Let me stop and tell you right now.
I am not a patient person.
Well, maybe in some things. Like the patience to cook something new that has many steps and processes. Or I have patience (sometimes) when I wait in line at the store. And usually when I'm driving. Usually.
But when it comes to my children? Um. I'm afraid not.
For some reason, my children bring out the impatience in me. And this isn't even homeschooling I'm talking about!
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." Galatians 5:22
Longsuffering--aka patience. Out of that nice wonderful list of things that I need to be practicing, I would say I am the weakest on patience. And self-control, but that's really related to patience. So see, there you go.
So here's the question, if I already am having issues with being patient with my child about normal everyday things, how can I be patient with them when it comes to school????
I admit. It's hard. And I think that might be what these parents are trying to say. That they know how impatient they are with their children on a day to day basis...so they are sure there is no way they could be patient enough to also be responsible for teaching them school every day. And so, they have decided that sending their children to school where the teachers there have great amounts of patience, solves the problem. (Wait--they think teachers at school, who are responsible for the education of 18+ children that aren't their own, have the patience of Job too?? I think that's another post!!! LOL)
Here's the thing...When I start to get impatient with my child, I get to do three things that can't be done in the public school setting.
#1 I can stop everything, leave the situation, and go on my knees and pray to God for MORE patience.
THIS is the key for me as a homeschooling mom. I think as a homeschooling mom, I'm even MORE impatient because my child knows how to push my buttons JUST right either by action or attitude. So I "lose it" more often than I should. But if I recognize my failing and go to the One who can fill me up, and start me over again. Who can help me re-group and try again after I confess my unnecessary impatient attitude...I am filled with renewed patience. And I can bravely go back to my child, apologize for losing my patience and we can move on.
There is also something else that can happen when I deal with impatience in myself or my children, that can't always happen in a public school setting...
#2 We stop whatever we are working on and go to something different. No matter where we are in the lesson.
This is one of my favorite things about homeschooling. When things start going sour and south, and the patience starts wearing thin--or completely out--we can STOP! We don't have to finish the math lesson, English lesson, spelling lesson, science lesson, or whatever lesson we are working on. We have no time limits. No deadlines. We can stop when everyone is at an impasse and change gears.
You don't know how many times that I have realized it's one of "those" times. They show up at least once a week. And when they come, we put our pencils (or whatever) down and we walk away. Now that winter is over, we go outside for some fresh air. Or maybe, we just walk away and move to something they love...art! I keep "just in case" projects for these kind of scenarios! Sometimes we can come back to what we are working on and sometimes we just have to save it for another day.
There is one more thing that we do to deal with an impatient attitude in our classroom...
#3 When he's demonstrating an impatient attitude, I can have him take a time out, or--the more common response--we stop everything and pray as a "class" for God to grant each of us more patience for the other.
Here is the thing...I KNOW what sets my child off in his own impatience. I'm his parent. I know what needs to happen to get him back on track. And I can adjust to try to ensure it doesn't show up as often--because again, I will know what signs to watch for in him. When he's getting impatient, it usually is a warning that my impatience is soon going to be showing up.
Can public school teachers recognize what every child in their class needs to get back on track? Do they know every child well enough that they can switch gears whenever they need to for each individual student? Do they have the flexibility in their schedule to do it? Public school teachers deal with being impatient too...but unlike homeschooling parents, they are rather limited about what they can do about it.
I asked a few of my homeschooling friends what they do when they find themselves losing patience with their student during a lesson:
Amber: "I take a time out, a few mins alone. Helps a ton. I also have them take one too..."
Alicia: "Time out, go outside play with the dog or take a walk. Both of us."
Diana: "Depending on the reason for losing patience. I might ask questions as to why things aren't clicking. Get to the root of the issue. Then take a break and either put the lesson aside for a time or try a different tactic."
Tina: "I walk outside and pray and then call my hubby for a pep talk."
Melanie: "I try to remind myself that the morals and personalities that I'm teaching them is far more important than whatever the lesson is. That Godly character is the most important thing that I'm trying to get through to them."
Patience is a virtue that I need to work on every single day. Like many, if not most homeschooling parents out there, I am an impatient homeschooler sometimes (okay, a lot of times), and that's okay. It doesn't make me less capable of teaching my own children. It just means that I need to have a plan to deal with it.
So just remember, homeschooling moms have the same amount of patience as you do (or don't), we just embrace our failing and make it work anyway.
***Thanks for joining me as I explore 5 Common Myths of Homeschooling this week as part of the Real Life Homeschool Blog Hop! I hope you will stop in tomorrow as I dive into Myth #2 and examine the idea that I (or homeschoolers in general) never have second thoughts about our decision.
Discover real life in other homeschools with the Schoolhouse Review Crew bloggers! Join the blog hop to read more!
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