t instinctively know how to organize toys.  If you want them to love beautiful music, let them see you loving beautiful music.  If you want them to love reading, let them see you love reading.  If you want them to keep a nature journal, let them see you keep a nature journal.  Show them, Don’t tell them!  Their hearts don’t understand telling.” (Marlene Peterson)

1 Response
  1. Estelle

    The videos of your girls are so adorable! I love this idea of intentionally providing good examples for your children. My kids have picked up plenty of my bad examples too haha

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