4 Moms: Homeschooling in a rotten mood

4moms35kids Q&A with the 4 Moms: dealing with comments on your big family, weaning babies, going from 1 child to 2   and beyond!I’m going to assume this week’s topic refers to the students’ mood, because I am never in a rotten mood.  Especially not now, even though my older children are old enough to sit themselves down to school when told and my younger ones know that late morning is OUTSIDE PLAY time.  When they think I’m in a rotten mood, it usually means I’m correcting them because they are being disobedient.

Oh, wait.  We were supposed to talk about our own mood?  Oh.

Well, the short answer is we don’t homeschool when I’m in a rotten mood – or at least, we shouldn’t.  Just like we shouldn’t run errands when I’m in a rotten mood.  For that matter, we shouldn’t do anything at all when I’m in a rotten mood because the very first thing on my to-do list should be, “Repent.”  It’s often easier said than done, but moods have a powerful trickle down effect, and a cranky mom will quickly find herself with cranky children on her hand.  Attitude correction only becomes a bigger and bigger project when you put it off.

Maybe this is where it’s good to keep in mind the goal of homeschooling.  Academics play an important part, but they are not the end goal.  We are preparing our children for adulthood, teaching them to serve Christ in every area of life.  If mom is in a rotten mood and just spreading her mood to the people around her as she tries to teach her little ones the 3 R’s, we are heading in the wrong direction.

We need to leave our gift at the altar – or our schoolbooks at the table – and settle offenses.

At this point, if my kids read my blog they are staring slack-jawed at one another, shaking their heads in disbelief.  “If she really believes this, why does she walk around being crabby?”  Because I am sinful, prideful, and I like to blame my bad attitude on the sinners around me.

15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?  ~Romans 7:15-24

If we try to do school when attitudes are amiss, we are teaching and learning exactly the wrong lessons.  We are teaching our children that sin is acceptable in ourselves, and others need to just live with it.  While it’s true that we are all sinners and will always have sin in our lives, we should also be vigilant to put down our sin nature whenever and wherever it rears its ugly head.  Just because it is in us doesn’t mean we should allow it to camp out on the front room sofa and offer it a big glass of iced tea.

The other moms are talking about it, too.  Here’s what they say:

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  1. Thank you for this. This is something I’ve been learning. I like how you say our first step is Repent. A lot of times my bad attitude stems from kids bad attitudes and vice versa. Sin feeding on each others sin. I as the parent need to recognize this and stop the trickle down effect. I can’t change my kids attitudes directly but I can change mine. And I’ve seen the powerful effect this has on my kids. We lead by example for sure.

  2. Heather Wawa says:

    Thanks for being real! I really, really appreciate it. This post may need to go into my homeschool binder!

  3. My husband and I have definitely found that our moods have a huge effect on the household in general. Just last week we were noticing a lot more whining, bickering, and general negativity. We spent a little while after the boys (ages 14 and 3) were asleep trying to figure out how to improve the atmosphere by changing the kids…until we realized that WE were most likely the cause of it. We agreed that we would really work on improving our own attitudes and behaviors and remind each other (subtly, of course) if we started heading down the wrong path. We saw an improvement starting first thing the next morning. It’s so easy to want other people to make us happy and so hard to remember that we set the tone for the family! Thanks for this post.

  4. I wanted to let you know that the blog looks normal to me. I use Mozilla.

    I love the way you answered this post! Sometimes it is sooooo hard to live out though, isn’t it? That is why I love your quote from Romans in relation to this article. There is deliverance! Praying you are feeling well.

  5. Now I’m craving a big glass of iced tea! ; )

    Excellent post!

  6. Agh! Convicting…. Circumstances around us never excuse ungodly behavior – I work to teach my kids this, but I have to model it as well.

  7. Amen, Sister!

    I’m not going to get crabby here because in trying to post my comment, YOU told me my comment was too short. I mean, really, KIM, there’s nothing else I needed or wished to say in regards to your post because I agree with everything you said and there really isn’t any profundity which I need add. Anything else would be just blabbing in order to get my comment accepted.

    We could talk about clothes or something if this continues to be too short….

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