The question posed on The Blog Cruise this week is this: "How can I homeschool if my child won't obey me?"
My short answer...You can't.
Then again you can't do much of anything if your child won't obey you.
Ephesians 6:1 "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right."
Before even considering homeschooling, I would recommend taking time for some "character training" of your children. Teaching them to obey - no matter the age really - is truly an essential part of just being a parent let alone a homeschooling parent.
My oldest is now 13. This in no way makes me a parenting expert but let's just say, I've got some experience under my belt now. I've been through those early years times three now. My youngest is now six years old. My toddler days are behind me. However, those are the years where it's important to begin teaching your children - no matter how you plan to school them once they reach school age.
Colossians 3:20 "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord."
Time and time again I hear young parents say things like "Oh, Johnny refused to nap for me today." or maybe "Susie wouldn't sit in her car seat." or any number of things in which their child "refused" or "wouldn't" or somehow didn't do what they parents wanted them to do. My advice: remind the child who's boss in this relationship. Hint: It isn't them.
Here's a disclaimer before I go much further...there are a number of things I am still working on with my own children. I am in no way a perfect parent. I think I'd be hard pressed to find any such creature. We all have issues to deal with (mine happens to be extremely picky eaters) but it all comes down to this really...
Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go:
and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
There are definitely days still where my boys simply do not want to do their work. They want to be outside and playing or watching TV or doing anything but sitting down to do school. However, I spent time when they were younger training them. It didn't look like that, but that's what it was essentially.
When they said "No, I won't!" and I said just as firmly, "Oh yes, you will!" And then proceeded to make sure they did. That was the training they needed then to learn to obey what mommy and daddy tell them to do. That builds as they grow. My 13 year old son knows that if he whines and complains about work, he gets more. Life becomes even more difficult than if he had just done what was asked of him in the first place.
I am a huge fan of "creative discipline." If the children make my life difficult by complaining, whining, fighting, or arguing with me, than chances are their life will become equally difficult for them. Extra chores will be found for them to do (hauling wood is a favorite). Time spent in boredom on their beds doing nothing will follow. Anything that makes them think about their actions works for me.
However, none of those would have worked if they weren't taught to obey when they were young. We're still working on it and I would dare say we will until they are adults and leave home.
If you are interested in what other TOS Crew members had to say about this subject, be sure to check in at the TOS Homeschool Crew blog tomorrow.