Thursday, September 16, 2010

School-time Discipline

Why does the word 'discipline' shoot fear in the hearts of our kids?  Let's start with the Biblical definition. 

(Greek paideia, 2 Tim. 3.16) instruction;
in classic Greek paideia means education. (1) 
Per my Life Application Study Bible condordance,
discipline means to 'punish, guide, and instruct.'

I don't believe in punishment, just for punishment sake.  All correction needs to be with the goal to deal with the heart issues of the child.  I believe we, as Christian parents, need to provide both instruction and education to our kids.  In this way, they will know, per the Bible, how to live a life glorifying God.

This discipline reaches over into our school time.  When our kids were younger, I felt like I was constantly "training" one them.  We also learned that immediate correction had longer lasting results because the discipline was directly linked to the infraction.

How did we accomplish this?  First, I would remove the child from the classroom setting into their bedroom.  This gave us privacy from the rest of the family.  Next, I would ask the child why (s)he was being disciplined.  If (s)he couldn't tell me, we would review the behavior and why it is inappropriate.  At this point, if they truly didn't know the right and wrong of the particular problem, their punishment was strickly a verbal warning.  If the child could tell me what (s)he did and why it was wrong, then that child would receive the the full punishment.  In both senarios, the child needed to back to the offended party, admit the wrong, apologize, and ask for forgiveness.  I believe the hardest part of the discipline process was the admitting the 'wrong' publicly.  (I'm sorry I for ____________, will you forgive me?)  

I learned the hard way not to use schoolwork as punishment.  This was one sure-fire way to extinguish any desire to learn.  The student may also lose privileges such as ipods, hand-held gaming systems and wii, or extracurricular activities.  These seemed to work temporarily.

Not all interruptions are heart issues.  Sometimes they are just a hint that we need to take a break.  Learning to tell the difference helped make our school time more pleasant for all!

Here are some verses which we have leaned on during our kid's growing up years:

Proverbs 13:24b (NIV)  "He who loves him (his son) is careful to discipline him."

Proverbs 22.6  "Train a child in the way he should go, ane when he is old he will not depart from it."

Ephesians 6.4  "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."

And some verses for us and the kids:

1 Timothy 4.7-8  "Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.  For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."

2 Timothy 3.16-17  " All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

(1) taken from

To see our home-school rules click here.

This post is linked to The Home School Village.

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