It’s been a long year already and it’s hard to believe we’re heading toward a new school year. Some of us may not be ready, and others are chomping at the bit. I know many parents will be glad for a little “normalcy” since our children need the security of routine and order again. Whether you are a homeschooler by natural choice or have decided to “school from home” because of Covid-19, you are probably beginning to think about the practical outworkings of your homeschool this fall. Today I want to share a few things to assist you regarding the importance of practical rules for homeschooling.
I used to love/hate planning for the new school year. There was something about a fresh year ahead that was full of promise and excitement, and then there was angst over all that there was to do!
As a veteran homeschooler, I came to realize that each year could and should look a little different in our home. As the years went on, there were various shapes we clung to. I am naturally laid back and not heavy on schedules and rigidity. (I’d rather enjoy the learning process and see where our intrigue and curiosity takes us! That’s the beauty of homeschooling!)
But, I also realized we were not going to accomplish what was necessary without rules and discipline in our home. God is a God of order, and He would have us go about our days living according to His instruction. The rules needed to be there to guide us in a framework, which then gave us the freedom to enjoy our schooling more.
With that, let me elaborate on the “Why” and the “What” of Practical Rules for Homeschooling. In my next post, I will share the “How” and specifically, what those rules looked like in our home.
Why Practical Rules for Homeschooling are Needed
1. Discipline is God’s idea.
Discipline is not just a good idea; it is biblical. We see God, our Father, discipline us in justice and mercy. He’s our number one role model. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament show many examples of loving discipline.
Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee.
He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.
A wise son heareth his Father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.
2. Discipline causes delight in our children and a restfulness in the relationship of love.
Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.
What mama doesn’t want delight in her soul and rest by doing what God instructs us to do?
We are told in Hebrews 12: 5-7 not to lose heart when we discipline. As mothers, we sure need this reminder, don’t we? We grow weary, but here the Lord encourages us to press on!
In Ephesians 6:1-3, there is a promise that it will go well with our children when they honor their parents. There are so many practical safeties for children walking in obedience.
3. Discipline is an act of love, and it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those trained by it.
“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless afterward, it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto those who are exercised thereby.” Hebrews 12:11
What are The Practical Rules for Homeschooling?
1. Start Young
When my children were very young, my focus was on the small little areas where I needed to direct my children.
- Listen when Mommy speaks to you.
- Please clear the toys off the table.
- Do not poke your sister, please. (Yes, you know what I am talking about! 😂)
For the little ones, remember to focus on basic obedience in small clear directions, with lots of encouragement and praise.
2. Simplify with the 3 D’s of Discipline
As my children grew older, I followed the wisdom of Dr. James Dobson who suggested consequences for the 3 D’s of Discipline:
Truly, most rules of discipline fall under one of those three areas with older children. Parenting older children takes a special grace, and the days can be long and hard, but with prayer and wisdom, you will make it through.
Remember, this is family life discipleship. We are running a marathon, not a sprint.
I would never say I LOVED homeschooling. Does that shock you? It’s true. But I loved my kids, and I loved the Lord. I sought to have my eyes fixed on that each and every day, especially on the hard days.
So, beware of continually looking at the end of the game rather than enjoying the process. You will miss so MANY sweet things!
Let me say also, dear mothers, you who are in the trenches, I encourage you, as hard as it is, to pan back once in a while and look at your children and remember they will not be there forever.
Those days are over for me now, and I would love to go back—just for a day and spend time with them again as little people, and yes, even as middle schoolers and teenagers.
Next time I will share some nitty-gritty practical how-tos.
In the meantime, enjoy this free printable.
Do you have any scriptures that have encouraged you in your homeschooling?