by Sally Keys
A well rounded education is essential to growing a well rounded learner. With around 21 primary subjects to choose from – increasing to many more in high school – what is your best choice for including a spiritual understanding when homeschooling? Does spirituality have a place in secular homeschooling? Once you have made the decision to homeschool, and begun your own homeschooling story, how do you make sure that you nurture all aspects of a child’s development?
Links between spirituality and brain development
Author of Awaken Your Brain, Jeff Skolnick M.D., P.h.D. states that spirituality throughout history – or Enlightenment or an Awakening is evidence that the, ‘brain is capable of developmental neuroplasticity’. It is this ‘developmental neuroplasticity that reshapes your brain to its highest stage of development’. Engaging in spiritual tasks and disciplines develop different parts of the brain. This benefit to mental health helps children look inside themselves to better understand the links between their actions and beliefs. Whether you believe in a higher power, a God, or any other spiritual entity tarot can deliver guidance. Nurturing spirituality in children creates supple pathways between neurons in the brain which help build a child into a well rounded adult.
Nurturing spirituality benefits children emotionally
Acknowledging the physical and emotional needs of children has long been paramount in building an emotionally intelligent child. Yet, some parents have neglected or overlooked spirituality because they fear that it links to formal religion. However, nurturing spirituality leads to developing, in children, a meaningful life in harmony with their growing values. In her article entitled Why Kids Need Spirituality, Lisa Miller suggests that to neglect a child’s spirituality would be more harmful than eating unhealthily or not studying for the SATs. She says ‘spiritual stunting can perhaps damage a child forever, creating a brittle sense of self and a lack of resiliency.’
When homeschooling children are entitled to a holistic well balanced education. Parents who choose to homeschool are often interested in more than just education, but going beyond the classroom and equipping children the with as many skills as possible. Nurturing a spiritual need and understanding in children can benefit a child’s empathy. In an ever changing society the understanding of empathy is paramount in putting oneself in the viewpoint of someone else. Spirituality shows children that there is more than one solution and more than one angle to approach a situation from.
The schedule of a homeschooled child is full of valuable educational experiences. Essential to an understanding of life is the ability to think and respond to a situation with some spiritual insight. A well balanced diet of learning that encompasses a spiritual side will lead to increased empathy, engagement and a well rounded curriculum.