Wednesday, January 22, 2014

5 Essential Attitudes in Homeschooling - Day Three: Consistency

My Essential Attitude for today is CONSISTENCY.

Over my homeschooling years, I have met all kinds of parents with every homeschooling method imaginable. I have also seen brilliant homeschooled students who have come from every method available. What can I learn from this? That no matter what curriculum we settle on, how many hours a day we do school, what approach we take, etc. what really matters is that we are consistent.

Consistency can be applied to many areas of life. I am not a fan of jumping around to many different curriculums, and one of the reasons is for the sake of consistency. When I find something that works, I will embrace it and stick with it. Granted, children are different, and one type of method may work wonders for one child, yet frustrate another, but overall, there should be a common thread of consistency in our homeschool lives. Consistency builds character.

“Sow a thought, and you reap an act;
Sow an act, and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit, and you reap a character;
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.”
Samuel Smiles

Consistency not only applies to curriculum and schooling, but also to our attitudes. With God’s help, we should strive to be patient and calm parents. Our children should never have to guess which “mom” will show up for school that day. Will it be the patient mom who can overlook their silliness and help them get some work accomplished, or will it be ‘that mom’ who gets easily irritated and frustrated with everything?

Our discipline should be consistent as well. This is probably one of the hardest things a parent faces, because we get busy and often don’t want to take the time to set our children down to explain and correct the faults in their character. We start to let things slide, then when we feel they have reached the point of no return, we clamp down and make the children mind. This is nothing but confusion for children, who despite their protests really do like clear boundaries to work within.

We should determine in our hearts where those behavior boundaries should be, then clearly explain them to our children. As tedious as it may be, every time those boundaries are crossed, the issue should be dealt with as soon as possible. If a child thinks they can get away with something, even occasionally, they will think it is worth taking the risk. If they get punished for a misdeed when mom is having a bad day, but not when mom is having a good day, they will become frustrated. They know they should not be allowed to get away with bad behaviors. If we are not consistent, our children will not be either.

The best benefit of consistency is that it breeds predictability. Predictable days, predictable parents, and predictable studies give children a much needed sense of security. The whole world might be crazy, but they have a safe haven where they know what to expect, because their parents have strived for consistency in their daily lives. My goal is to be that kind of parent to my children.

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  1. I agree, excellent! Also a very convicting post. I lack consistency on a day to day basis (but I'm working on it!). I also get bored easily with the same curriculum, so it is a challenge for me. We are on our 2nd round through a curriculum we started out with and I am enjoying it, but admittedly, I skip some books (or have my husband read them) because I like change. But, I do feel most productive when our days have a consistent rhythm and I stick with whatever I use all the way through. Thank you for this post!

  2. I also agree! I try to be consistent with what works. When something doesn't work, I want to quickly get to the heart of the matter and find out why, so that we can adapt and make changes, and get back into a rhythm.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!