Homeschool Complaints

"Do all things without murmurings and disputings" (Philippians 2:14).

Is your homeschool infected with the whining disease? Like the early stages of most health problems, you may not recognize its symptoms at first. When assigning schoolwork, especially in your child's least favorite subject, this dreaded disease usually starts with an exasperated sigh. Next, it spreads into a short question such as, "Do I have to do this assignment?" If not diagnosed and treated early, the whining disease finally takes over your homeschool completely until you hear things like, "Why do I always have so much schoolwork to do? I don't want to do this!"

Whining, grumbling, murmuring, and complaining all stem from the same, sinful problem — rebellion. In Numbers 12, God reveals His attitude toward this deadly disease when dealing with the murmuring of Miriam and Aaron. Thinking they knew better than their brother, Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses and said, "Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us" (Numbers 12:2b)? God heard their whining and quickly applied His cure. Calling all three to the tent of meeting, He defended Moses' leadership and struck Miriam with leprosy for seven days.

Are you allowing a whining, rebellious spirit in your homeschool? Unfortunately, children are not the only ones who can become infected with this disease. Parents, too, can find themselves easily complaining to God about the sacrifice and work responsibilities involved with homeschooling. Don't allow a negative spirit to destroy your homeschool family. Like Aaron, confess your foolish complaints. Pray for the joy of homeschooling to be restored in your home.

Father, forgive me for murmuring against Your plan for our family. Teach me to treasure each day with my children and give me a thankful heart for both the blessings and responsibilities of homeschooling. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Comments(35 comments)

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KIMBERLEY S 09/16/2008 12:28:03

Thank you for the words of wisdom regarding complaining. I will use this article for worship before school so that we can discuss this. It is a very small problem now but, I can see that it could take root and grow.

SISTER L 09/18/2008 07:15:37

You're a wise mother Kimberley. The beauty of homeschooling shines again. It is our responsibility to tackle those roots before they go any deeper.

STACY W 09/14/2009 06:50:17

What a perfectly timed devotion. I've been feeling overwhelmed lately with school plus the regular home things, and have found myself whining and full of self-pity. This convicted me hard (for which I am glad). May this verse come frequently to mind.

ANGELA S 09/19/2009 05:32:32

WOOOO! This is a terrific (sobering) post!

DAVID K 09/14/2010 01:03:53

This is my son! What suggestions do you have for dealing with this problem? I know how to use the "old fashioned" method, but what does everyone else do? Thanks!

LuAnn V 09/14/2010 04:04:32

Thank you Papa God for this gentle and wise encouragement... Kimberly has spoken well that our priority in our homeschooling efforts begin with worship. We are called to educate as givers of the Spirit of Life, as we ARE equipped from above with every good thing to carry out our calling. Putting on our amour is imperative... Do you suppose AOP could offer a discussion group for those of us that could find it most helpful connecting with other parents (like Stacy and David) to learn better methods from seasoned generals? Encouragement goes a long way! Blessings to you all, you are amazing!!

BONNIE S 09/14/2010 04:55:53

I look forward every day to these bits of wisdom! And it's interesting to me, that they come exactly when we are dealing with life's issues and when I need the encouragement the most. God certainly is at work here. Thank you for blessing our family in this way. Bonnie

09/14/2010 19:41:19

I just loooove reading these devotions every day. They are incredibly encouraging and uplifting. Thank you and God bless! Jen

ARLENE F 10/04/2010 22:22:31

I agree with Jennifer. These little devotions help me start my day with quiet thoughts and they do seem to coincide with the issues I am dealing with! As first time homeschoolers in a country where it is illegal (Greece) I really appreciate the encouragement. Thank you!

SANDRA S 09/14/2011 04:58:44

Question: How do I stop 'allowing' the grumbling in my home? The only way I've been able to stop it is by getting loud and angry. I've tried positive and encouraging ways, waving trips to the Dollar Tree to earn rewards, and then just down right getting mean. I think everyone knows when I've 'reached my limit'. Praying for answers that are better!!

JENNIFER V 09/14/2011 05:43:18

I thought, "How amazing is our God!" after checking the dates of the posts. He knows where to lead us on just the right day at the right time. I have to agree with a few posts about wondering how to correct this in a wise way! I have tried correcting in all ways that I can figure and the "whining" keeps rearing its ugly head.

GLENDA H 09/14/2011 05:56:21

Thank you for posting this today....I really needed the reminder. My husband told me this yesterday and I got an extra reminder today. Thank you!!

DESIREE M 09/14/2011 06:03:33

Wow, that whining tone, the "huff", the "sigh"! With my daughter it seems to come with the work she "just doesn't get" or the daily routines around the house and just everyday family conversation. With this comes that whiny, negative attitude. This subject needs a section of its own. I was convicted to see that both my complaining and my husband's work complaints would be affecting this. God, help your children to put on your shield of armor and smite this enemy! Satan is defeated! Amen

KELLY S 09/14/2011 06:18:40

This was a very timely devotional for our homeschool today. Thank you!

SHANNON M 09/14/2011 06:20:22

OK... so I read this post this morning and thought..."hmm... I needed to hear exactly that!" and then we just started school a few minutes ago. My 7 year old - the moment that I told her that we were starting math - started to complain. I decided to read this post to her... and surprise of all surprises... when I had finished reading it to her - she happily replied "OK, I'll do it!" and there wasn't even a whine in her voice! Amazing!

Jody F 09/14/2011 06:25:31

I don't always read these posts as I am busy starting my 11 year old with her days work. Today, I read part of this devotion to her as I felt that it was so appropriate. We don't have regular T.V. but today we were running ahead of schedule and I allowed her to turn on PBS while she was eating her toast. We never do this, but today there was a program on the public schools in Chicago and the difficulties that those principles and teachers face dealing with the inner city kids and all their baggage. I was overwhelmed by the feeling of thankfulness to the Lord that He has allowed our home to be one of homeschooling for the past 11 years and counting. My prayer is that homeschooling will still be legal when/if my children decide to homeschool their children. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

ANITA N 09/14/2011 06:28:15

I love how God is an "on time" God!!! This is our first year of homeschool and things have gone well. Still, as your devo said today there are little things I'm hearing such as...... "Do I have to do all these problems"? Up until now I've just reitereated that all the problems must be done because it's good practice. However, this morning in my devo with the kids I plan on using the verses about Mirian and Aaron to show just how destructive rebellion can be. Thanks so much!

MAUREEN B 09/14/2011 07:19:48

Beautiful, I have 6 children, so whining or complaining does happen so it is nice to remember important people from our past that God dealt with. thank-you

ERIN K 09/14/2011 10:00:40

I am also wondering some good ideas to nip the whining in kids. An online support group would be FABULOUS!

PAMELA M 09/14/2011 10:07:37

Not only is this a great reminder of not allowing the rebellion spirit to push its way in, it also reminds me I'm not alone in this path- a path I can turn positive with God.=) Thanks!!!

NANCY S 09/14/2011 10:28:42

ever try this? if i hear one more complaint about school work you will get this and this taken from you. you cannot be your child's little friend. you have to be the parent first and formost. we have 2 teenagers and believe me i have been down the road of whining and sighing. unless the work is done without all the DRAMA they lose privileges and it works. It should take less than 5hours to homeschool your children. how many hours are they allowed to be in front of the tv, on the cell phone with their friends, out shopping at the mall, extracurricular activities etc? for every day they have to be told to stop the complaining they lose a privelege that amount of time. you DON"T REWARD them with THINGS to do what is required and is their responsibiliity.

AMY K 09/14/2011 11:23:50

I've been going through this with my 11 years old. Just last night, after weeks of just ignoring her moaning about school work, I had it. She has lost her laptop, video games and TV, but right after I told her that, all she worried about was, "For how long?"!!!! And after talking it over with my husband about it, her laptop is gone forever now. It's our old laptop, but that's all she worried about getting on it to play mindless games. I know it's normal for her age to be this way or should I say, in today's world all kids are like that at that age. But I'm sorry, I never once in my life gave my parents a hard time about doing my homework(I went to a public school). I knew if I didn't do it, I got a big fat ZERO!! Unless one is actually sitting in the same class room with me and my children, no one has any idea what's going on. How my children react to their school lessons or how I am handling any of the situations. And YES, I've made lots of mistakes in the way I've handled things with all my kids. I'm not perfect, my kids are not perfect, but I am always interested in anyone's tips on how to handle things with home schooling. But not every child is the same and not every situation is the same. And I know deep in my heart, ONLY God can change me and my children. So, yes, pray, pray real hard. Each and every single minute during home schooling. I once heard that we all should not only pray before eating a meal, but also during and after. I feel this needs to be also with home schooling and parenting!! Lord knows we need all the help He has to offer to us.

SANDRA B 09/18/2011 16:00:49

Thank you AOP!!!! And thank you Nancy S and Amy K. I needed a suggestion of what to do to stop the madness!!! God Bless! Sandy B.

CHRISTINE M 09/14/2012 05:08:08

I have recently had this problem explode in my face! One helpful thing is to keep a back and forth journal between myself and my little rebel (I have 4 kids and one really struggles in this area). It keeps our hearts open to each other and I get a glimpse into underlying issues. We are still working it out in her--but if school has to wait, it has to wait while she is being isolated or dealing with consequences. This character issue must be nipped early and we must stay on it. Rebellion later in life is too dangerous!

WENDY M 09/14/2012 06:05:00

WOW!!! This one is for me and my daughter. I really appreciate this and all the comments. I thought I was alone. I had one of the worst days yesterday. Then my inlaw\'s came over during the battle of wills (between my daughter and I) and I made a complete fool of myself. I or we really need to pray and pray and pray! I am running out of patience way to quickly with my little rebel. She knows how to push every button I have ever had. Thanks everyone for letting me know we are not the only ones in the world with these same issues. I don\'t feel quite like the WORST MOM in the world now. Wendy

KATHY S 09/14/2012 06:45:21

Who accidentally gave Maureen B a negative rating for homeschooling 6 children??? Maureen , I gave you a postitive which brought it back to a 0. I\'m sure someone did that on accident, we are all nice Christian people here. Keep up the good work with all your children. May God Bles you. I sighed myself at the Library the other night at 7 p.m.. I am grateful to homeschool, and my son is grateful for it too. Since my son is not fully in swing with getting up early,we start a little later than usual for a few weeks. The other night, we started quite late as you can see since we were at 7 p.m. working and not finished yet. So, I had to do a little talking about Homeschool, how grateful we need to always be that we are allowed to continue doing it. So after our talk, he picked up his speed and enthusiasm, and all was well. I do try and be extra patient, ADD, and Autism are 2 things that are a challenge for us in our everyday schooling. But God gets us both through with his Love and kindness. Arlene F; May God Bless you as well Arlene, and watch over you and your children, as you homeschool in a country where it is not allowed. I\'ll be sharing that as a testimony with my son today.I pray a Hedge of protection around you and your family today and always Arlene, in Jesus name , Amen.

SARA K 09/14/2012 07:12:52

First I want to say God Bless everyone who has children because they always need help. Children respond best to praise and usually if you are excited about school so are they. My son is older and was taught in public school before me. I just explained to him in the beginning that if he wasn\'t going to do the work then he would have to go back to school. He understands he has trouble sitting for 6 hours so this is something he does not want. I am blessed though because he loves learning so I can still get him excited about it every day. Patience is a virtue.

HARRIETH S 09/14/2012 08:13:17

This is so true I experience the same thing with all three of my children whenever they have to write a paper. Thanks for the words of advice and encouragement

JERMETRA A 09/14/2012 10:52:26

Oh my Goodness!! I so needed this!!! God was truly speaking to my heart with this one. I mean I really needed this one. Thanks guys for the live and encouragement

JUDI B 09/15/2012 09:46:52

I home school my 9 and 8 year old girls....I thought it was a stage....but it is sin. Thanks for showing this to me! We are going to do a bible study on this. I am sure this will help them see that the whining is wrong! They Love Jesus and want to serve Him. This helps knowing the scripture to back it up.

KAREN W 09/16/2012 14:48:44

Thank you for the timely devotion and advice. It too came at just the right time. We\'ve been struggling for the last few years with this and am finally realizing that it truly is a blessing to be homeschooling and that discipline needs to be rightly applied for the whining and complaining. So good to read the comments from everyone and to see different ideas on how to take care of it all. Blessings . . .

Joy Hoffmeister 09/16/2013 13:48:05

Great reminder! The Lord loves His children and, in mercy, reminded us again to trust Him and to be thankful for what He brings our way. It is so easy to forget that Everything that comes our way needs to be greeted with thanksgiving, "for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus, concerning you". Choosing to trust Him is the antidote for grumbling!

Kim Dean 09/17/2013 13:06:43

We have been using Switched on Schoolhouse since 2003 along with many other things in our Homeschooling journey. I don't know how I have missed this blog all these years but I am certainly thankful to have found it now. I need some help out there from seasoned homeschooling parents. We just recently graduated our daughter in June and she left for college 4 weeks ago. It has been such an exciting journey to watch her go on to further her education. She is so driven to a fault though and this has me so worried. Until recently I never really had one single thing I could say was a down side to homeschooling BUT here it is: She simply can't fail she will not let herself. She did dual enrollment in her Jr. and Sr. year's of high school, she went into college with 28 credits, she maintained a 4.35% grade point average (or higher I lost track), she got all of her core classes out of the way so she ended up in Organic Chemistry, Biology, some other science and she has 2 leadership classes all as a freshman. This is literally her first real time away from home. She is doing well BUT says she just doesn't understand how everyone else seems to be "done" for the day and is able to rest, have fun,and relax. She has had quizzes and tests already and maintains that 100%.She never allowed herself to be finished here at home either. If she finished a subject she would just move on ahead. Her father and I were C or even D students at best, neither of us went to college. We were those kids who got caught up in peer pressure and it was not cool to get good grades so we never did above and beyond to just did enough to get by. We have never at any time put any pressure on our kids to perform at this level. I really need some advice because my 5th grade son is following in these same foot steps. He is melting down if he gets even one answer wrong on a lesson not even a quiz or test. I find myself lecturing him daily about being able to get answers wrong. He is a bit more arrogant about his good grades. My daughter is extremely humble to a fault about hers. She is always, always giving God all the glory for her accomplishments. I am grateful but at the same time always encouraging her to take some credit. I feel like both of my kids are in danger here of problems in the future and now I am thinking that they have become like this because of homeschooling them. Any advice would be great. I don't think I can take 8 more years of my son crying every time he gets one problem wrong. His first reaction is always to blame the curriculum and oddly enough he has found mistakes that we work though but he never thinks "oh I must have messed that up" Thanks! Kim

Joy Hoffmeister 09/18/2013 13:55:15

Kim D: I felt impressed to pray for you and wanted you to know. I also wanted to reassure you that just because you have homeschooled your kids doesn't necessarily mean they are going to choose to be high achievers. I think that it is a great thing for kids or parents to want to excel. I do understand your concern of them being possibly obsessed with perfection. It looks like the brother is maybe comparing himself to his sister, and wants to be like her...? Doing all to the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31) is a great reminder to have the right priorities when studying. (Maybe you have already talked to him about that!) I know that God will grant you wisdom if you ask for it, because He promised!! (James 1:5). He wants us to "make our requests known to Him" and then His peace will guard and protect our hearts. (Philippians 4:6,7). I hope these verses encourage you....

HANNAH HESS 09/14/2014 20:16:07

Thank you for this post today. I truly needed it. I am horrible about grumbling and complaining and I need to remember that God has given me these things and I shouldn't complain!! These are gifts and tasks from Him to use for HIS GLORY!!! I need to turn everything to Him, DAILY! Thank you.

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