Can you see a season of stress ahead of you? I'd love to show you how to plan ahead. When you know it's coming you can survive the stress when you plan ahead for a challenging homeschool year. You can have a bright future ahead - see ...
Everyone has them at some time or other. Even those perfect homeschool families, who show up at conventions in matching outfits, with perfectly-behaved children. Yes, even they have them sometimes! Some kind of family crisis will pop up, and get in the way of homeschooling. Of course, whether you’re homeschooling or not, a crisis can happen. Just because you are homeschooling, that doesn't make a crisis worse. A crisis is a crisis. It’s a trauma to the family when things go wrong, regardless of the schooling choice you’ve made.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to help your family weather the storm, and stay on track with your homeschooling.
Cover the core when possible. If you are having a family crisis, try to cover at least the core subjects whenever possible. I admit, sometimes it’s not realistic. When possible, covering Math, English, Social Studies and Science will still give you a reasonable-looking transcript at the end of the year. Try and pay special attention to finishing Math every year, even if everything else goes by the wayside, so that your child won’t get behind. It’s easy to quickly finish other classes if you need to, doing the minimum requirements, but there’s no way to speed up Math!
Prepare ahead during freshman year. You can be prepared for the unexpected. You never know if your family might have a crisis at some point in your homeschooling. Make sure that you cover all the important subjects starting at the beginning of high school, in your student’s freshman year. Don’t wait until senior year to cover fine arts! Cover them all when you can, from the beginning of high school. That way, if something does come up, your student will be more likely to have completed their coursework by senior year.
Of course, family emergencies are not the only reason why it’s important to be prepared and to work ahead. Sometimes seniors in high school will put their feet into the sand and not budge when you try to convince them they need to take a foreign language, or a second year of fine arts. By planning ahead, you might not have to struggle with your teen quite as much. Be prepared, and any crisis will be much easier to weather.
Jesus and his disciples are sailing to their next destination, when disaster strikes.
As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!" He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. "Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples. Luke 8:23-25
It seemed like a routine sailing
For more than a dozen years you have parented this child, and it feels like you have seen it all. There have been ups and downs, and there is no struggle that is new under the sun. Your child is just your child - and you have adapted.
A sudden squall and great danger
The unexpected happens. Not only is there conflict, but you no longer even recognize your child. Not surprising, because adulthood has begun, and your baby is no longer a child at all. In the midst of this growing up, there is sometimes huge difficulty.
Panic, and beliefs go out the window
Unexpected behaviors, situations and hormones consume your growing child - and overwhelm your ability to rationalize, and cope. Panic. Parents sometimes believe all is lost; game over. Failure.
Where is your faith?
This moment in parenting is when you most need your faith. This is where the rubber meets the road! You have to hang on to the fact that you have trained your child is the way they should go, and have faith that they will not depart from it when they are old.
Arrive safely at the shore
God's promise is that you will arrive at the shore. The crisis will end, and God's plan for your child's life WILL come to pass. The Lord controls nature, the wind and waves. Certainly he can control the squall within your child, and work his purposes. His plan for your child was made with the assumptions that this squall would occur - he already knew it would happen. Only the parents are surprised - not God.
Parents sometimes face a difficult time in the storm of adolescence, and their child is unrecognizable due to impending adulthood. This passage urges you to have faith! Don't give up hope, because all is not lost. The Lord knew in advance this would happen, although he doesn't necessarily approve of the choices people make from their own free will. But the Lord has made us a promise; Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. We WILL see the shore. We WILL arrive on the shore safely. No adolescent storm, no matter how dangerous, can thwart the Lord's plans.
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Does your teen have a REALLY rotten attitude? I have seen this sort of thing before, and then PRESTO! The kid turns it around - usually when they find a thing that really floats their boat. Let me throw in a few ideas:
Do you remember when the kids were babies, and things would get really hard and miserable? One thing that helped me at THAT stage of life, was realizing that those things usually only lasted for a week or two. I was never sure whether it was me adapting to them, or them adapting to me, but after two weeks the thing that freaked me out wasn’t freaking me so much anymore.
It’s like that with high school, too. In two weeks, maybe this crisis will be over - or at least lessened. Somehow, someway, it will have gotten better (not perfect perhaps, but no longer a crisis.) So hang in there! Maybe in two weeks, you will have moved to the next crisis, LOL!
You can try letting the student have more control over school (not less control, like with an accredited, online or alternative education program.) Ask your child their preferences. What would they want to study? Be sure to cover the core subjects, but still provide a lot of free time when finished with the core. Have the student look at Robinson Curriculum, PACES, and Sonlight Curriculum to begin with, just as a starting point.
You may want to take your child to the doctor to see if they are depressed or have fallen into something serious. Don't give meds unless necessary, because you don't want meds to mask an underlying problem. Still, it's important to keep our eyes open for serious problems.
Parenting is never easy, but sometimes it can be REALLY hard. I hope these ideas will help.
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-3 (New International Version)
We are living in dangerous times. Pray that our President Obama and the congress find wisdom (quickly) to help the country navigate through this economic crisis. The world is watching and waiting for what we will do. The stakes are very high indeed.