Discipline in School and Home

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OK, so how important is classroom discipline for your home school? Perhaps you haven't really considered this question. It's definitely something to think about. You see, we're talking about your children here. This isn't just some academic question...it's a question of whether or not you want the best for your kids. I taught academic subjects for students in elementary through high school, and you know what I've discovered? The best classrooms are well managed, well disciplined classrooms. There's just no substitute for discipline in education. It's the oil that makes the machine move smoothly. And there's always more potential for disciplined efficiency in a home school classroom. You know your child better than anyone. You know what motivates and what doesn't. Yes, there truly is great potential for discipline in a home school. Unfortunately, there's also more potential to make do with mediocrity. Don't let that happen to you! So...to answer our question, classroom discipline is very important. It's the difference between an adequate education and a great education. And you want the best for your children...right? If you're wondering why you should listen to me about home schooling, I do know a little about it. My parents home schooled me for five years including junior high and high school...not exactly an easy assignment, I can tell you. I guess you could say I have a unique perspective on this subject not just as an educator but also as a home school student. And I'd like to share a little of my experience with you. So lets take a look at the issue of classroom discipline and see if we can make your home school as efficient and effective as we can. Here are five principles to "oil" your "machine" and make your classroom the best it can be.

1. Lay Down the Law!
Who would you rather be?...
A parent with no workable plan for discipline...screaming and yelling all day at her kids who don't seem to mind getting yelled at in the first place and just do what they want to do ...or...
A parent who is alway on top of it, has a plan written down and communicated adequately to her children...who know and respect that plan and follow it day in and day out. So... So...who would you rather be?

I think we would all agree that the second example pictures success more than the first. So what's the difference? Other than the obvious difference in results, the difference is very simple... The second parent had a plan. And she communicated that plan clearly to her children. That's success for a classroom. That's classroom discipline at its best. You have to have a clear plan written down in black and white. Then you must communicate that plan to your children. They need to know... When the school day begins and ends.

What the classroom rules are.
What goals must be accomplished for that day.
What kinds of breaks are acceptable and when.
Let's take each of these one at a time...
I can't emphasize more how important sticking to a schedule is. If you get this part of classroom discipline wrong, you'll find yourself in the middle of a mind-blowing madhouse rather than a calm, cool and collected classroom. A good schedule includes when you begin class and when you end it. An ending time may not seem important. But it adds structure to your child's life by giving a clear "cutoff" for getting work done. Anything after this cutoff time is "homework." Rules must be established and enforced as well. Be strict with these at first. Then loosen up later when a pattern of acceptable behavior has been established. This alone can make a big difference in your home school classroom. Your child's goals should be clear and reachable. It's probably best to place some kind of goal chart in front of your child. You won't believe how excited your daughter will be when she has crossed off all the goals on her chart. She'll feel she's accomplished something! Breaks are another matter. Don't forget to take them! Some "overachieving" parents tend to...
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