How can you and your family be “in the world” but not “of the world”? How do Christians avoid loving and conforming to the world and yet still follow Christ’s command to go into the world to spread the gospel? The Christian’s relationship with the world can be tricky to navigate and teaching your children the importance of holy living is not always easy. Understanding what the Bible says about the world and our relationship to it is critical to having a right relationship with God and the first step in raising children to be imitators of Christ. As parents, we must first make sure our own lives reflect Christ and then teach our children how to live biblically.
Do your kids fight with each other? Probably. My four daughters occasionally fight. My brothers and I fought while we were growing up. The very first siblings we read about in the Bible—Cain and Abel—fought. Sibling rivalry seems so normal that we may mistakenly think it’s not a big deal. See tips!
Our children are growing every day. They are not just growing taller—they are also growing in their understanding of the world and in their ability to interact with it in a meaningful way. God created our children as emotional creatures—they respond emotionally to the world around them. We can observe these emotions in our children from very young ages. Babies scream when their world is unpleasant—when their diapers are wet, or their bellies are hurting. Toddlers sometimes display their temper when something doesn’t go their way. It’s important for our children to grow in their ability to express and manage their own emotions and empathize with others. They won’t be able to function well as adults if they don’t learn these skills. As homeschool parents, we get to encourage and observe this emotional growth.
When I was a homeschooled student, February seemed to drag on forever. It was cold and snowy (I lived in Illinois). There weren’t many opportunities to get out of the house and winter boredom hit hard. The routine of homeschooling seemed dull, and I was ready to be done.
Now I’m the homeschool mom instead of the homeschool student. I live in the South where the winters are milder, but I have still found the winter months to be a challenging time to homeschool. By the time February rolls around, I (and my kids) just want to be done homeschooling for the year. But we can’t just quit. We have to stick with it to the very end. Here’s a few ideas to help you and your homeschool crew make it past those “winter doldrums.”
Homeschooling is hard. Parenting is even harder. We homeschool parents probably have it the hardest of all—we have to be both the teacher and the parent all day long. This dual role can be a blessing. We have the opportunity to deal with character issues that would likely not be addressed if our child sat in a traditional classroom. But wearing both hats can also be deeply discouraging. Without a positive tone in our homeschool, we may feel like we are constantly having to correct our children. We’re correcting their schoolwork, their attitudes, and wrong behavior. Correction, correction, correction. All. Day. Long.
We homeschool parents have a unique superpower—we set the tone of the atmosphere in our homes. Have you ever noticed that when you are feeling grumpy everyone in your house gets grumpy too? The same phenomena happens when we are full of joy. It’s contagious. So if we want to change the tone in our home away from the constant doom and gloom of correction, we are going to need to change both our words and our actions. Here are some ways to get you started on creating a positive tone in your homeschool.