Tag: discipline

Pioneer Files: Notes from a Homeschooling Veteran

A man who lives without honor will not gain from education.


Discipline Is a Good Thing

Isaac Newton’s first law of motion states that an object in motion tends to stay in motion, and an object at rest tends to stay at rest. When we educate our children at home, we have to overcome a scientific law just to get going each day!

It’s normal to feel mentally and emotionally spent after a session with our children. Besides the natural inertia that we have to overcome, we are fighting a spiritual battle each day for our families.

So you, dear parent, will be tired and often discouraged, because you are in a marathon. The finish line is in your heart but not in your line of sight. Every day you are fighting the good fight. Many days are just hard. But you’ve moved a bit forward every day.

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. -Hebrews 12:5b-11

It worked for us to begin each day at about the same time. The length of the study day varied widely, depending on such factors as the difficulty of the assignments, any extra projects, the age of the children, and our own will to concentrate. This time frame protected us from outside demands on our time and gave us a sense of structure. A routine gave us a sense of peace, order, and security. After a hectic weekend, we often looked forward to the peace and quiet of Monday morning.


Pioneer Files: Notes from a Homeschooling Veteran

A man who lives without honor will not gain by education.

Yes, Virginia, there will be difficult days.

It’s a tough to find the right balance of work and fun in homeschooling, but it’s important to have both. Children feel honored and cherished when a grown-up takes real time with them, especially when that time is divided between work and play. Play more with the younger ones; slowly add work as they mature from level to level. But always insist on respectful attitudes toward you and each other.

If the child has never been outside the home for schooling, there may be fewer adjustments for both parent and child. But difficult days must be expected. They will come. Learning involves discipline, and our natures hate the pain of training.

The twin ideas of discipline and learning are so intertwined that the New Testament word for disciple actually means “learner.” The Greek word for discipline is suphronismos, which comes from the root suphron, meaning “to save the mind.”1.

Young children easily incorporate learning and play. They need much play time in an atmosphere that is free from intimidation and stress. Most discipline for them involves learning to do simple duties around the house and learning how to respect others. They should have plenty of room and time to play. Then increase their work load as their need to be challenged grows. Older children need enough work to stretch them without breaking their spirit.

When I was a child, I used to speak as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; When I became a man, I did away with childish things. -1 Corinthians 13:11

Society already has too many forty-year-olds who have never learned how to grow up into maturity. Our job as parents is to guide the growing-up process of our children. Living things do not bear fruit until they are mature.

  1. Vine, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, p. 308.

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