I started a discussion on my Facebook page for my fellow homeschool moms:
“Homeschool Moms (only please) Soundoff: alarm clocks or no alarm clocks for your students. Why or why not?”
The common thread was that a benefit of homeschool is the ability to live our lives by our schedule with no alarm clocks so our students are able to start their day without a demanding alarm waking them to attention. Though I do agree that a fabulous benefit of homeschool is to live our lives to the beat of our own drum, I feel there is a parental duty to teach our middle school and high school aged students personal responsibility. I feel that training them to use an alarm clock fits that responsibility to a “T’.
I so appreciate a quote that a friend shared by Ann Landers,
“It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.”
Though I have yet to implement alarm clocks for our boys, I do feel I will be introducing them soon. I’m not sure what happened but somewhere along the way I have lost a year or two and I was hit with a bucket of cold water upon realizing high school for our oldest boy is literally right around the bend!
Some may think it is strange that my husband and I taught all of our boys to trim their fingers nails and toe nails at a young age. For me, it was similar to instructing them to comb/brush their own hair. Hygiene is a personal responsibility and one that I have taught them from the beginning. I’m sure most moms, in order to get through the everyday drudgery of washing their toddlers hair, sang “this is the way we wash our hair, wash our hair, wash our hair…” from the time her wee little one could sit up in the bath either in one of those cute little seats or all by themselves. To train them to properly wash, I talked through or sang through starting at the top and working my way down ending with their “piggies”.
If we do not take the time, not only to educate our children on the basic 3R’s, but also on personal responsibility, who will? The answer is scary and the answer is simple: no one. It is our job, our duty, our God-given responsibility to train them up. Maybe an alarm clock isn’t the right fit for leading your children into personal reasonability. Growing up I was always up with the sun and down with the sun. It was probably my time at RBTC (Rhema Bible Training Center) that turned me into a night owl. I worked full time and went to school full time. So maybe you have children that naturally wake up early and get going on their day without much prodding. The point is we have a country full of people who do not accept personal responsibility. Shamefully, those who accept the consequences of their actions are few and far between. My dad was a military man who dedicated 24 years of his life in service to this great nation. He grew up in a military family. We were taught personal responsibility from a young age. My sister and I were taught not to expect people to do for us what we could do for ourselves. So it is ingrained in me.
“Train up a child in the way he should, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Well, what way should he go? How do I know what my child will be doing when he is old? Plain and simple. He will do what you have trained him and prepared him to do. No one knows what God has purposed for their child (unless they have received some divine revelation from God which I guess is possible but not probable) so you start with what you do know. You do know he needs to know how to take care of himself. You see, I am a very practical, literal girl. For the most part, I take God’s Word for what it says right now. I do pray for God to lead me into deeper truths and revelation knowledge through His indwelling Holy Spirit, but as I read His truth right now, I take it for what it says. Sometimes we try to make this “walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh” thing harder than it needs to be. God said it, I believe it, Amen. But I digressed…
This is it for me: I train each of my boys to take care of himself and not to lean on anyone else to do something for him that he can do for himself. I have told them that a part of my job as their mom is to serve them and when I do things for them it is because I love them and I am being obedient to what I feel the Lord has told me to do – serve others. So I do train them to take personal responsibility but I also serve them. In my serving them, I hope I am showing them “love in action”. Because LOVE after all is a verb.
What you? What about your family? Alarm clocks or no alarm clocks?