The crazy life of the ClarkClan. Living a life of grace through Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

“Do I Have to Do School?”

      I have four kids, the only one who has been in public school was Matthew. He went to Kindergarten, First and Second grade before I pulled him home. Sarah went to a public school pre-school which included speech therapy, but we then pulled her home for Kindergarten.  Ben and Rebekah were both born after we began homeschooling, so they have never known anything different.

     I want to address an issue that I feel homeschooling mothers can really get down on themselves. Kids who complain they do not like school. I began thinking about this when I was talking to a friend who is homeschooling her 9 and 6 year olds. She asked me if my kids complained about having to do their school work. I said, “Of course, everyday”. She was relieved that it was not only her children. She thought maybe she was doing something wrong.

      I don’t think she is doing anything wrong with her kids. They are nice, polite, happy kids. But, I sure can remember having the same feelings myself during the early years. I used to wonder what I was doing wrong and would my kids not complain if they were in public school. I came to the conclusion that kids are going to complain no matter where they are. There are always going to be “fun” things that my kids will think they are missing, and then my kids will tell their PS friends things that they wish they could do. It is our sinful nature to want what we don’t have.

     When we began homeschooling, I was under the impression that my kids would be happy and joyful and love learning. I am way past that delusion now. It used to really bother me that my kids would not jump out of bed and just love school. I wondered if it was me, did I just not make it “fun” enough. I don’t worry about that anymore though. When my kids whine “Do we have to do school?” I don’t try to talk to them to find out what they are unhappy with or how can I make it better (like I did at the beginning). I look at them now and say something along the lines of “Tough, this is life. Let’s get to work”.

     I have noticed that my kids don’t whine as much about school work if I have a matter of fact attitude. I make the assignments, kids do the assignments. Some things are fun, others are work. Learning to get your work done with a good attitude, even when you may not want to, is a skill that will serve them well their entire lives. So, no, I do not go out of my way to make every assignment fun and games.  I also take my kids complaining with a grain of salt.

     Matthew, who was my first student 11 years ago is now graduated. Yes, from homeschool. He is  attending college. He came home one day last semester, put his arms around me  and said, “Don’t worry, Mom,  I am doing just fine in college.  You taught me what I need to know, and I can learn what I don’t know.” High praise from a kid who used to cry over his math saying how much he hated it.

      If you are in the beginning or middle of those tough school years, where kids just want to play and Mom comes along to put a damper on their fun with school, take heart. You are not alone.


Giggly Girls said...

Wonderful encouragement. My oldest has had such an attitude about anything she's asked to do, not just school work, that I'm ready to ship her off to boarding school. lol It's always nice to know you're not alone.

Mary said...

I can totally relate to this. My now 15 yo ds used to have to be dragged to do his work. Now my youngest who has always happily done school, has begun to complain about it. :( This too shall pass!

Thanks for an encouraging post.

Our Homeschool Reviews said...

Great post. I feel that way a lot. I hope my dd does the same that your son Matthew did. How sweet!

Anonymous said...

Aunt Jill, Homeschooling is better than going to school all day and having to just sit there after my work is done. Then the teacher just gives me MORE work. See you soon

Alicia said...

Great post and just what I needed to read at this point in our school year. We always seem to do great our first half of the year - it is after Christmas around our home when the complaining sets in.

A Dusty Frame said...

Thanks for the encouragement.
Lizzie TOS crew

Berry Patch said...

Thank you for putting this into words. Excellent post!

Vickie said...

Great post! My biggest complainer about having to do school is....can you guess? :) Charlie! He's too busy to want to sit still and "do" school. When my kids use to make the comment about attending ps, I told them that I have to do what God has called me to do and that is to keep them home. I tell them that no matter how satan may try to work thru them to convince me to send them to ps, it won't work :) I haven't heard any wishing along those lines since.

Blessings....keep up the good work :)