Monday, August 18, 2008
I could never do that!
How many times have you heard that response when you tell someone you home school? I cannot count the number of times! And often it is followed by "I would go crazy if I had to stay home with my kids all day." I am always shocked by that statement, and I think that few who say it realize just what they are saying, or how bad it sounds. They decided to have kids, but have no desire to be with them, and in fact are horrified by the thought of spending the whole day with their own children. Yesterday at the crocodile hunter's soccer practice (it's that time of year again) I got one of the most refreshing and insightful statements from a mom who asked me where my kids went to school. She did not say "wow, you must have a lot of patience", or "you must be really organized." What she said was, "That takes a lot of self-discipline." I thought a moment, and agreed. Self-discipline. You do not have to be an organized person. You do not need to be a natural teacher. You do not need to have a degree. You do not have to be supermom. What you need is the dedication to do the job, even on the days you don't feel like it. The self-discipline to get up in the morning and raise your children in the way they should go. The self-discipline to not get distracted by the unimportant throughout the day. The self-discipline to keep working with your child until he understands the concept, no matter how many times it takes. The self-discipline to set your own routine for the day. The self-discipline to follow that routine! If you believe in your decision to home school, if you know that it is the right thing for your family, then what it really requires is self-discipline. You will learn what you need to teach them, you will learn patience when a child is struggling, you will learn that sometimes what you want to do has to be put on hold while you educate. But that is part of being a parent. That is part of raising the next generation. And if there is one thing the next generation will need in a world of instant gratification and endless possibilities for mind-numbing entertainment, it is self-discipline.