Last week I had a bad day homeschooling – before breakfast was over, I was already angry and frustrated with my children. They weren’t being obedient, and everything was taking twice as long as it should have. I stormed out of the room, muttering something about how maybe next year they should all attend school.
And then I realized…it wasn’t them — it was me. I hadn’t required obedience. I once heard a speaker say that obedience is doing something right away, all the way (completely), in a happy way. That morning, when I asked them to do something, they whined, argued, and complained. They certainly didn’t do what I asked right away or in a happy way. And while I should have followed through with what I said, instead I gave in…and gave in… and gave in…until the disobedience made me so angry I blew up. And there went the day – it’s hard to recover after that.
I always wonder why they act so surprised when I get angry—they know they’re not following instructions. But then again, why am I always so surprised they don’t obey? They know I don’t follow through with what I say, so they push as far as they can, hopefully not so far that I fuss at them. The problem didn’t start with them – it began with me.
For the first time, I realized that teaching my children at home requires me working on my character as well! It would be very easy to put everyone in school and not have to worry about it. They’re great kids, and most of the time they are respectful, courteous, and kind. If they were in school, my time to interact with them would be more limited, and I wouldn’t have to deal much with the issue of obedience. I’m confident we would get by, and they would turn out fine.
With this new perspective, however, I’m glad we’re homeschooling. The constant interactions with my children are quite revealing, showing me areas where I need to change. And I know that as I do, they’ll change as well. So I told them I don’t plan on sending them to school next year after all – I have a lot more growing to do!