Teacher or Parent?

It’s a good question, a question I’ve been asked a few different times since I’ve begun. “How do you make the transition to teacher? Do your kids listen to you when you teach?”

The advantage I have is that we are starting early; my kids are young. I’m sure the challenge is much greater with older students, especially those who have been in a school setting. I know my mom fought it a little bit with me as I constantly reminded her that she was not doing it the way “Mrs. Bell” did it (my previous first grade teacher).

Acknowledging that I don’t have a whole lot of experience on the topic, I would answer the question this way–I don’t make the transition. I am “mommy,” in the school room and out of it. That means that just as we obey Mommy first time and in the right spirit when asked to do chores, we obey Mommy first time and in the right spirit in our school work. Right now, the goal of homeschool is to establish a routine and patterns of study, even more than any other academic goal. In other words, my son will eventually learn to read, whether he reads this year or a year from now. But my top priority is to shepherd his heart toward a right view of authority. How do I want him to obey the Holy Spirit and God’s commands in the Bible? I want it to be willingly and quickly, whether or not that task is necessarily his desire.

Do my kids ever throw tantrums or complain about work? Of course, just as they might fuss about a chore or other task. Do I want my kids to love learning? Yes! I work very hard to make learning enjoyable. But I will burn myself out if I insist that they must LOVE everything we do.

A great solution is a timer. My kids are learning right now that every task has a limit. If there is one activity they don’t prefer, they know it only lasts for 10 min. I encourage them to work hard at the task until the timer goes off and remind them that there is always something exciting later on. But, I am the Mommy. I decide what we do in school, not my four year old.

Additional Tip: For my littlest one, the solution is to send her from the school room until she is ready to do school like a big girl.  There is no pouting in school. Usually, those stormy clouds clear away pretty quickly.