Character Trumps Academics

Several happenings around our home for the past month have lead me to the conclusion that “character trumps academics.” I am so tired of interpersonal conflict. Can we please get through a day without somebody getting mad at somebody else?

Family in Abisko National Park

Our family five years ago, in Abisko National Park, Sweden, above the Arctic Circle

At the same time, I realize this is real life and not utopia. Conflicts will happen and tempers will flare. However, if we make a concerted effort to minimize such situations, we could probably make some progress towards more peace and peace-keeping. Blessed are the peace makers, right?

“Parents, do not provoke your children to anger” (Ephesians 6:4) has always been a curious and challenging Bible verse to me. It has been one of the guiding principles of my parenting, but where do you draw the line? Especially when you deal with obstinate toddlers or hormonal teenagers? Anger pours out of children in these two stages of life constantly when they don’t get their way.

Balance. How do you find it? It’s really a matter of prayer. You should talk things through and learn about each other, study each other’s likes and dislikes and, as far as possible, live peacebly with another. Above all, keep praying throughout the day.

 

Romans 8:28

For those moments when things don’t work out, you just have to remember that everything works together for good (Romans 8:28). But if we are in a season of character growth, allow some room for less academics. Go for walks together. Allow children time alone, or solitude, if needed. One of my children calms down alone. The other one wants to talk it through.

If you need to do less school work in order to avoid conflict with your children, so be it. You can always catch up. I am not talking to the parents who are already laissez-faire and fly by the seat of their pants. I am addressing those of us who have a plan and goals and know exactly what should happen every day. For those of us in this category, we need to remember children are humans, not robots, and we decided to homeschool in order to allow them to grow at their own pace.

This is the delicate work of parenting and before you were a homeschool educator you were a parent. Parenting trumps teaching. Character trumps academics.

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