I don’t know what happens to our kid’s brains between Friday and Sunday. Whatever happens it is as if they have forgotten everything we have been learning. Emotions run high, their attitudes are disrespectful and it is all I can do to not break into yelling or tears. There have been times during our school year when it feels like I have dealt with more sass and frustration than successful learning moments. It can leave me wondering what I am doing wrong. It is even more frustrating when these moments lead to days, weeks and months of more sass than learning. Hold firm, be encouraged, these frustrating times are when the Lord is waiting and wanting to speak to the hearts of our kids. These moments are why we chose to homeschool in the first place. They are ugly and often messy, but if we hang in there, the Lord reaps a harvest and their character begins to form.
The Holy Spirit is faithful to bring guidance and wisdom when we spend time in his presence. When we seek the Father he is faithful to bring us answers. In the moments of frustration it can feel like my kids would be better off in public school or at least with someone else teaching them. What they need is mentoring. They need me to get my parental emotions together. They need me to go to the throne of God and ask for his wisdom. I need him to reveal both the heart of my child and I also need him to reveal my heart. Especially when the season of sass lasts the whole school year.
The Lord has begun to give me eyes of compassion for my kids in the middle of their sass. When they are blowing about with the wind, unstable in all their ways. They need to know I am constant, loving and unchanging. In the middle of a crazy outburst, I will look them in the eye and tell them, “It does not matter how mad you get at me, there will be plenty of times when you hate me, but I will always love you, I will always want you and I will always be on your side”.
In the moments when my kids sass is not backing off I need to assess what is happening in their life. Have we moved, had a baby, are they turning another year older or is it about six months after their birthdays. Are they physically capable of doing more, but need time to allow the emotional part of them to catch up.
When the Holy Spirit reveals to me what is going on with our child and the solution, we call a problem solving meeting with that child. We talk about what we are seeing, why we are seeing and we get their input on what the Lord has shown us. Sometimes our seven year old son will say, mom how did you know what was going on? It’s like magic, no it’s not magic, it’s the Holy Spirit and experience showing me what your heart is doing. Once we have talked about the heart issue, we then discuss with them both positive and negative consequences we will implement going forward.
Most of the time we see relief in their heart and eyes, they don’t like the way they are acting either. They also do not like the separation it causes among the family. When peace comes back to their heart, our home and especially our relationships, they are thankful.
It is my job as their parent to hold firm, yet flexible, with the heart of a mentor. Math is often not the subject of the day. Many times it becomes the bi-product of their character being formed and shaped. Math is learned, concepts are grasped, but they also build endurance, patience, self-control and at the end of the day. Their relationship with the Lord and with me has deepened.