Not all schoolwork issues are complex. The previous posts have addressed some of these complexities. Here are some basic goals that may help with the everyday challenges of schoolwork.
It is important to be clear with your children about what you expect of them regarding schoolwork. It is not wise to assume anything. Develop clear easy-to-follow procedures about when and where schoolwork is to be done. Then, don’t just assume they will do it. Follow up.
By teaching biblical motivation in doing things for the glory of God, using pleasant words, looking for troubling complicating issues, and providing clear steps to follow about when and where to do schoolwork, you will have addressed many of the reasons why there are troubles with schoolwork.
Assuming a child has the capacity to do the work, schoolwork issues generally fall into one or more of three categories: speed, neatness, and accuracy. Undergirding these three categories is the truth that all things must be done to the praise and glory of God. So, here is an acronym might be useful. Schoolwork is a S.N.A.P.
Speed means that work must be attacked diligently and consistently without interruptions.
Neatness is a courteous gift that is given to others so that work can be easily understood.
Accuracy shows a high regard for truth and integrity.
Praise acknowledges that God is worthy of worship and honor in all that we do.
It is important that these qualities be applied with the sensitive concern that each child is different. To expect that all children will work at the same speed is unrealistic. But, each child can be consistent and diligent as they are able. This same individual consideration should be applied to neatness. Accuracy is what it is. Be compassionate as you help your children learn how important it is to be accurate and truthful. Praise acknowledges that all of life is to be lived for the glory and honor of God.
The focus should always be on learning to work well, not simply on negative consequences. Encouragement and positive consequences should outweigh the threat of negative consequences. Instead of scolding and exasperation, offer your child encouragement and support. Break the work down into achievable steps, and be available to help as needed. Be a cheerleader! Your loving, firm, and compassionate involvement at this step has potential to open a rich relational component in your relationship that will serve you, your child, and Christ. This is the way to live out Proverbs 6:20-24 with your children.
Let me know your thoughts. I pray this series was helpful to you. Thanks for your patience in working through this topic with me!