Monday, April 19, 2010


The TOS Blog Cruise topic for this week is: “How can I homeschool if my child won’t obey me?”

One of the comments that I have heard the most over the years from non-homeschoolers is, “I could never homeschool. My child wouldn’t work for me.” I have never known how to respond to this comment. Frankly, my thought is, “Well, then you have an obedience issue that needs to be dealt with whether you teach your child at home or not!” But it would be rather rude of me to actually say that!

Do my children always obey me? No. But I recognize the need for them to do so. And I believe that learning obedience (and respect, and good work habits) is every bit as important as the actual academics.

When attitudes have gotten bad around here, we have taken days off to discuss and practice respect and obedience. And we actually do practice—over and over! I give instructions and expect them to be followed with a smile until the habit is formed. We have done Bible studies focusing on positive character traits. On other occasions, we have persisted with the schoolwork or chore with me realizing (even if the child doesn’t) that the real issue is the completion of an assignment with a positive attitude, not the actual assignment.

Still, good attitudes and consistent obedience are ongoing issues at our house. We struggle along, some days better than others. But I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to train my child at home instead of entrusting that responsibility to someone else.

So my answer to “How can I homeschool if my child won’t obey me?” is YOU CAN’T! Teach your child to obey. Concentrate on that for as long as it takes. Then worry about the academics.


  1. You are so right. Obedience is an essential lesson/skill that needs taught to each child. If they won't obey a parent, how will they do what an employer tells them?

  2. I agree-I am so thankful that we were able to work on/through the issues with our kids as they occurred and whilst they were under our roof. We have even had to "postpone" school to work thru some attitude issues/issues of the heart before we could do school. Nice post Debbie.


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