We’ve discovered a real challenge the parents here in Korea are having and were wondering if you had any thoughts for us. These are first-time homeschooling families with high school age children, and they are all struggling with their children wanting/liking homeschooling. It’s all the normal stuff — peer attachment/socialization and all the nonsense that goes on in high school. Plus the kids here are addicted to cell phones (8 years old is the youngest so far we’ve found with their own cell phone) and text messaging, video games, television, etc. The parents are asking what to do when “our high school age children hate that we have started homeschooling.” These are kids/families who have grown up in Korean government schools. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
A and J, Korea
Yes, I imagine it would be difficult. It sounds pretty similar to American families who try to pull their older kids out of school.
To be honest, I don’t see how a parent could….
1. suddenly take a child out of one world — a noisy, continuously stimulating world, saturated with friends, which exerts a tight grip on a child’s heart and soul;
2. move him into an alien world — the world of family quietness, work, study, and true friendships;
3. expect him to be happy
… particularly if the parent allows the child to keep one foot in that first world.
We’re writing a book: Looking Back — Ten Hindrances to Peace in the Home: Thirty-Two Years (So Far) of Raising Complicated Kids. It won’t be published for a long, long time, though, as we haven’t come to the end of the story. Hindrance #3: bad company. The friends your kids make today when they’re young will have a long term effect on your family. Pray for discernment. If I only had two prayers I could make for my children, the second one would be for discernment — being able to see the difference between good and evil, right and wrong, deceivers and believers.
Concerning your question of what to do when “our high school age children hate that we have started homeschooling” — really, the question becomes, how do we change the hearts of our children from being bonded to that stimulating world of friends and excitement, to being bonded again to parents and siblings — back as it was in the very first few years of the child’s life.
Since you’re dealing with older kids here, the situation becomes more than just making and enforcing a set of rules. The heart needs to change. Eliminate those things in your family’s life which weaken the bonding process, and encourage those things which strengthen it. If your child wants to participate in a particular activity, ask yourself, “Will this weaken the bond that I’m trying to develop between me and my child?” There’s nothing wrong with having friends — developing friendships, rather, and not collecting people as some collect purses. Here is where the discernment comes in.
Lord, give me and my children wisdom and discernment. If You don’t give it to us, we don’t have it. Proverbs 1:20-27