For kids, doing school at home all day can be a wonderful, comfortable and cozy experience. Everything is at their fingertips – their beds, food, the couch, snacks, blankets, pajamas – it can feel like a slumber party to the body and the mind.
I saw symptoms of this attitude in my home. I also observed it in other homeschool families. There was a time that I had to FORCE my kids to wash their faces in the morning, brush their teeth, and take showers – because they literally wouldn’t do it – after all, they are JUST at home. Then, when they were doing their school work, they were lazing around at the same time. So, when I decided I needed to make a change (because the quality of their work was suffering, and they never wanted to go outdoors), it took a while, because the habit had been formed.
While (in my humble opinion), there is nothing wrong with being relaxed and working at the same time, we have to be careful that they are not adapting to an attitude of life long leisure. Our children will not be home with us forever, and eventually we want them to embark on a life of their own (which means college, a job, marriage, etc…). We want them to be diligent, hard workers who will not back down from challenges, no matter how difficult. If school is supposed to be a stepping stone to their future success then what will your children’s future look like? Will they be able to wake themselves up in the morning for work? Will they be diligent with turning in homework assignments in college? Will their wives or husbands have to beg them to take showers?
Parents, sometimes we don’t understand the connection between now and the future. Those nasty habits wont just disappear! They follow us right into our future, and the older we get, the more we are set in our ways, so we have to use the time that we have, to insist upon excellent (instead of loose) character.
My encouragement to you:
…..make sure your kids are keeping up with taking care of themselves….daily hygiene habits and wearing clean clothing are important for a successful life.
…..Help them to form responsible habits like – waking up (with an alarm clock) at a specific time each day for school, turning in school assignments on time, doing chores around the house without being told.
…..Discourage them from doing school in their pajamas, or while laying in bed.
…..Trust them to help or lead projects (food shopping, yard sales, gift giving, etc..)
…..Make sure they are getting out of the house a couple of times a week…even if it’s just for a walk.
“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.” – Ann Landers