Thursday, December 13, 2012

Should Your Child's Opinion Matter?

This should be a matter of prayer for parents.  We have found that God leads us to seek our children's opinions in the matter of homeschooling. God gave us not robots or unmolded pieces of clay to raise but children, humans, created in his image who exist for his honor and glory.  Homeschooling works best for us when we both encourage our child to seek the Lord in homeschooling matters and we as parents do the same. Long gone are the days when I trust in my own opinions, based on my past or my feelings or my fears, to decide how to raise or homeschool my children.

If there is a disagreement between parent and child (less likely the more you get to know your child and his unique character), the best solution we have found is three-fold:

  1. Prayer- Send everyone back to the Lord to continue to seek him for clearer direction.  This will often end up with either our hearts or the child's heart being changed about a matter.
  2. Time-Sometimes, it may be best to wait on a decision if there is disagreement between parents and children.  There are few decisions that are life-threatening and need to be made immediately.
  3. Communicate-Make sure your child clearly understands your position on the matter.  Sometimes, this may just be "I feel the Holy Spirit leading in this direction." Give the child a chance to speak up as well and concerns that you may not be aware of can surface and be addressed.
The whole point of all this is to insure that God's will is being done in your homeschool. The secondary benefit is a strengthening of your relationship with your children because they know that they can trust you and your decisions because you will not make plans about them without considering their feelings. 

By showing respect for them as God's children, you will encourage them to do the same to others.  Remember the old saying "More is caught than taught." meaning that children will learn to treat others as they see you treating them more that what you preach at them.

Consider praying and ask the Lord if you should be including your child in more of your homeschooling decisions.

Practical tip: Nearly all quality curricula will allow you to view of download samples for free. I show or give these to my children to get their opinion before I buy.  Many iPad apps also offer free or trial versions that your children can sample before you purchase the full version.

Christian Book Distributors
 is  a site that I often use because many of the books offer the option of viewing a sample and audio products allow you to listen to a sample.

Should your child's opinion matter?

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