Moderation is the key to success in many areas. You need to eat to live, but not live to eat. You need a job, or a means to supply for your family, but don’t become a work-a-holic. Surf the web, but don’t neglect important things because you’re glued to the computer, or phone. You get the point, and I’m sure that you could add lots of other moderation points.
But what about homeschooling? Does the “moderation rule” apply? You
bet it does, but nobody has dared to say “enough“, until now. Some
of the finest points of homeschooling need to be done in moderation.
Here are two of the most abused areas.
“We set our own schedule.” That’s great! The
gift to set your family’s schedule (lessons, doctor appointments,
vacations) is a true blessing. However, there is a horribly
destructive trend currently moving in homeschool circles. We have a
growing population who have no sense of respect or commitment to
obligations. Setting your own schedule means decide IF you
can do something before you commit to it. Once you’ve committed, honor
your obligation regardless of whether it’s a field trip, co-op or study
group. Not showing up, not calling and not honoring your commitments
does not fall under “setting my schedule”. Your kids will see how
honorable you are, or aren’t with your commitments. If you don‘t show
up to things you’ve signed up for, don’t be surprised when your kids
start coming home late, not doing their school work and not keeping
their word to you. Eventually they’ll have trouble keeping a job if
they don’t learn to honor the time they commit to work. You are setting
“I don’t have to listen to anyone but my mom and dad.” Um,
no. While I understand that mom and dad are a child’s final
authority, teaching them that they don’t have to listen to anyone else
is a train wreck waiting to happen. When you put your child in a co-op
class, sports team, church class or any other instructor led
environment, you are putting them under the care and authority of that
person. Nothing is more frustrating than having a child who refuses to
do anything they are asked, because “I don’t have to listen, you’re not
my parent.” Not only does this create a teachers nightmare, this
mind set will carry over into adulthood when dealing with employers,
police officers and church leaders. Prisons are full of those who
never learned to submit to those in authority.
As the leader of a large local home school group, I see these two
areas deteriorating at an alarming rate. I thought perhaps it was just
a “local” problem. However, I’ve consulted with other leaders locally,
and on the state and national level…it’s everywhere folks! One leader
in Kentucky said that home school groups now have to pay non-refundable
field trip deposits in her area, because “they know the people who sign
up aren’t going to come”. That’s sad.
Our job as home educators goes far beyond the academic lessons. We
need to be teaching our kids how to be respectful and responsible
people, even if we have to learn those traits along side our kids.