Thursday, August 16, 2012


Sometimes I'd love to be a fly on the wall and see how other people, other moms I know, really live.  Not to judge, but just to pick up tips.  Or possibly to make me feel better about myself....that I'm not the only loosey-goosey out there.

Homeschooling and chores got me thinking.....

I have friends who homeschool their children, and I am amazed that they are able to do so and keep their mental faculties in check.  I sometimes feel guilty because I have zero desire to homeschool my children (although I keep it as an option in the back of my mind if the boys don't adjust well to public education and all the required sitting).  I like my kids, but I do best when I am with them in doses firmly wedged between weekdays when they are at least 30% somewhere 2-3 days of preschool.

The other day I was thinking that some of the ability to homeschool successfully has to be based on the way a parent disciplines their children and generally runs their household.  A pretty tight ship, I would imagine.  Since the folks I know who homeschool do so in part because of their strong Christian faith, I suspect that this faith also plays a role in their firmness, their ability to keep their children participating and cooperative with homeschooling without waging war on a daily basis. (My presumption is that they don't wage war....maybe they do?)

My faith is wishy-washy.  My belief system is in god, and that's about all.  I believe in a higher power, and the not important.  And this pretty well sums up how I run my house.

A post on FB also got me thinking about my kids' chores, or lack thereof.  I don't really require, at least at this point, the kids to do much.  Part of this is because during the school year, I expect N to do her school work and practice piano.  Getting home at 4:15 and going to bed at 8:15, with meals and bedtime preparations thrown in there, doesn't leave much time for her to sweep or vacuum.  And partly it's because.....well, that is sorta my job right now.

I'm still trying to get my kids to remember to flush the effin' commode after they do their business.  And wash their hands.

Once they get a handle on these basic skills, I'll feel like we can move onto more difficult things.  Like scraping plates.  

1 comment:

Keri said...

I'm curious what your other homeschooling friends would say about their level of household discipline, but as much as I'd love to say that I run a tight ship, that's not the case. I wish I did, but like you, it's not in my personality. It's definitely an effort to make myself follow a routine and schedule when homeschooling, and I've failed on many occasions. Thankfully, there's room for moderate amounts of teacher failure in homeschooling, just as there is in the classroom. :-)

I would say that what makes homeschooling work for us -- and maybe this helps to make up for the lack of serious discipline -- is that we basically have a culture of kindness and respect in our house. Don't get me wrong -- our house is definitely NOT free of sassing and backtalking, bickering and criticizing, complaining and whining, and all other negative forms of communication. Those do happen (from both kids and parents!), but I think that because our overall tone is one of love, respect, and grace, they don't happen often, and things generally go smoothly. And when they do happen, it's not hard to get back to a place of peace and forgiveness. The kids know they're loved and respected, and so they're willing to give us respect and obedience in return (again, NOT all the time, and not in any way resembling perfection). They know that we - parents - are their authorities, and that we love them, and so while still testing limits like all kids do, they pretty much tow the line. In general. Most of the time. With notable exceptions. :-)

I struggle so much on the chore thing. I'm really bad about assigning them chores and then not following through and making sure they're done. Since we homeschool, they do have the time to do them, but it's me who drops the ball because sometimes it's just easier to do them myself, or I'm not in the mood to hear the grumbling (see above note about exceptions) that often follows a reminder to do a chore.

I do believe in the importance of kids doing chores because I read reliable research somewhere that said that kids who have regular household chores have more of a sense of belonging in their family unit, and a belief that they matter as individuals because they play an important role in making the household run smoothly. But again, I have a hard time enforcing the chores for my own kids, so I feel like I'm cheating them in this regard.