Questions To Ask Ourselves
- Are we afraid to be parents? Most of the parents today seem to be. They want to be their children’s friends rather than the adults responsible for them. Children have many friends. They only have one set of parents.
- How often do we allow our children to be the parents and rule the roost? Advertising used to be geared to women. Now it is geared to children as they are considered the people who bring pressure to bear to buy products. The job of the parent is to train and provide for their children. It is not the children’s job to run the family. Sure we should take their thoughts into consideration, but it should be no more than that. Many “Nanny” programmes are springing up on TV, and are watched by thousands, to tell parents just this. You are the parent—whether you want the job or not. Being the parent means making the decisions for them until they are old enough to make their own. It also means allowing them sometimes to make mistakes and suffer the consequences. Being a good parent isn’t easy, especially when your children don’t like the decision you have made.
- If we have taught them when they are young to consider that their opinion is paramount and equal to an adults—and this is just what schools do—then when they reach the workforce they are in for a shock. I am told by many employers that children just out of school often expect to sit down with their employer and have meaningful discussions on what is to be done and what job they wish to do. That is just not going to happen.
- Are we unintentionally teaching our children the wrong thing? Are we teaching them that everything they do should be enjoyable? As a housewife I know that many jobs that have to be done each day are not enjoyable, but they still have to be done. Who enjoys cleaning the toilet? The majority of people in the workforce admit that most of their work is repetitious and boring since it is the same every day. To find a little of their school work not as interesting as other parts and yet still do it, is good training for the future. If we have not equipped our children for the reality of the workforce, we have done them a great disservice. The biggest reward of working will always be the pay packet.
- Have we taught children that money has to be earned or are we prepared to support our children financially into their 30’s and 40’s? This is what is happening. Children are either not leaving home or are boomeranging back and both parents are being forced to work full time to keep them. In our household the rule has always been that if you want money you work for it. Some jobs were done for love when they were small—and because they made the mess—and other jobs were paid for. As they get older they got a part-time job. When they were working full time they paid board and helped contribute to the family’s finance. The dole was only an option, as a last resort, if they were married and had children to support and they were taught they should take any job as soon as possible. Their father always modelled this for them and it is a lesson they have learnt well.
- Have we taught children they can be anything they want? The truth is that they can’t. Some things take natural talent—drawing and playing music. Other things require more brain power. We are not all the same and we do not all have the same abilities. This does not make any of us of more value than any other, nor does it mean that we will necessarily earn less. A worker at a warehouse can earn $1,000 per week clear with reasonable overtime. Someone coming out of uni with a four year degree and no experience might start work at $50,000 and probably not in the area for which they spent four years training.
- Can we no longer function as individuals or families? Do we need groups to “support” us? Do we need counselling for the least little thing? Do we need “warnings” that something may upset us? Can’t we cope with anything? Or is it simply that society has broken down to such an extent that family support is no longer available?
- Are we so used to seeing the mediocre or bad that we can no longer recognise quality? It surprises me how many parents can not tell quality books from the rubbish and who can not pick up elemental mistakes, e.g. “there” and “their.”
- Do we really need the Government telling us what to eat, when to go to the doctor etc? Does the Government really believe that they are not only the best judge of what our children need, but also can make choices for us as well? More to the point, why have we allowed them to get this way?
If these are all true then Australia is in trouble. Rome was the greatest Empire in history. Rome only fell from without when she had decayed from within. Once her family system broke down, her morals decayed and her empire became weak.
Homeschooling is not easy. It requires dedication and a love for children and family. It requires the mother to put her family and their needs before her own—a concept foreign to our present day society. As homeschoolers we have the opportunity to strengthen this country by building strong families. There were many times over the years when I would have given up if Frank had let me, but I am so glad now that I didn’t. Our family, like most, has its ups and downs, but the foundation is strong. You may argue with a member of the family today but by tomorrow it will all be forgotten.
If you didn’t grow up as part of a strong family unit you can build your own as you homeschool. Remember: there is no substitute for time given to each member of the family.