the struggles that take place daily in that setting and the valiant efforts many schools often go to in order to supply the missing elements of children’s lives. But every day leaves
me grateful for the opportunity to teach my
own children and provide for their educational, social, and emotional needs within a
Biblical framework at home.
There are a lot of books out there about how
to meet social and emotional needs in children. But the clearest, most definitive advice
is found within the Scriptures. Within God’s
Word, we learn to do unto others as we would
have them do unto us (Luke 6: 31). We learn
to love our neighbors (Matthew 22: 39) and
our brothers (I Thess. 4: 9). We learn to avoid
bullying (Psalm 34: 12-18). We learn to share
(Luke 6: 38) and we learn to help one another
(Gal. 6: 2). We learn to obey authority figures
in our lives (Heb. 13: 17) unless their authority
conflicts with God’s commands (Acts 5: 29).
We learn to choose our friends wisely (Prov.
22: 24) and consider others more important
than ourselves (Phil. 2: 3).
The Scriptures were inspired by the Cre-
ator of human flesh and spirit and only in
its pages can we truly learn how to behave
and interact with others. We also learn
from God’s Word that successful human
relationships are formed only when we first
form a relationship with God (Mark 12: 30).
Though most of us know these truths, we
are not always careful to pass them on to
our children. Sometimes, as homeschool
parents, we focus more intently on their
academic needs and leave these social and
emotional needs to sort themselves out.
But teaching our children how to deal with
their emotions is a life skill we must incorporate in the home education process.
Here is an example. While teaching one
of my sons, there were times when schoolwork became an emotional battleground.
Our most common battleground was up-
per level math courses, a subject I feel least
equipped to handle. Typically, what would
happen is that my son, who is very bright,
would come across a math problem that
would stump him, and he would react emo-
tionally. His typical rant would run some-
thing like this: “Math is stupid. I am stupid.
I will never learn this, and I will never use it
anyway. The textbook must have the answer
wrong. I have no idea what answer these
people want from me!”
Keep in mind that this kid later gradu-
ated sumna cum laude from college and
passed the CPA exam on the first try. Clear-
ly, the textbook was not the problem and
neither was his ability. But, in that moment,
his emotions stole his reason.
It would be easy to simply preach to him
about his bad attitude and add to his feelings of inadequacy. I tried that for a while.
But, frankly, I had felt the way he felt before.
Sometimes emotions take over and we need
to learn how to deal with those emotions
and how to teach our children to deal with
them as well.
After trial and error, I learned that once
we reached this stage, learning was impossible. So I began to institute “sanity breaks.”
I would allow him to shoot baskets or run
around the yard for 30 minutes. But the
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I was struck by how
familiar this job
sounded. Then I
realized: this is the job
description of a parent.