Episode 45: Teaching Tolerance

The Layers of Learning Podcast with Karen and Michelle is here to help you get your whole family learning together in your homeschool. We are the sisters behind Layers of Learning. We love getting together to chat about homeschooling and this podcast is just a series of our chats. We’re inviting you to listen in on our conversations.

We both have big families, but we teach almost all of our school subjects to everyone at once. We want to help you find the joy in that too, so we talk a lot about family homeschooling. To see all of our episodes, visit our Layers of Learning Podcast Page. Join us as we explore how to have a happy, hands-on, family-style homeschool.

Teaching Tolerance

Teenager who signs holding a deaf child
Liz and Summer are best friends and have connected over signing. Instead of a difference dividing them, they have become connected by a difference and are bridging the deaf and hearing worlds.

Tolerance is sometimes a misunderstood word. Tolerance means kindness despite differences. It doesn’t mean acceptance, validation, or incorporation of traditions, cultural practices, or values that do not mesh with our own. One of the neat things about learning about people and places over the history of our planet is seeing how differently other people live and experience the world. We don’t have to adopt every difference in our own lives to be tolerant. Who knows though, along our path of learning about other people, we might just encounter something of true value that we do want to add to our lives if we learn to have open minds and hearts.

This little girl, Summer, is mostly missing one ear and is deaf. Summer’s mom has dealt with a lot of people who notice and point out Summer’s differences. Some are kind and some are not. She says they would rather be approached and asked than just talked about and pointed at. When Summer met Liz, Karen’s teenage daughter, the two became fast friends. Inspired by Summer, Liz is learning ASL and the two love to sign together. When we learn about our differences instead of shunning others who aren’t like us, we can be connected instead of divided.

Tolerance comes in many forms and you have a unique opportunity as a homeschool family to learn about people from various times, places, cultures, and lifestyles who live very differently than you do.

Here Are A Few Topics You’ll Hear About In This Podcast

Tolerance is best taught BEFORE a situation comes up that demands it.

Don’t be afraid to talk about differences or ask someone to tell you about the differences that exist.

You will notice differences, but that does not mean you have to follow that up with intolerance. Always think before you speak. Your immediate thought when you notice a difference may just pop into your head, but your second thought – how you act on it – is your choice. Choose tolerance.

Model tolerance. Show your kids instead of just telling them.

Homeschooling allows you to teach tolerance as you are learning about history and geography. It allows you to choose books that showcase people who live very differently that you do.

The point of education is to break down walls and let you see the world beyond your own life experiences. Our tastes are learned. Opening your mind and experiencing things like food, music, dance, and traditions can be eye-opening and enriching.

Traveling near or far to experience something outside of your own life is key to learning tolerance. Along the way, we may make mistakes even if we seek to be tolerant, kind people. Even when we do make mistakes, having a mindset of learning will help us progress.

Experiencing differences instead of sheltering kids from all differences is a key to tolerance.

Tolerance is a natural byproduct of a thriving homeschool.

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