A Battle of the Wills

Email of the Day:
Up until very recently, our homeschooling was going great, now everything (school work, chores, everything) is a battle of the wills.
I’ve had lots of suggestions (take away screen time, ground him, extra chores, etc.) but none of it seems to work. I’m at a loss.

I’m going to be the outlier here and say that the easiest way out of an argument is to stop arguing. This doesn’t have to be a battle of the wills. You’re on the same team — or, at least, you can be.
Figure out how to say, “yes,” more. Figure out how to work together. Figure out how to negotiate in a way that respects every one’s time and work and effort.

This is what I like so much about Nancy Wallace (details in her book _Better Than School: One Family’s Declaration of Independence_ ) — they make a life *with* their kids.

We stopped fighting back when Alaetheia was 4. We started negotiating, listening, teaching her better and more persuasive arguments. She’ll tell you we were more “mentoring” than most of her friend’s parents, and that we didn’t have a lot of rules (we didn’t).
Preserve the relationship, and the whole of all your lives will be better for it.

One more note:
You have 5,840 waking hours to cover 1,000 hours* between 15 September 2016 and 14 September 2017. You could work two full time jobs, homeschool, and STILL have 840 hours leftover. There is nothing that needs to be done today. Nothing.

*(Consider, too, that this 1,000 hours in school looks like this: 180 five hour days — it includes every lunch, every recess, every bathroom break, every lining up, every bell class change, ever fieldtrip, field day, pep rally, assembly, health check, every time the teacher gave up on a lesson and popped in a video, every time they had a sub who had nothing better than a video to pop in, every time Johnny didn’t have his pencil sharpened, every time Susy didn’t have her book ready, every standardized test, every standardized test practice — all of it).

~Jen GS