Are Your Children and Life Testing You?

childtestingyouChildren are born fully equipped to do their academics if supported by an environment conducive to do so. However, there are times when they become distracted or avoid doing their own work. They will test the waters of self-education and see how far they can go in one direction or the other. If we allow for these moments the child will work out problems and will discover the value of being self-governed.

Remember to provide, guide then step aside. Ask them how they could have handled the situation better. Let them give you the answers and don’t turn the moment into a lesson or lecture. Practice this with your children and by age 10 or sooner they will be very good at self-government and self-education. By age 12-14 they will be creating their own schedules and even study plan and by the time they’re ready for college (or whatever their choice) everyday decisions and responsibilities will be something that comes easy to them. They will know how to make quick and responsible decisions and exemplify self-reliance.

This time with you is perfect for them to learn in the safety of you. This is where mistakes are smaller and easily learned from rather than experienced later when they could impact the child in a harmful manner for a lifetime. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and you are doing just this as you work with them in your home throughout the years, day by day and moment by moment.

“My mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier you’ll be a general; if you become a monk you’ll end up as the pope.” Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.” –Pablo Picasso 

As you manage your life, your schedule will be your tool bringing balance to all areas that matter most.  There will be times that a willingness to let go will be to your benefit such as:

  • If a situation suddenly takes your attention away from “schooling” temporarily, don’t give up on homeschooling all together but look for the greater lesson to be learned.
  • If you need help with the younger children, remember you can incorporate the help of older children. It is a great lesson for children to learn from each other. Older children are great at helping with reading aloud, answering a math question or sharing a hands on how-to project.
  • If you are faced with the arrival of a new baby, the need to help elderly parents or even the death of a loved one, don’t be afraid to take the time to process these life events. This is the stuff that life is made of and so much more can be learned from these moments in life than can never be found in a book.
  • The beauty of homeschooling is in its flexibility it permits for your unique situation. You can create the schedule that works for you and your family. Embrace what works for you and your family and appreciate others for sharing the wisdom grown from their experiences.
  • Keep in mind you can always tweak and adjust your schedule to best accommodate you and your family. How do you want it to flow? What do you want your day to look like? Let your schedule evolve along with you as you grow and change.
  • Above all, be kind to yourself. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the meals, laundry, errands, providing, guiding, parenting and there’s always something to clean up. Make sure you have structured your environment that best serves you. Take time to replenish yourself and get it on the schedule regularly. Your family needs you to be at your best and you deserve to live feeling at your best.

Are your children and life testing you? What did you do to come back to balance? Please share by leaving a comment below.

About Donna Vail (63 Posts)

Donna Vail is an education-parenting specialist, coach, mompreneur, homeschooling mother of six children, author and founder of An Inspired Education. She helps families create a lifestyle of true freedom by balancing education, work and life through self-education, entrepreneurship and inspiration. She is a highly sought after consultant for her successful guidance and resources that enable parents to let go of traditional parenting and education models, creating a lifestyle of learning where the whole family flourishes. Donna consults families around the world who all repeatedly express their restored confidence in homeschooling, parenting and personal development. In 1995 when homeschooling was little known to the masses, Donna traded in her daily commute to the office, to work from home and homeschool her children. For the last 17 years, she has successfully homeschooled her children and now through her writing, speaking, workshops, special programs and private consults coaches parents around the world to success in their homeschools. Her passion for education excellence has her constantly researching and developing new ways to support and nurture children. She lives an Inspired Education with her husband and children in Plano, Texas. Connect with Donna and access her wealth of resources at her website: An Inspired Education.


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  1. 1

    Great advice for all the home schoolers out there. I have a friend in South Africa who homeschools his kids, he will enjoy this post.

  2. 2
    Donna Vail says:

    Thank you Neil. Appreciate you passing it on to your friend.