The first thing to do when building a house is to lay a strong foundation. The same is true in “building” your homeschool. Homeschooling begins with character training as the foundation upon which everything else is built.
Without laying the foundation of character, it is easy to end up getting frustrated and burned out as a homeschool mom. When your children have no character, you will face daily struggles as you try to get them to obey, be diligent, and have initiative.
It is SO easy to fall into the trap of believing that knowledge is the most important thing, but it is very important that you don’t let the academics (or knowledge) distract you from what is most important.
Teaching our children at home is so much more than working than book learning. It is a process of discipling our children, , leading them to Jesus, and then equipping and preparing them to fulfill His purpose & plan for them.
Successful homeschooling BEGINS with character training.
True education seeks to train not just the mind but also the heart and soul. This is what we call character training. The most important area of instruction is not academics, but the development of godly character. It is the precious foundation-stone on which all other learning is built. If a person has great intellectual knowledge but little godly character, his life will not have much positive impact upon the world in which he lives.
*The most important task of the educator is to prepare his students for life. And the best way to prepare a student for life is to teach, model, and promote the development of godly character. Character training is the most important & most laudable activity for a teacher to be engaged in. If a student is taught nothing else save character alone, he will be better prepared for life than those who are taught pure academics but no character. – (Ray Ballman – The How & Why of Homeschooling)
Perhaps you aren’t sure where to start with character training. I’d suggest you begin with obedience.
If you try to teach your kids skills or academics without first addressing obedience, you will meet with frustration. You really can’t teach your kids to read or do anything else if they won’t obey you. So obedience is a character trait that should be at the top of your priority list.
Your child must learn to obey, first and foremost, or you can never serve as his teacher. Teaching him to obey, to do his work and stick with it, to follow instructions, not to interrupt, and much more requires your diligent supervision and follow-through. That is the work of parenting, really.
Unless your children learn to listen to your directions and follow them, it doesn’t matter how fabulous your resources are. The first and foremost subject to teach is good behavior born of self-discipline, or character!
Another important character trait to focus on for better academic success is attentiveness.
If you don’t have your child’s attention, it doesn’t matter how great your curriculum is. They have to be listening and paying attention to learn. If they are distracted, you might as well just realize it’s time to stop teaching the lesson, and work on teaching them to be attentive.
After working on those traits, I’d suggest looking at the things that frustrate you in your children’s behavior. Usually that goes back to a character trait that you need to work on.
The Bible makes it clear that you need to focus on using God’s Word to build your kids’ faith, and train them in Godly character:
….giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; (II Peter 1:5)
This is a clear and simple list of what your priorities should be if you want to child to be prepared for life and be successful:
- Build their faith by pointing them to God and His Word daily
- Build their character by teaching daily character lessons
- Teach them knowledge by academic training
Remember that successful homeschooling begins with character training, and pointing your kids to God and His Word.
To help you get started in character training, I’d love to give you 4 weeks of FREE character lessons!