The Homeschool Minute ~ Todd Wilson
How do I balance building character and academics?
We’re in the midst of a big dig-out here in northern Indiana. To my children’s delight, we got some BIG snow. We played out in it yesterday, but today the temperatures have plummeted and it’s bitterly cold. It’s too cold for playing outside, although we did spend some time trying to get our big van out of the driveway. It may be awhile before we can use our other vehicles.
I declared today a snow day as did all the schools in the state … allowing us to put off the real world for at least another day.
It’s sad that the “lie” that “school days” only occur when “school” is in session has been so ingrained into our thinking. How stupid is that? The truth is school and learning really do take place 365 days a year. That’s not just something I say to be “quaint.”
It’s also been beaten into our heads, to the point that we have trouble believing otherwise, that academics are every bit as important as character and godly living. It’s just not true. We try really hard to balance the two areas, but we almost always lean toward the academic side.
We would never say that, but here’s how it happens: school needs to get done, you feel behind, your kids seem dumb; so you push hard, get frustrated, yell, threaten–all for the sake of “learning.” You thought you were just focusing on academics, but the truth is, you are always teaching character, and here’s what you inadvertently taught them:
School is more important than everything.
Kids are a pain and make everything hard.
You (the mom) can’t smile unless your child pleases you by being smart … and they’re not smart; that’s why we have to work so hard on this.
Forget about all that stuff we read out of the Bible about not getting angry and being kind to one another. Just learn, learn, learn!!!!
On the other hand, guess what your children learn about character when you play in the snow with them? You tell me, which one matters more?
It’s time for a snow day … even if you live in south Florida.
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