The Value of Work

Everyone needs to work. Our children need to understand the value of work. Their work will not be their value. But how they value their work will be critical to their success in life.

(To be clear, the mother who stays home to care for her children and/or educate them is “at work.”)

Somewhere along the line we were encouraged to believe that after you get your high school diploma, you are to move on and receive a college degree, graduate, get a job, raise a family, and then retire. The motive for working was to support all of this.

Once young people became disillusioned with the money motive, they started looking for something more authentic. Real work. Work that satisfied.

So since money isn’t the motive, as companies are beginning to realize, they must appeal to the motive from within. The worker may indeed value work, but not be motivated in the same way as previous generations. Instead work will need to be interesting, meaningful, fit a greater purpose, and allow the worker to give back.

Here are a few thoughts to pass along to those considering why we labor and what labor they may find most interesting:

We are created to work.

Since the Garden of Eden, man finds his satisfaction in the work God gives him. No matter how we try to skirt the issue or take the easy route, we won’t think much of ourselves without the value of giving back by the fruit of our labor.

Anything of value takes effort.

If it costs us nothing, we will not find value in it.

This typically means we will need to learn, improve, get our 10,000 hours in, and practice. All of this will take effort.

Incompetence is a time waster.

Become efficient. Be disciplined. Be diligent. Get it done right the first time.

There is always a way to improve. If the motive comes from within, self-improvement will likely follow.

You have been given a gift!

This gift is from your Creator. And this gift is how you worship Him and serve others.

Our children need to understand that no one gets a free pass in life. We all have something to contribute to the greater good…usually expressed through our “work.”

Of course, there are benefits….

These can include financial benefits to support families and communities, and financial independence. Benefits can be personal, such as being engaged, active, and challenged.

But since the motive from within is the one you are looking for, your real work will be consistent with your nature. You will find it satisfying (despite those tasks that would not be considered favorites).

Exercise skills and talents.

In reading a book about a former Olympic marathoner, one thing that stood out was the fact that the goal of running was baked in. In pursuing his goal he found a way to exercise the gifts and talents God gave him.

Not many people would immediately think: Ah, yes, I want to be a professional runner. But whatever our skills and talents, we will find our happiness and fulfillment in exercising them.

No matter what we do, we will find things about it that we don’t enjoy as well as others. They key isn’t to shun hard work and effort. The key is to find that thing that we are good at so that our effort is more effortless.

And by the way, by practicing a learning lifestyle our student’s view of work will simply be an outgrowth of what they are already doing.

additional resources
10 Tips for Providing a Non-Generic Education

10 Tips for Providing a Non-Generic Personalized Education
If you read nothing else, read this.

Homeschool Failures…That Work!
Learning lifestyle in practice!

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