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The lack of discipline in homeschool is another negative issue that is not easy to avoid. That is very normal because not all homeschool starts at the same time and run at the same amount of the public schools have. In addition, most of homeschool children don't wear the uniforms like what the public school students do. Even many of us wear pajamas in the school time. There are a lot of comments about how the homeschooled children won't be able to go to works that require discipline.
What Does Discipline Mean?
Let's see what discipline is according to dictionary.com:
[dis–uh-plin] Show IPA
noun1. training to act in accordance with rules; drill: military discipline.2. activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training: A daily stint at the typewriter is excellent discipline for a writer.3. punishment inflicted by way of correction and training.4. the rigor or training effect of experience, adversity, etc.: the harsh discipline of poverty.5. behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and order maintained by training and control: good discipline in an army.
Discipline Related to The Time
Based on the definition, discipline has a strong relationship with the obedience toward rules. It depends on what kinds of homeschooling activities and styles that each family has. One benefit of homeschooling is the flexibility it has. OF course, the flexibility it has should be tight up The most important thing is that kids are trained to obey the rules consistently, time punctuation awareness, and self-goal targets.
It also happens in the society. Every society has its own rules that people cannot be treated equally. Not every job is started early in the morning. Not every job require attendance to the place. However, every job will demand consistency toward rules, time punctuality, and self-goal targeting.
On the other hand, is it guaranteed that schooled children will be able to be “discipline”? That is the hardest logical question we can throwback to people with the negative issue about homeschool discipline.
Discipline Related to The Punishment
Discipline is also often related to the punishment. It often comes to me the complaints or negative issue about the lack of punishment or too light punishment in homeschool because parents spoil children too much or they also too stressful with the house and school works.
First of all, I don't really like the word “punishment” because it is too shallow. Punishment can be not consistent with the misbehavior. I prefer to mention punishment as a consequence. That is more educative, as children will learn that they can get the consequence when they break the rule.
How to Help Children with Discipline in Homeschool
We should not always be skeptical about the critics of discipline in homeschool. In fact, parents need to help homeschool children to follow the rule and manage the time as well as a part of character education. Not all children have that ability naturally, so as parents, we need to help them. Although many people think that discipline is required, other people are worried that discipline will make homeschool looks like school at home which is not flexible.
Discipline is not that bad and you don't need to apply it strictly like the military system at once. However, you cannot avoid it the whole life. There are many times that discipline can save your life. At least you need to eat at least 3 times daily with suitable portions of nutrition. That is one form of discipline. Here are some ways to help children to have time and consequence and time awareness:
A Lot of Discussions
Helping children to be discipline means helping yourself to do the same thing. It takes a lot of efforts, but everyone will worth it. First of all, you need to read and learn about the time management by yourself and discuss all things with children. Yelling and screaming will not work well without awareness about the time and consequences if you break the rule and system. I am not perfect yet, but I am trying my best to learn to be discipline together with children. Discuss with them how precious time is and how much loss you will suffer when you break the rule and the time. Find the right time when you do it.
Practice Reading the Clock and Know the Rules
You are talking about the time and rule, but it is going to be useless when your children don't understand how to read the clock and what the rules are about. Therefore, since they are young, children need to learn how to read the clock. Of course, you cannot expect the small or younger children to read the clock as fast and accurate as the older ones. Children will not also remember that they have rules to maintain for their own shake. It is your duty to train and to remind them about the clock reading, rules, and consequences.
Since children are young, they need to be aware to the daily routines. This is the basis of discipline that doesn't depend to schooling. I know this is the most difficult point for many parents, including for myself. It is not easy for children to remind themselves about the eating, sleeping, taking a shower or bath, etc. Well, you can give rewards or any privilege and checklist to ease at the first time. I know some children are still affected by the privilege, but some of them are ignorant.
A checklist will be helpful for any field of time management. You can adapt the kind of checklist to the age of the children. The young ones will prefer to have pictures, while the those who can read will be fine with the written checklist. The older they are, the more items are usually on the list.
You can help children to plan their days using a planner. You need to really help them with
- What to put in the planner
For the beginner, you can sit down with them to brainstorm the to-do list and schedule a day or a week ahead with them. When they start to be more independent, you can get them to write their schedule ahead and check it later on so you can still control.
- How they can give priorities
Discuss with them about priorities. They need to know which task must be done, have to be done, good to be done, and not necessarily done.
A timer will also be a great help to you. You can utilize it for everyone so they can always see how much time left out for everyone to finish certain tasks. Most smartphones have a timer that you can use.
Teaching discipline to children, both homeschool and public schools is really challenging. However, we should never give up for the sake of the children. Try to be more discipline to yourself so children can get a positive real example.
This post is a part of Negative Issues in Homeschool Series. Check out the other negative issues and how to deal with them:
How to Deal with Homeschool Naysayers
If you like this post, you might need to check out:
Homeschool Mom Guilt: Exaggerate Homeschool Hours
How to Communicate Better with Your Children
6 Steps To Help Homeschool Teenagers to Learn More Independently
Adelien Tan is a mother of three awesome boys and a wife of a great husband. They are a home education family who live in Surabaya, Indonesia, where home education is still very rare. English is her foreign language, but She tries to use it in blogging.