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6 Ways To Establish An Intentional Family Culture

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Every family has a culture, whether they realize it or not. Your family culture is your family's traditions, habits, practices, and values. It influences education decisions based on intrinsic values, from deciding which type of school to attend to determining how to approach homework and extracurricular activities. 

This post will cover why creating a foolproof family culture is important, how to create a culture of belonging in your family, and an invitation to view the recording from a recent webinar that showcases an alternative education option and how it might benefit your family. 

Why is creating an intentional family culture needed?

Developing a clear vision for your family culture is important because it influences multiple areas of your life. Creating an intentional family culture can change how you parent, influence how your family spends time together, and help you determine goals for your family for years to come.  

How to create your family culture?

Creating a family culture doesn’t need to be complicated. We believe you should keep it as simple as possible for your family to grow together and sustain it over time. Here’s how you can get started: 

 

#1

Let your child's individuality flourish

Anya Yeager, COO of Williamsburg Learning, believes that letting your child’s individuality flourish can elevate your entire family culture to a new level. 

“In my family, my oldest loves math and science and excels in those areas. My middle child is all about technology, and my youngest is drawn to art and music. 

As I’ve watched these differences become clearer over the years, I’ve learned I’d rather be a gardener than a carpenter. In other words, the role I play as a parent is to nurture and guide my kids in the direction they want to go. It’s not to mold them based on my own ideas of what they “should” be doing.

So, when push comes to shove, I’d rather my kids prioritize the areas they love rather than burn out trying to excel in everything most schools say they should be good at.

I also try to share this attitude with our mentors here at Williamsburg Learning as we create an environment with a customized curriculum for every student. (As COO at Williamsburg, I oversee our academic program and the classroom experience for our students.) Regardless of academic strengths and weaknesses, we believe passionately that every student brings value to our community and contributes to our “culture of belonging.”

(Just to clarify, I’m not saying we want or expect our students to do well in some areas and spend no effort on others. We just believe there’s value in adapting our expectations of students to match their individual talents and passions.)

In fact, after years of applying this mindset, we’ve learned something that might seem counterintuitive at first: in an environment where students are valued—not judged—for their unique differences and passions, they are more likely to excel on conventional test scores.”

Making room in your family for your child's individuality to flourish and develop will create a more dynamic, powerful, and strong family culture.

 

#2

Determine individual and shared family values

What do your family and children genuinely value? By determining values together and as individuals, you get a clearer roadmap for the things that matter most and the things you and your children need to feel satisfied with life at home. This enables you to better create an environment conducive to learning and helping your children grow. 

Note: Values aren’t the same as morals. Values are elements of life you value over other things. Some families might value adventure, while others might value competition, and others might value creativity. None of these are morally superior; they’re just a matter of preference. In fact, you may find that family members value different things. Look for the places you overlap and work from there.

#3

Spend time together

Easier said than done, right? Families are busier than ever these days, and with everyone having multiple activities to juggle, it can be hard to carve out time just to be together. Here are some ways to make it easier:

  • Set aside one day per week to have a family activity (have different children in charge each week so that they can pick activities they are passionate about)

  • Strive to eat meals together as often as possible

  • Schedule one on one time between parents and children and remember, quality time matters more than quantity

#4

Teach and learn together

Where possible, create an environment where your children can learn together. Doing so creates opportunities for children to help each other with homework, foster conversations about opposing viewpoints, and share their insights. Do you have teenagers who make this seem impossible? We get it and we’ve got you. Here are our top three tips on motivating teens.

 

#5

Respect each other's opinion

Seeking to understand opposing viewpoints and let go of pre-existing biases is a skill that can benefit both parents and children. When children know that their opinion is valued and respected, especially when it differs from someone else, they’ll feel comfortable and confident discussing issues and asking questions. 

A perfect opportunity to try this out is during a parent-to-child conflict or a situation that requires disciplining your child for an action taken (or not taken). Ask your child if they understand what went wrong, why it’s important to do differently, and if they feel any issued consequences are fair and warranted. Be sure you ask why they believe and feel the way they do. This could give you great insight into what they value most!

Understanding what’s important to them will help you be more intentional with creating your ideal family culture. Take time to not just listen, but truly hear them.

 

#6

Evaluate whether or not your educational experience might need an upgrade

Parents have more education options today than ever before. Public, charter, magnet, online, hybrid, private, homeschool, unschool, world school—the vast amount of options can cause educational overwhelm. Which option is right for your family? Does your educational experience need an upgrade? If your current educational experience isn’t working for you, we’re here to help. 

Create Your Family’s Ideal Educational Experience: The Ultimate Guide

 

Education Empowerment Hub provides resources to help you establish your ideal family culture

Let’s face it! Educating, training, and preparing your child for adulthood consumes a majority of your time. It’s only natural for something this big to affect your family culture and vice versa. Wouldn’t it be great if the education path you choose fits your ideal family culture and the things you value most?

Determining the ideal educational option for your family is an ongoing process. Still, it’s well worth it to begin by creating a family culture and environment where you and your children can truly thrive. 

Education Empowerment Hub provides resources and knowledge to assist you in finding the perfect educational experience for your family. And this is why we’re so excited to cover a relatively new type of schooling in more detail at an upcoming webinar. 

World schooling is an educational movement that recognizes a student can receive no greater education than experiencing and interacting with the world around them. Does the idea of world schooling resonate with your family culture?

If you are interested in learning more about world schooling, we invite you to view the recording from our recent webinar World Schooling: Using Travel To Learn, Bond, & Thrive As A Family. In this webinar, Ross and Skyler Gilbert shared insights and tips gained from their six years of international family travel to more than 30 countries. They’ll also explained how they simplified family travel to create epic learning experiences for their kids—and how you can, too! 

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