Posted on · Posted in Authority, Communication, Shaping Influences

Regardless of your method of schooling your children will have schoolwork to do at home. How you interact with your children while they are doing schoolwork has a huge impact on your relationship with them. Here are some positive ways you can interact with your kids and their schoolwork.

Schoolwork issues generally fall into one or more of these 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. Here is an acronym you can use:

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. And, on a personal level, it is important to appreciate your child’s efforts.

These qualities must be taught with the sensitive concern that each child is different. One child may work slowly compared to another but still be working as quickly as he can. This same individual consideration should be applied to neatness. It is vital to understand each child’s strengths and limitations. 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, even schoolwork.

The focus should always be on learning to work well, not simply to avoid 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. Your loving, firm, and compassionate involvement has the potential to open a rich relationship with your child. This will serve you, your child, and Christ. This is the way to live out Proverbs 6:20-24 with your children. Pleasant words promote instruction!

Instructing a Child's Heart

Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.