Protecting Your Wife's Time
- Monday, September 11, 2000
Time is one of the most critical needs in the life of a home schooling wife and mother. She carries tremendous responsibilities and must make very careful use of this precious resource. There are so many ways that home schooling mothers lose time.
Public Enemy Number 1 is the telephone. A home schooling mom's daytime hours need to be primarily devoted to the instruction and training of her children. It is not her job to be the Home School Answer Woman for every Thomasina, Dixie, and Harriet who calls. You know the routine:
"Hi, this is Harriet, I'm a friend of Suzy Smith and she told me you are home schooling. I'm thinking of home schooling my children and I'd like to ask you just a couple of questions."
Forty-five minutes later, Harriet's "couple" of questions finally wind to a close and you have just shot a hole in your plans for the morning.
I believe that it is an absolute requirement for home schooling families to buy and use an answering machine during the school day. I am reluctant to say that anything is an absolute requirement unless there is a command from Scripture. Well, in this case there is. There are at least two relevant verses. Job 5:1 "Call if you will, but who will answer you?" and Proverbs 1:28 "Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me." Also follow the Golden rule, "do unto others" (Matthew 7:12). If you do not want people calling you during school time do not call them either.
Others think that home schooling homes are great places to drop their kids in the middle of the day. "After all, they're always home anyway." If your friends from church want to drop their kids off so they can go to Mother's Day Out, or a Bible study, or to the dentist, just say "no." Obviously, if someone is sick in the hospital we should be the first to help those who are truly in need. We need to differentiate between genuine crisis (illness, accidents, hospitalizations, and deaths) and others minor crises of time or convenience. Our homes are primarily dedicated to the training of our children during daytime hours and they shouldn't become the dumping grounds for those with a more mobile lifestyle.
Men, if your wife has the gift of mercy and has a difficult time in saying "no" to people who call or drop by, it is your job to protect her. One way to is to help her come up with some firm yet caring responses. For example: "I would be glad to watch your children as soon as my children have finished school for today." If necessary let her make you the bad guy "I'm sorry but my husband doesn't like me to have other children over until our children have finished their school work. A home schooling husband need to ensure that his wife's time is protected from thieves who would rob, steal, and destroy this precious resource.
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