Homeschooling can seem like a daunting journey, especially for those who are new to the concept. We are unsure of where to start, overwhelmed by the notion of taking on our children’s education, and feel as if we are not enough. May we offer encouragement for families unsure of the adventure called homeschooling.
Another concern with homeschooling is how our children will accept mom, or dad, as teacher. Will my children receive instruction from me? Will they accept me as teacher? What if my child is rebellious and already has issues with acknowledging our authority?
Of all the fears concerning homeschool, this one is probably the most delicate. When our children won’t listen to us, this is a symptom of a larger issue: a separation in relationship (no matter how slight), both between us and them, and between them and the Lord. Almost any other area can be overcome with organization and planning. When our children won’t listen to us it is a matter of the heart; it will take time, effort, and love to conquer this concern.
The real question ought not to be whether my children could learn from me, but why they wouldn’t.
In such cases, my advice to these families would be thus: Put your children’s learning on hold and focus on relationships. When discipleship becomes priority, when relationships become priority, learning becomes easier. Here are a few areas to consider working on:
- Communication – Are they willing to talk to you, discussing their concerns and desires? Do they know they can talk to you about anything?
- Trust – Does your child know you have their best interests at heart? Do they know what those interests are?
- Affection – Do your children know you love them? Do you show this often enough?
- Respect – How does your child speak to you or about you? Do you allow your child to be openly disrespectful?
The best way to work on relationships is by spending quality time together. Pick activities which incorporate the issues you are attempting to work on, making discussions as natural as possible. Through effort and time things will change.
Once relationships have been reaffirmed, learning is accomplished more smoothly. Your children will understand why you want to homeschool, they’ll understand your goals for homeschooling, and they will accept your instruction more readily. Who knows? Not only might they enjoy it, but one day they may even thank you for your decision.
As a side note: For parents who are already homeschooling, this still runs true. If our children are having issues with receiving instruction, it might be time to take a break from formal learning and focus on rebuilding any broken bonds. Then, re-address our schooling.
Does this mean everyday will be a breeze, or that your children will never complain about doing school work? Of course not! Life is not perfect and work is still work. However, when our children know we love them, when we have their respect, teaching our children is much easier.
May this encourage you: We all have hard days. We all have days when our children act out. When we choose to spend time focusing on what’s more important, our relationships with our children and bringing them back into a right relationship with Christ, everything else flows; even homeschooling. Don’t allow this one obstacle to prevent you from a lifetime of memories, and your children the discipleship they so need. Allow the Lord to do a work in your family, and then start your adventure of homeschooling. The books will always be there.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
🔔Time to Chime In: Readers, share your advice for getting unruly children to listen.