Two Christian homeschooling moms talk with each other. This dialogue may be helpful for mothers who struggle with some homeschooling issues and challenges. One mother is new to homeschooling while the other has years under her belt.
D: How do you encourage your children to do things that you want them to do?
G: I found a book called The Secret Garden which is made of elaborate and detailed drawings to color. I printed out the book hoping my daughters could color it but my daughters thought it was too hard to finish so they refused to do it. I didn’t know how to solve this problem. So after some time, I decided to color it myself. I spent two hours coloring it and showed them how amazing it was after. They realized how beautiful it could be and they asked me to print more pages to color themselves. After that, I didn’t have to ask them. They did it by themselves. If you want your children to do something, you have to do it yourself and let them see the amazing results.
D: We are homeschooling our children but I think my husband allows them to watch TV and play games in the tablet too much.
G: The most important thing about the home education is the communication between the husband and wife. You must agree with each other about the education method because children are very clever. If one parent uses one way to teach or influence the children but the other parent uses another way that is the opposite, the children will choose the easier way for them. So the most important thing is you should talk to your husband and tell him your opinion. In the beginning, I faced this problem in my family but now we can discuss and stick to one way that we chose.
First of all, you must understand why your husband allows your children to watch TV a lot. I think a lot of Chinese people do this because they want to keep their children quiet and not make a mess. In this way, the parents can relax more. So maybe this is also your husband’s reason. Look at the reason behind the problem and then you can find solutions to the problem.
D: Do you let your children watch TV and play with gadgets?
G: In my family, I don’t let my children watch TV but I let them watch shows online. My husband likes watching shows on his mobile phone and he spends a lot of time on his phone. I don’t like that so I talk to my children how long they can watch TV and we set the clock.
D: What’s the role of fathers in homeschooling?
G: I think in China, most fathers don’t want to raise children. Fathers want to work and earn more money. When we were growing up, most of the time, it’s the mother who takes care of us. It’s the same probably with your husband.
D: My husband doesn’t work and he is not like the other Chinese men who want to earn money. He also gets angry easily but he really loves to spend time with the children which is very good.
G: You should understand him. This is the most important thing and then you should express your own opinion. As a wife, you must appreciate his help. Some Chinese men, when they talk to their wife, they easily get angry. I think this is a problem with Chinese husbands. After they get married, they fight with their wives. But don’t worry too much because you are a good mother. You are doing your best to educate your children. You are teaching your children to read and that is very important. After they learn how to read, they can do it on their own. I hope you and your husband will be able to balance things. You should appreciate that your husband likes spending time with the children. Not too many Chinese fathers are like that.
D: What’s the biggest problem you face now?
If I don’t work, I don’t have money to pay for the meals and rent. I usually try to set a strict schedule for our children and myself but it’s really hard work. You know when God closes a door, he opens a window for us. Sometimes the hard situation is good for us and for our children. It will all be okay. I’m sorry about your relationship with your husband. The communication between the husband and wife is very important. God also teaches us that we should not try to change our husband. We can just influence him but not change him. If you try to change him, he will go crazy. Some people disagree with other people’s criticism of them. The most important thing is you do the best that you can do yourself. Your husband will do what he does but he will make the change only if he sees that he must.
Before last year, my husband and I also quarreled. But I want to listen to God’s words that I should follow my husband so I changed myself. I began to let him do what he wants to do. I give suggestions but most of the time, my husband does not accept my suggestions.
We quarrel with each other less than before. We can sit down and talk about education, daily life and different ideas. Sometimes he will follow his own opinion, not mine but in fact, I wish he can follow me so it’s really hard. I accept everything so in this way, he is also changed. As wife and husband, we should follow God’s word and not worry too much. Everything will be okay.
D: What other suggestions can you give me?
G: Let your children spend time playing with other children. It’s very important because we are part of society. Everybody needs to learn how to communicate well with each other so it’s good to let children play with others. It’s important that we should be a happy mother. If the mother is happy, the family is happy, the children are happy. If the mother is worried, the others will be worried. So you must be a happy mother and have a happy family. God told us, worry does not change anything. I am a happy mother. We should also pray a lot.