Many moms have come to me ready to give up on homeschooling. The culprit is an ongoing battle between them and their child over school work. Perhaps you can relate?
Maybe you’ve given homeschooling a try only to find that being home all day with your child brings ongoing conflict. Perhaps you are wondering if your child might learn better from someone else. Are you frustrated and ready to throw in the towel?
Before you give up on homeschooling, take some time to consider whether one of these things might be causing tension between you and your child.
Time to Adjust
Did you just pull your child out of a traditional school setting? If so, you and your child may need time to adjust to doing school at home. This is a new experience for both of you. Your child might be confused about the new routine or a lack of one. They might wonder what the point is in writing their name on their paper when they are the only student. It takes time to find a way of learning at home that works for both you and your child.
Are you trying to mimic a traditional school in your home? This is one of the most common problems I see. Most parents grew up in the public school system and have developed expectations of what a proper education looks like from their experiences in school. Homeschooling is not about replicating public school in your home. It’s about incorporating education into your daily life. You and your child have the freedom to learn outside of the constraints of a classroom so start thinking outside the box and find what delights and inspires your child!
Does your child have discipline issues that need to be addressed? One of the benefits of homeschooling is that you have the time to invest in the spiritual and emotional development of your child. It is easy to ignore the bad behavior for a few hours but when your child is home with you all day you are faced with the reality that some training and discipline are needed. Put the academics aside and focus on your child’s heart issues. This investment now will pay off in the future!
Respect for Parents
You may be thinking that the issue really isn’t their behavior since they obey other adults like former teachers or Sunday school teachers. Maybe you are wondering if your personality just doesn’t match up well with your child’s personality. I’d encourage you to rethink that assumption though. The Bible says “children obey your parents” not “your teachers”. While everyone is called to obey the authority over them (even as adults) there is a special command for children to obey and respect their parents.
The enemy wants to stir up disrespect and disobedience in your child towards you, the parent, because it goes against the unique family structure God has designed. This is the time to keep your child home with you so you can prayerfully invest in their heart. Make teaching God’s Word and correcting disobedience your top priority.
How about you? Does your heart and your attitude need some adjustment? If you are like me and the many homeschool moms I’ve talked to then the answer might be yes. Are you easily angered? Do you lose your patience quickly? Are your expectations too high? Are there more negative, critical words that come from your mouth than positive, encouraging ones? If so, you need to repent before the Lord and your children and then ask God to teach you how to be slow to anger, more patient and overflowing with encouraging words.
It’s Worth It
If you are doubting your ability to homeschool because you are quick to get angry and lacking in patience then homeschooling is the very thing that God can use to grow you and conform you into His image. It might not be easy but it is worth it for you and your child!
Homeschooling has its challenges but don’t let tension between you and your child cause you to give up on home education. Pray. Seek counsel and see how God can use the challenges to strengthen your family.
Janelle Knutson is a wife and homeschooling mother to six children. She is the owner of Janelle Knutson Consulting, a homeschool consulting business dedicated to assisting and encouraging homeschool parents. She enjoys speaking at homeschool events, MOPS groups and women’s events when she isn’t busy caring for her family. You can find her blogging at JanelleKnutson.com.