This past week was “back to home-school” week for us, after a nice long (approximately) three week break for the holidays.
And, it didn’t go over well with one of my boys. We had meltdowns and agony and attitude. But, we came through it and I was reminded of 3 important life-lessons that our children need to learn and the back-to-(home)school blues brought them home.
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When they don’t like it.
My boys aren’t big fans of the math text or the reading/grammar brand I’ve chosen for them, but I have good reasons for why I chose them. They also don’t seem to be big-fans of having to read and look for answers in their science book either. Oh-well.
I think they just don’t like having to do “school” very much, when you get down to it. See? Even homeschoolers don’t like school work 🙂 .
In the past, I have
threatened them warned them of the possibility of being sent to public school if they don’t do their work for me. School is the law, afterall.
3 Life Lessons in the Back-to-School Blues
So, twice this week I have dealt with melt-downs, which reinforces to me that I need to stand firm on tough issues that are just part of life. Experience is a great teacher! There’s nothing like learning a hard lesson hands-on.
Lesson #1: Responsibility is a part of life and our children need to learn to accept it whether it’s fun or not.
It’s okay if your child doesn’t love everything about their assignments.
So, I laid down the law for them recently. I told them how it was going to be: no tablet time and no computer (Minecraft) time till they got their schoolwork and chores (if any) are done. And, all of that comes after they spend some quiet time reading their Bibles and in prayer.
So, first things first at our house…
Spend time with the Lord.
Get school work done.
Chores done, if any.
And, no leaving the tv on for background noise while playing the tablet and computer.
They have a natural inclination, it seems, to stay plugged in much of the time when left to themselves – with the tv on in the background. I have to be the heavy hand to set limits on this.
I’ve also noticed that they can easily become mean to each other when focused intensely on Minecraft. For example, when one is playing the other likes to watch, which leads to problems some times. Sometimes one doesn’t want the other watching, etc.. Attitudes, tone of voice, words… things go south. But I’m losing focus, where was I?
Oh, yes. The back-to -school blues.
Lesson #2: Kids need parents to set limits and (reasonable) expectations for them.
So, I stood firm with my son this week. I know schoolwork stinks, but work is a necessary part of life. They must learn (must!) that some things in life are not going to be easy, fun, or gratifying (nor should they be); and, I’d rather they learn these lessons while their young and under our roof.
This son was not getting on the computer if his work was not done.
Because of a bad start to the day, and me forgetting about the “law of no computer/tablet time till work done”, I had allowed him to take his tablet with us on errands so he ended up getting that reward before he earned it.
The boys had three subjects to tackle yesterday and by dinner time he wasn’t done with his last subject which was math (because of choices he had made during the day). He was in the middle of his lesson by dinner time and we were going to Pizza Hut where they could spend their Book-It Rewards.
His last subject was math (ugh!), it was getting late, and he was running out of time. Oh, the agony.
Well, guess what. Agony is a good teacher sometimes, and Desire, a great reward.
He decided he was taking his math textbook and notebook to Pizza Hut with us.
He worked on his lesson while we waited on our food.
He got it done!
And, I was so proud of him (and maybe a little proud of myself for not caving in) because he really struggled with doing something he didn’t want to do, when he didn’t want to do it.
Lesson #3: Hard work and sacrifice are worth the desired reward.
We got past the back-to-school blues, he got his computer time and all was right with the world.
Now, I just hope he remembers and appreciates what he
put me through went through the next time he fights me on school work. I guess we’ll find out Monday.