The Purpose of Reproof

the_purpose_of_reproofI was hurt. I’m big enough to admit that. Her words had cut me to the core and I was inwardly aching. I now had two options. I could give in to my sinful nature and show her just how badly she had made me feel. Or lead her to Christ. It all depended on my purpose of reproof.

Let’s face it. Sometimes my children can be hurtful little creatures. Let me be clear, we’re not talking simple mistakes or saying things which can embarrass us. No, this is outright rebellion, disrespect, and meanness. It comes as a shock when my children step out-of-bounds. Generally, they are very pleasing and wonderful to be around. But, every once in a while…

When my children step out-of-bounds, I need to step back from the initial impact of emotion and assess the situation. How I react in this moment will either help my children draw closer to God and bring us back into a right relationship, or it will deepen the chasm. I need to understand that, just like myself, my children are still a work in progress. God is not done with them yet. Being children, they also lack maturity. If I am leaning on the grace of God in my own life, how much more should I extend grace to my children?

If my heart is for my children to feel guilty, hurt, and/or ashamed of what they did, I too need correction. It is not my job to act like the Holy Spirit in my children’s lives. It is to lead them to Christ, allowing Him to do a work in them. I cannot do this when I am more focused on my own emotions and desires than seeing them have a right relationship with God.

Yes, I am hurt. But, so are they. Acting out is merely a sign of a deeper issue. When I remove the obstacle of my emotion, asking the Lord to lead, God is able to work through me. The purpose is to restore my children to a righteous relationship with Him. Not to vent, make them feel badly, or punish.

Does this mean my children’s actions never deserve consequences? Goodness, no! Consequences can and should be given. Children need to experience the just response to disobedience. But, there is a significant difference between just discipline and me lashing out. One is righteous and good; the other hurtful. The purpose of reproof is to help draw my children near to God. If I cannot do this – or have a hard heart – it might be the moment to step back, correcting when my heart is in the right place.

To be fair, when the dust settles, often my children are shocked by their own outbursts. They know they behaved badly and regret their choices. They don’t always know why they reacted so strongly. Here is an opportunity for maturity and growth.

May the grace of God fill me, and each of us; helping to remove those pesky emotions which love to take dominion over the heart. May we lead with mercy, discipline with love, and constantly seek to draw our children closer to God.

“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”
~ Hebrews 12:11

Your Turn!: How are you inspired to help your children draw closer to God in moments of difficulty?

Want to stay connected & up to date with A Homeschool Mom? Don’t forget to follow on FacebookInstagramTwitter& Pinterest!

Do Homeschoolers Lack Discipline?

LackDisciplineSometimes I learn as much about education from those outside the homeschooling realm as within. They give me a different perspective of how we are doing and share a little about the world in which I do not dwell. My recent lesson had to do with the apparent lack of discipline coming from homeschooling students.

It seems public schools are becoming wary of students who used to be homeschooled but now wish to resume their public education. (In our region, those wishing to rejoin the public system must take a thorough exam to verify their academic achievement.) It looks as though homeschooling students fail to have the rigor and drive it takes to adapt to a classroom setting.

In which ways are we coming short? Let’s take a look:

We fail to turn in assignments on time: It seems one of the most recent criticisms being made is that we fail to understand the concept of a deadline. We are so used to doing things at our own pace – completing projects at will – deadlines are foreign.

We fail to work in a group: A lot of homeschoolers are trained to work on projects alone. They work independently and at their own pace; working in a group can be a challenge.

We fail to communicate: As parents we tend to “pick up” on our children’s needs. Our children are not becoming familiar with making their needs known and speaking up when help is needed.

We lack order: We start our day when we want, work on whichever curriculum we want, eat lunch when it’s convenient, and generally go about our day to please our own routines. There is no concept of time management, spacial management, organization, or responsibility to others.

We lack respect: Coming from former homeschool students now attending college, it seems many homeschooled children are unfamiliar with how to properly address those in authority. Previously homeschooled students speak out in class, failing to raise their hands; they address teachers informally; and believe they can talk their teachers out of assignments.

I am sure the list could go on, but these are just some of the recent claims to hit my ears. While, at first, we might balk at these statements and quickly dismiss them, perhaps we ought to give them some consideration….

It has been said by some, they are not “training their child to climb someone else’s ladder, but to build their own”. More power to them; I’m married to an entrepreneur, so I’m all for it. However, if we are to be honest with ourselves, some of these claims have nothing to do with “climbing someone else’s ladder”, but rather common sense which is needed for everyday life.

Even if we never plan to attend college (college isn’t for everyone), discipline and order are necessary life skills. How we manage our businesses, our bills, and our homes will have a huge effect on our success in life.

As a homeschooling parent, I want to be aware of these concerns and work through them. While I do not plan for my children to ever attend public school, some (if not all) of them do plan on college. I do not want to wait until the last-minute to make my children familiar with these principles. While they are young, they should learn to be organized and neat. While they are growing, they should learn how to ask others for help and to speak up when needed. As they grow older, the concept of deadlines needs to be implemented. I want to afford them the opportunity of not just working independently (which is important), but also of working with others to complete group projects.

All of these skills make for not just a well-rounded student, but a well-rounded adult. No matter their future goals (college, motherhood, trade schools, etc), these are necessary areas of achievement. Bills need to be paid on time, households and businesses need to be well run, families work better when they work together, and organization always makes life move more smoothly.

While I do not give credence to all claims regarding homeschoolers, I find no fault in listening and praying about their accusations. Sometimes the Lord uses their concerns to open my eyes to areas in which I was blind. In the above areas, I think we are doing well. I believe we are doing our best to not only help our children learn, but to give them the necessary skills to pursue further education if they so desire. If they choose not to attend college… well, hey; at least they’ll be well prepared adults, right?

📢 Chime In!: Do you think homeschoolers lack discipline?

Want to stay connected & up to date with A Homeschool Mom? Don’t forget to follow on FacebookInstagramTwitter& Pinterest!

To The Drill Sergeant Within

To_The_DrillTo the drill sergeant within my head, may you take these words to heart and put them into action.

Dear Drill,

With four little ‘cadets’ in your charge, you have a full routine of activities before you. Responsibility quickly fills your day, leaving little time for anything else. While I appreciate all you are doing and all the hard work you are putting into training up these little charges, there are a few things I wish to point out to you.

They’re Still In Training

It’s true, you have been given a huge responsibility; one which you are putting your full effort into. However, from time to time, it’s good to remind yourself these trainees are just children. They are going to stumble, fumble, and grumble on occasion. These little ones need not only strict training, but also lots of love. They need to know you are not only able to whip them into shape, but also able to be fun. They need to understand you desire respect, but offer grace. You are firm, but kind. You challenge, yet help. 

As they grow, they will need your daily assistance less and less. However, this does not mean your job will be over. Your job will move from drill to councilor. You will be expected to listen carefully, help them analyze their situations, and encourage them to move forward with confidence. 

Pick Your Battles

In your struggle to train these little people up wisely, you will come across many battles. It is key that you remember not all battles are going to be won and not all battles are yours to fight. Allow our great and powerful leader, Christ, to conquer where you are unable. Afford your charges opportunities to fight battles for themselves, gaining strength from their experiences. 

Stop beating yourself up over battles lost. Focus on the bigger picture, winning the war. 

Trust Your Leader

The Lord, Who called you to this, knows what He is doing. He has given you all you need to complete this mission. Never fear, He is constantly watching you; moment by moment. He is keeping tabs on the situation and is offering help constantly.

Put your faith in Him, knowing He will see you through; even those moments when dolling out thousands of push-ups seems the only answer. He understands your frustration, but He knows you can do this! 

Remember They’re Not Yours

While it might be tempting to think of these charges as your own, please remember they aren’t. Yes, they are in your care, but, in truth, they belong to our Commander. He has given them to you for a short time to help train, but they always have and always will belong to Him.

Train Them, But Love Them

You have been called to a unique mission. You are being asked to train, but to train out of love. Your training IS an act of love, to be sure, but, from time to time, they are also going to need physical affection; even those whose training is almost complete. Never forget to hug them, cuddle them, and show how much you care. A good drill knows there should be balance between being firm and being loving. 

Keep Up The Good Work

Finally, drill, I leave you with this. Do not give up! Your mission might seem frustrating at times. Often you might wonder if your job is really all that important. But, let me assure you, it is vital. What you are doing is of the utmost importance and you need to pursue till the end. Do not allow our enemy to deceive you into thinking you are worthless and of no value. 

One day these ‘cadets’ will be drills themselves. They will look back on this time and remember all you have taught them, putting to use all the skills you are so diligently training into them. May they see you struggle, but always rise again. May they see you move forward with confidence, kindness, and affection; knowing love is behind all you do. 

My dear drill, may the Father continue to give you strength and peace. May He fill you with His love to share with these little soldiers. May He constantly reaffirm His mission for your life, leaving you with no doubt that to this you were called.

Be Blessed,
Cristina

No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.” II Timothy 2:4

🔔Time Chime In: Write a short note to your ‘drill sergeant’ and share it with us!

We’d love to see you in action! Instagram your homeschool inspired ideas & projects with the hashtag #A_HomeschoolMom & you might find your picture featured on AHM’s Instagram!

Want to stay connected & up to date with A Homeschool Mom? Don’t forget to follow on FacebookInstagram, & Pinterest!

Lacking Discipline

I think I learn as much about education from those outside the homeschooling realm as within. They give me a different perspective of how we are doing and share a little about the world in which I do not dwell. My recent lesson had to do with the apparent lack of discipline coming from homeschooling students.

Discipline

It seems public schools are becoming wary of students who used to be homeschooled but now wish to resume their public education. (In our region, those wishing to rejoin the public system must take a thorough exam to verify their academic achievement.) It looks as though homeschooling students fail to have the rigor and drive it takes to adapt to a classroom setting.

In which ways are we coming short? Let’s take a look:

We fail to turn in assignments on time: It seems one of the most recent criticisms being made is that we fail to understand the concept of a deadline. We are so used to doing things at our own pace, completing projects at will, deadlines are a foreign language.

We fail to work in a group: A lot of homeschoolers are trained to work on projects alone. They work independently and at their own pace; working in a group can be a challenge.

We fail to communicate: As parents we tend to “pick up” on our children’s needs. Our children are not becoming familiar with making their needs known and speaking up when help is needed.

We lack order: We start our day when we want, work on whichever curriculum we want, eat lunch when it’s convenient, and generally go about our day to please our own routines. There is no concept of time management, spacial management, organization, or responsibility to others.

I am sure the list could go on, but these are just some of the recent claims to hit my ears. While, at first, we might balk at these statements and quickly dismiss them, perhaps we ought to at least give them some consideration….

It has been said by some, they are not “training their child to climb someone else’s ladder, but to build their own”. More power to them; I’m married to an entrepreneur, so I’m all for it. However, if we are to be honest with ourselves, some of these claims have nothing to do with “climbing someone else’s ladder”, but rather common sense which is needed for everyday life.

Even if we never plan to attend college (college isn’t for everyone), discipline and order are necessary life skills. How we manage our businesses, our bills, and our homes will have a huge effect on our success in life.

As a homeschooling parent, I want to be aware of these concerns and work through them. While I do not plan for my children to ever attend public school, some (if not all) of them do plan on college. I do not want to wait until the last-minute to make my children familiar with these principles. While they are young, they should learn to be organized and neat. While they are growing, they should learn how to ask others for help and to speak up when needed. As they grow older, the concept of deadlines needs to be implemented. I want to afford them the opportunity of not just working independently (which is important), but also of working with others to complete a group project.

All of these skills make for not just a well-rounded student, but a well-rounded adult. No matter their future goals (college, motherhood, trade schools, etc), these are necessary areas of achievement. Bills need to be paid on time, households and businesses need to be well run, families work better when they work together, and organization always makes life move more smoothly.

While I do not give credence to all claims regarding homeschoolers, I find no fault in listening and praying about their accusations. Sometimes the Lord uses their concerns to open my eyes to areas in which I was blind. In these areas, I think we are doing well. I believe we are doing our best to not only help our children learn, but to give them the necessary skills to pursue further education, if they so desire. If they don’t… well, hey; at least they’ll be well prepared adults, right?

Do you think homeschoolers lack discipline?

Tying Strings

Little Man and IThe relationships we have with our children will not always run smoothly. There will be times they need training and discipline. There will be times we provoke them or hurt them, even if it is unintentional. While it would be easy to say, “that’s part of life, they’ll get over it”, and move right along; it is crucially important we don’t.

There is a strong tie between a child and their parent; a bond that is more than just blood. When our relationships are injured and strained, we need to draw them back in and retie those strings.

How do we retie those strings once they have been pulled or cut? Here are some great suggestions that have been given to our family:

  • Smile often and express joy in your child.
  • Go out on a date and have a good time!
  • Enjoy their company. Pick a book, a movie, or something they like and enjoy it together.
  • Have a tickle war!
  • Go on an adventure; even a hike can be adventurous.
  • Make something together; it can be as simple as dinner or as complex as a treehouse.
  • Include them in your daily responsibilities. When children have an opportunity to help out, they feel loved, respected, and needed.
  • Hug often! Even big kids secretly like to be hugged; just grab them and let them know you are there.
  • Tell them you love them; sometimes we take this for granted, but kids need to hear the words.
  • Surprise them with “blessings”. Even something silly, like their favorite gum, can touch their hearts.

I am sure the list could go on and on, but it is definitely a starting point. As our children get older and as their personalities change, we will have to adapt the ideas; constantly growing along with our kids. Playing in the Rain

More often than I would like, I find myself in a position of needing to discipline my kids. While this is important and needs to be done, I also need to make sure that I retie those strings of our relationship; reaffirming my love and affection.

If I fail to retie those bonds, my children will find me to be a tyrant or a bully. They will turn away from me, refusing to hear my words and rebelling against our authority. If I fail to retie the strings of our relationship, my children will cut themselves loose and I would lose their hearts.

The relationship I have with my children is crucially important. I need to be constantly aware of the “ties that bind” and ensure that they are strong.

How do you “tie strings”?