This is part eight of my Top Ten Tips for Homeschooling series. Find links to the other tips below.
Navigating through Sibling Nonsense
As much as my children have always loved each other, they had their fair share of spats and quarrels. A few tips on navigating through the sibling nonsense.
First, children need to be taught to love each other. It’s not natural that they do, but neither is it an option. It is biblical they love each other so use scripture to teach this command. (See Matt 5:22-24; John 13:34-35; Rom 12:9-10; Gal 5:26; Eph 4:32; Phil 2:3-4; Heb 13:1, 16; I Peter 2:17, 4:10; I John 3:14, 4:20; Proverbs 17:17)
Second, if your children struggle with territorial issues in school, like whining over the softest chair, the best desk, etc, make a contract to negotiate the terms of who gets the chair on what day or who gets the corner with the best lighting. Silly? Yes. But we resorted to a “Who gets the blue chair contract” in our homeschool to end the feuding for this sweet spot. (If they complained, they lost their day!)
Third, to keep peace during school, create rules of behavior that are fitting to the situation. (i.e. No name-calling; No stealing pens and pencils; No poking, hitting, shoving, etc.) New rules can be added as needed. My children added a few rules just for me like “No phone calls during school hours” and “No sleeping in class.” (True story!)
Fourth, document it when you and your children break the rules. Write it down so that you can issue a fair, pre-determined consequence at the end of the week for the misbehavior. We resorted to a “fine” of 25 cents for each offense. (I had to pay, too!) It wasn’t a perfect system but it helped deter trouble, mischief, or distraction that might otherwise ruin our day.
Top Ten Tips for Homeschooling Series
- Living by the Week
- Simple Household Management
- Managing Meltdowns
- Homeschooling at Home
- Date-free Lesson Plans
- Keeping the Love Alive