It is one of the fun freedoms homeschoolers have – to stay in their pyjamas all day.  But I think it is more of a misconception than a reality for most homeschooling families and certainly for ours.  The main reason why we get dressed in the morning is that we are training for life – the habits we establish in childhood will be the strongest through life. 
Getting dressed in the morning teaches our kids skills they need for life.

So we get dressed because:

1–You are ready for your day – getting dressed helps you make a mental shift from go slow and lazy to doing what has to be done

2–You learn that there are appropriate clothes for various parts of your life – pjs for sleeping/relaxing, work clothes for manual labour, smart clothes for business, casual clothes for everyday, party clothes for partying etc.

3–You learn the importance of personal presentation and that first impressions count.  Though we like the idea of being judged for our heart, reality is in life people will make decisions based on first appearances.

4–Getting dressed shows respect to others around you.  It tells them you are prepared to be with them.

5–Your appearance affects your focus, productivity and standard of excellence. It is very easy to be sloppy when in sloppy clothes.  It is a gradual slide, where at first it doesn’t seem to make any difference, and then little by little we let other things go.

 

When I was a child, if I was grumpy, my mum always sent us off to ‘get our smile’.  My sister didn’t believe it made any difference so one day she checked it out.  When mum sent her to go find her smile, she went to the bathroom to watch the transition (though she didn’t believe it would happen) and sure enough when she smiled she not only looked different, but she felt different.  It is much the same when we get dressed.

As children, if we were sick and were staying home from school, mum always made us have a shower, change into fresh pjs and we were sent straight back to bed (and as a bonus, she always changed the sheets for us while we were in the shower so our bed was fresh too).  If we weren’t feeling 100% – especially as teenage girls – she would encourage us to dress up a little, to take extra care, to wear something we felt great in.  This attention to our externals has an affect on how we carry ourselves, our attitude to the world, and how we spend our time.

One of the lessons I’ve learnt from my mother in law is how she dresses for the activity.  It is nothing for her to have a quick shower and change clothes for the next activity of her day.  The lesson I have observed, and try to remember, is that it doesn’t really take that long to change if you need to.  She often changes from gardening clothes to presentable going out, town clothes and then back into gardening clothes later in the afternoon.  It takes her very little time.  The key is to have your clothes already hanging in the wardrobe ready to go (not needing ironing like mine often do!)

What we do today, will affect how our kids live tomorrow.

Getting dressed might look different in different homes  – we live in a hot climate and staying in our pjays isn’t about being warm and snuggly.  I can easily imagine the temptation to stay warm in some climates.  Flylady.net is very big on getting up and getting dressed – right to the shoes.  Well, I’m a barefoot person myself, but I get dressed, right to the makeup!

The important thing to teach our kids is the way we dress affects our attitude towards our day- and what we do today, will affect how our kids live tomorrow.

Further Reading:

Everyday family life creates learning experiences that teach relationship skills, life skills, character and academic learning.

Though we want to teach our children responsibility sometimes irresponsibility sets in their hearts. Parents need to check on the subtle things we do to keep this attitude in check.

Being intentional doesn’t mean you won’t be surprised by your kids behaviour. Sometimes you’ll miss something and that is okay.

When a homeschool mum gets so tired she loses her mojo she needs to make changes so she can recalibrate.

7 Comments

  1. joyce2003

    Soo true, for me being constantly sick doesn’t help to get anything organised especially the wardrobe as it doesn’t come before food or sleep! I am glad to say I have managed this year to minimise clutter in our wardrobes and keep only what is very pretty, practical and necessary. It took me a whole week full time to think thru and sort our clothes for 4 different seasons and to minimise numbers of pieces of clothing. It is very hard to say no to “China” (if you know what I mean). I am managing so far!!! I am printing this article to encourage our family to maybe go from average to good and then to better and hopefully step one more up to best dressing up habits. Thanks for this post Belinda!

    • Belinda Letchford

      Hi Joyce – thanks for dropping me a line. We’ve had seasons in life where we’ve had to go through and sort out our wardrobes too and find the clothes that reflect where we are at in life. We live in a hot climate and have only a few months of the year where we feel cool which does help simplify things a bit. I am working on my wardrobe at the moment as I have many outfits that I’m just not wearing these days. I hope your kids will jump on board with you as you work on this aspect together.

      • joyce2003

        I have finally registered to post and after a year of getting to know this blogging thing! Sorry to flood your inbox, Belinda. By the way, English isn’t my first language so bear with me, thanks.

        • Belinda Letchford

          Ha ha – that is fine Joyce – glad to have you making comments – it is always nice to hear from those who have been visiting my blog. Your English is going fine. What is your first language? Keep in touch!

  2. Stephanie

    What a great post! I guess we do the same thing and not even trying too hard. We eat breakfast, brush our teeth, wash our faces and then get dressed. However, I must say, we dress in comforting clothes. I am a creature of comfort 100%. So while we definitely get out of our gowns, we get into what I have termed, “soft clothes”. Soft pants (sweats) and a soft shirt (t-shirt). when we leave the house we will change again into jeans and matching shirt, socks and shoes.

    Like you, I feel that dressing and a morning routine, wakes us up and communicates to our brains it’s “busy time”

    Thanks for posting this!

    • Belinda Letchford

      That is a good way of putting it Stephanie. Eeveryone’s lifestyle is going to look different and what it means to be ‘ready to go’ will look different. As my kids have grown older I have placed more emphasis on them learning to dress well – more like town clothes – as they get closer to leaving home. Teaching my kids to wear shoes – now that is another matter – still working on that one! Even with my 19yo!!

  3. The Holistic Homeschooler

    Wow.. we do get dressed first thing, out of habit. But I loved the things you’ve learned from your mom and MIL. Tips to consider! Thanks!

Homeschooling in pyjamas is easy to do but not always the best for our children. When we get dressed each day we are teaching o

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