Seven Family Rules to Help Homeschoolers

Seven Family Rules to Help Homeschoolers"As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD" (Joshua 24:15b).

Every home should have a set of family rules. Created with God's guidance and the entire family's input, a practical set of daily living standards promotes harmony, enhances homeschooling, and establishes a strong, positive statement about how your family wants to interact with and treat each other. Family rules also lay down boundaries, so children know what is expected of them. These guidelines also help Mom and Dad be more consistent when they discipline.

While every homeschooling family's specific ground rules may be different, it's better to keep your list of dos and don'ts short, so they're more easily remembered. Here's seven suggestions to help your family get started discussing how relationships, schoolwork, and personal responsibilities are handled at your house this upcoming homeschool year:

1. Tell the truth.
Trust is the glue that holds family relationships together.

2. Treat others with respect.
- Speak politely. Use "please," "thank you," "excuse me," and "I'm sorry" often.
- Don't swear, hit, or kick.
- Don't name call, tattletale, or put down others behind their backs.
- Wait your turn to speak. If you must interrupt, first say, "Excuse me, please."
- Don't shout messages across the house.

3. No arguing with Mom and Dad.
- Ideas and input are valued and respected, but arguing means your point has already been made.
- Ask permission before going somewhere and be home when expected.

4. Respect each other's property and his/her right to privacy.
- Ask permission to use something that doesn't belong to you.
- Knock before entering a closed room.

5. Obey when you're asked to do something the first time.
- Complaining and tantrums are not allowed.
- Assigned chores should be performed when expected without being told.

6. Keep your surroundings neat, clean, and organized.
Whether its toys, games, clothes, dishes, or school supplies, put things away that you take out.

7. Be kind and helpful to each other.
Celebrate accomplishments with praise, show good sportsmanship, and look for ways to encourage each other.

In addition to your homeschool family's list of rules, there should also be an accompanying set of consequences if the rules are broken. (Note: You may also implement rewards when the opposite is true). Children should also understand that family rules go wherever the family goes, including church, stores, restaurants, or any other public setting.

Have you made a written rule list in your home? If so, what rules would you recommend to other homeschooling families? Please share your thoughts in the comment field below.

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Comments(4 comments)

TINA R 09/02/2010 05:39:00

Great info. I would be interested to see consequences different families have for breaking rules.

Miranda R 09/02/2010 07:05:04

We have a rules list, similar to as listed with reward vouchers (worth 1 point) and a warning cards (worth 1 point towards reaching 4 that has a consequence). All are written with connecting verses/principles from the Bible to support their valididity. If there are more warnings given at the end of the week than reward vouchers, there is no pocket money and each point counts up to 50 until you get extra bonus pocket money when reached. The consequence for the 4 warning cards given are written on a \"Spin your Consequence\" dial and involves extra chores around the house and loss of privelages like losing the use of your bike or computer or TV show for one day etc. We also have a reflection sheet that our children fill out for this in which they have to state what they did wrong, why they did it, what rules they broke, what they should do next time, and who they need to apologize to. It is great for stopping blame on others. One rule in particularly is useful is the \"no retailiation\" rule (vengence is mine says the Lord) and to see mum or dad instead or you both get a consequence. Our boys are getting on so much better now with this system I made up. Miranda from W. Australia - a h/schooling mum and primary school teacher + special needs teacher.

CC M 09/03/2010 15:24:18

Very good info, Miranda! I\'ve seen something called the \"If ____, then ____\" chart. That way the child knows exactly what the consequence is for something. Kind of like the if you speed, you get a speeding ticket or if you steal, you will end up in front of a police officer. Children also need to realize that even if you don\'t get caught by Mom or Dad right away, the Lord will eventually make sure they find out about it. (We don\'t say that to threaten or scare our kids, but to let them know that they are loved and the Lord disciplines those He loves.) When kids know what the consequences are, especially when there\'s follow-through on them, they do much better. The best thing we\'ve come across is The 21 Rules of This House. Basically, it\'s 21 sentences that define exactly what good behavior is.

CHRISTNA H 09/05/2010 15:04:21

My son often doesn\'t understand WHY he has to do something my husband or I have asked of him. I tell him to OBEY first, and then I\'d be happy to explain my request - not before!

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