We’ve been homeschooling for a really long time now and have gone through a lot – a lot – of different programs and curriculum. I’m asked several times a week what my favorite products are for math, science, writing… you know, the major subjects that all schools teach. While I’ve definitely formed a list of favorites, one of the most important topics to include in your homeschool isn’t found in a typical classroom and doesn’t require a calculator or lab coat.
Adding social and emotional skills practice to our homeschool has been tremendously beneficial. Whether we’re working on social behaviors, self image, or impulse control, exploring who your child is and how they work is just as valuable and educational as exploring a museum or forest. So often we can forget about the internal issues while focusing so hard to make sure we’ve addressed all of the external ones. I’m sharing some great resources to include in your homeschool that will help you and your kiddos work on who they are, not just formulas.
Resources for Kids
Often times our kids struggle with their intense emotions because they’re not quite sure what their emotions are. Embarrassment is a little more difficult to articulate when your words only allow for anger, so it’s vitally important to help our kiddos identify and understand just what they’re experiencing. Books like A Little SPOT of Feelings, Me and My Feelings, and The ABC’s of Emotions are great for helping your kids identify and work through just what it is they’re feeling. General workbooks, like the CBT Workbook for Kids and the Coping Skills Workbook for Kids, are perfect for building a strong emotional intelligence foundation and working on social and emotional skills before they become problems. Specific topics like Anger Management Skills, Anger Management Workbook for Kids, and From Worrier to Warrior are fantastic for working with your child on intensities and emotions they struggle with. Social Skills Activities for Kids is a handy book to keep on hand when your kiddos struggle socially and to help them prepare for situations that might be overwhelming.
Resources for Teens and Tweens
These workbooks are great to implement into your homeschool routine or to hand to your teen so they can work on their own time. Addressing topics from depression to anxiety, stress to self image, any of these would be a beneficial addition to your teen’s life and your home. Books like The Mindfulness Workbook for Teens and The Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens help promote peace when hormones and emotions rage. The Depression Workbook for Teens, the Feeling Better CBT Workbook for Teens, and The Anxiety, Depression, & Anger Toolbox for Teens address specific struggles, as does The Anxiety Workbook for Teens. Like many of their peers, teens and tweens can really struggle with their self image and self esteem, especially when they’re differently-wired, so try working through something like The Ultimate Self-Esteem Workbook for Teens with them. And when those intense emotions inevitably become hard to manage, books like The Anger Workbook for Teens and Don’t Let Your Emotions Ruin Your Life for Teens are tools you can both use to keep tempers from flaring and relationships from undue strain.
Card Decks Worth Having
In addition to my own Anxiety Toolkit, there are numerous card decks worth keeping on hand. Their compact size makes them perfect for travel, waiting rooms, or just pulling out of your purse in the middle of a tough moment. The Mindfulness Game, Cards for Calm, Mindful Kids, and Breathing Exercise Cards for Kids are fantastic for daily mindfulness practice, where The Anxiety and Stress Solution Deck is helpful for calming down in the moment. Unique approaches found in the Art Therapy Card Deck and Don’t Go Bananas are great for holding attention, and the confidence boosters in the Empowering Gems Question Cards and I Like Me 123 are wonderful for brightening up rough days.
Adding emotional education to your homeschool, or even just your daily life, is a routine you won’t regret. For all of the math facts and grammar rules our children carry with them throughout their lives, it’s just as important to prepare them for the emotions they’ll grow with, too. Whether you’re supplementing therapy or just working through some tough feelings, investing in your child’s emotional well-being will always prove to be worth it.