Here's a startling fact that may change the way you homeschool! According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 80 percent of the employees who lose their jobs do so because of poor work ethics rather than a lack of occupational skills. Wow, staggering statistics, but what does that mean to you as a homeschooling parent? Simply stated, educating your child to succeed in today's world requires more than just superior academics. Because business and industry leaders are looking for young people who display good work ethics, it also involves teaching your child manners, morals, and character values.

What exactly are companies looking for in employees? Here are the top ten essential work ethic characteristics desired by employers:
  1. Attendance - Punctual and completes assignments on time
  2. Teamwork - Respects the rights of others, keeps confidences, willingness to help, and shows initiative
  3. Attitude - Has critical thinking skills and takes responsibility to get the work done
  4. Organizational Skills - Prioritizes tasks and flexible when changes occur
  5. Cooperation - Handles criticism, works out conflicts, works for win/win resolution to problems, and follows chain of command
  6. Character - Trustworthy, dependable, self-disciplined, responsible, reliable, and demonstrates integrity
  7. Appearance - Knows etiquette rules and dresses appropriately
  8. Productivity - Follows directions; completes work accurately and quickly
  9. Communication - Asks appropriate questions and effectively communicates through oral and written skills
  10. Respect - Deals effectively with cultural and racial diversity; no harassment or coarse talk, and speaks professionally with administrators
So how do you teach these employable character qualities to your children throughout your homeschooling day? Easy! Reward them for telling the truth, set high standards for the quality of schoolwork, demand punctuality when turning in assignments or performing chores, require follow through on commitments and promises, discipline disrespectful actions or attitudes, encourage appropriate manners at meals and social gatherings, emphasize well-constructed sentences and the correct use of grammar when speaking or writing, watch character-building media such as AOP's Character Builders™, and most of all, emulate these same qualities in your own life.

Although you may be tempted to ignore or pre-empt "work ethic" training with other educational activities, remember, each moment you spend training your child in these traits will literally "pay off" in the future. More importantly, in a world that gets ahead through "situational ethics", teach your child to be different. With the Bible and God's viewpoint toward work as your standard, show your child that honesty, hard work, and integrity not only pay great rewards in the work world, they also develop a Christ-like code of conduct that leads to true success.