Sunday, April 18, 2010

Shaping Their Hearts

This week's TOS Homeschool Crew's Blog Cruise question is: How can I homeschool if my child won't obey me. The #1 reason we have chosen to educate at home is to show our children God's ways and then to train them to walk in His ways. Psalm 32:8a says, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go." The Lord tells us in His Word that He will instruct us and teach us the way we should go, the way He desires us to go. As parents, we cannot assume our children will just instantly "get" this. We are responsible to teach them (Dt. 6:4-9). In our home, our first priority in our education program is to tell our children about Christ and then to disciple them. If our children's disobedience hinders our ability to teach them, then we need to take a break from the academics and focus only on shaping their hearts, and we do that only through God's Word and through prayer.

In Karen Andreola's book, "The Charlotte Mason Companion," she has this to say about conduct and character:
We who teach should make it clear to ourselves that our aim in education is less good conduct than good character. We may mold good conduct in our children, but it is of value to the world only as it has its source in character. To have a strong, virtuous character, we need a strong, vigorous Will (80).

As Christian parents, it is important to teach our children they are to strive to exhibit the character of Christ in their lives. We are to always point them to the character, the person of Jesus Christ. We don't demand obedience and respect from them because "we said so," but rather because it is what pleases the Lord Jesus.

My children are all still quite young. Right now when disobedience rears its head and threatens to ruin our school day - I pray. I pray alone, I pray with the child or children, and sometimes we take a break for a few minutes and start over. I always try to keep the most important thing - the most important thing in our home - showing my children what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. If disobedience is keeping you from educating your child academically, then take a break from the academics and spend some time at the Savior's feet with your child(ren) worshiping and learning from Him - learning His ways.

Stop by the TOS Crew Blog to see how other Crew members responded to this week's question.

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