The Homeschool Minute ~ Deborah Wuehler
Mercy Every Minute
A wise homeschool speaker once said that character is always more important than academics. And, if you have to, stop the academics to work on the character. I sometimes forget and get it backwards as I try to keep that agenda of schoolwork going.
The scenario might be two children sitting at the kitchen table doing their math. They begin arguing as one boy kicks the other under the table and voices rise. Normally, we might say, “Stop that fighting and finish your math.” Or we might say, “If you keep arguing, I am going to double your assignment!” Or we might even say, “You stay here, and you go in the other room to finish your math,” just so we can have peace.
The better way would be to stop, drop, and pray. Stop the math. Stop whatever you are doing (believe me, it really isn’t that important) and talk about the character flaw in each child, and the virtue and rewards of obedience and loving each other. Do this without anger–after all, your children are natural born sinners. Your angry authority will not help, but God’s peaceful authority will, so open your Bible together, and then pray together. After all that, then resume the academics.
Will it put you behind in academics? It might! But you’ll be ahead in character. Academics can always be caught up in the later years, but you won’t get these younger years back to work on Godly character. They don’t get better or more reasonable as they get older, rather they can become set in the character they have formed in the early years.
Our kids might be well-behaved and polite in public. But behind closed doors, they argue with each other, are slow to obey, and tattle constantly. Something has to change. Their character needs improvement. This is a good time of year to sit all the kids down and let them know that you will be working on character building and how that will look in your house. Here is some help:
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
Academic excellence is important, but let’s not make it the primary goal. Character excellence comes first in God’s house, as it should be in ours as we keep them Home Where They Belong.
“Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.” Jeremiah 9:23, 24
P.S. Have you ever inwardly or outwardly pointed the finger at another homeschooler who didn’t live up to your standards? Homeschool Pharisees from our Jan/Feb issue is a must read.
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