Irecently came across a job description for something called a social-emo- tional learning advocate. Some public schools hire these individuals to help
students learn how to interact with other
people and respond emotionally in appropriate ways. These individuals also advocate
for students by discovering what they need
to succeed and then finding resources to
meet those needs.
As I was reading this description in an
article describing why such individuals
were needed, I was struck by how familiar
this job sounded. Then I realized: this is the
job description of a parent.
As homeschool parents, it is our responsibility to not only provide our students
with knowledge and instruction in a wide
variety of subjects—it is also our responsibility to teach them how to respond to the
world around them.
For most parents, this role comes naturally. We teach our children to be polite,
to be obedient to authority, to share, to
love, and to forgive. We teach them when
it is appropriate to laugh and to cry, to be
angry and to put away anger. We teach
them when to stand firm and when to
lovingly allow someone else to have the
However, unfortunately, there are many
children in our culture who do not have
that person in their lives, and this is the
reason public schools are being forced to
spend more time and effort in taking on
this role for some students. In other cases,
students with special needs may need additional support in these areas beyond what
parents can provide. For most parents,
however, addressing these social-emotional
needs is well within their grasp.
Though I have homeschooled for more
than 25 years, I have covered the field of public education in my role as a journalist for
over two decades. I have come to appreciate
Teaching our children how to deal with their emotions is a life
skill we must incorporate in the home education process.