Friday, October 8, 2010

play vs. schoolwork

What do you do when your kids won't do schoolwork?  Everyone handles this their own way.  I respect that... completely!  What do you do when they don't want to homeschool because (there perception) you are interrupting their play?!

A child's play at a young age is so important.  But as they grow older and enter elementary schoolwork, it really is time to lay aside the cars and dolls for a few hours each day to pursue some training in phonics or work in math facts.  This can be devastating for some children.

I know parents whose children fight them on the play vs. schoolwork issue.  I, personally, have a few children who don't 'fight' me on the issue but they are very distracted by thinking about play instead of their schoolwork.  They sometimes result to complaining, "We aren't done yet?" because they want to get back to their "game" (a.k.a playing pretend!).

"Blueberry" isn't really a distraction... unless she is feeling mischievous!

Our love-hate relationship with Legos!!

Last year, I decided to approach this from a few different angles:
1)  What does the Bible say?  The Bible tells us "Wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding" Proverbs 10:23.  A simple search reveals a plethora of verses and stories in Scripture that leave no question to the value of education and wisdom.  Sharing God's desires for our lives with our children can never start too early. The last two school years have started with this instruction!
2)  While play is necessary for children, it can quickly become a privilege and not a given when it overtakes their schoolwork.  If the kids don't want to set aside their play things for learning time they jeopardize loosing a given toy (even if only temporarily).
3)  Dad is principle.  I had a hard time with this at first.  Before we went into missions work, my husband would be gone all day at work.  The last thing I wanted to do was "tattle" on my kids and cause my husband further stress.  But God revealed to me the importance of the parent team.  I didn't run to my husband with EVERYTHING... that would have been overwhelming!  But issues that were not able to be resolved with my management and/or required reinforcement were brought to him.  And just like a public school.... you don't want to be in the principles office!  He is always quicker to withhold privileges than teacher mom!  But this works both ways.  Principle Dad also likes to hear about (and reward) achievements... and kids always want to strive for those achievements in lieu of the reprimands.

Every day of homeschool may not (and will not) be "perfect".  But every day is an opportunity to grow both as students and parents.  I pray you grow through your homeschool today!

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