Sometimes School Is Like Chocolate Pudding and Sometimes It's Like Carrot Sticks
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When my boys were in elementary school, I made up a few sayings to help them understand the attitudes they needed to cultivate in their hearts. This is one of those sayings: “Sometimes school is like chocolate pudding, and sometimes it's like carrot sticks.” To which this baby carrot generation asked, "What are carrot sticks?"

Back to the point. ;) Our kids want school to be like chocolate pudding. It's fun! We like it. There's some good stuff in there. It's smooth and creamy and tastes great, and it goes down very easily.

Most moms start out wanting school to be like chocolate pudding too. It's a fabulous approach for kindergarten and the early years. Play games, sing songs, read books, make crafts, go on field trips—all that sugar makes the learning go down quite easily. And rightly so. We learn to enjoy learning!

But there comes a point when we have to transition ourselves away from demanding only chocolate pudding. There comes a time when we need to eat our veggies. They take a little more chewing, but they are good for us.

When we are used to chocolate pudding, it will take a little work to train ourselves to reach for the carrot sticks. Yes, we want to retain a love of learning. We still enjoy fun. But when a topic or assignment fails to enthrall us like chocolate pudding does, we need to have enough self-discipline to chew the carrot sticks. Diligence takes over when motivation fails us.

It's true that we learn best when we are interested. Some of you moms are wearing yourselves out trying to make every little bit of school interesting and captivating for your students in the hopes that they will learn well. But for some of you, that song and dance routine isn't working. Think about who is putting forth the effort. You are. It's all you.

Should we give in and let our children discontinue their studies of spelling or writing or other subjects they don't particularly enjoy? Some do. Should we let our children pursue only the things they are passionate about and hope they pick up the rest somewhere along the way? Some do that too.

Moms, let's be moms. We don't let our kids eat chocolate pudding all day. We feed them foods that will nourish and strengthen them. Don't yield to the whims of your children. Plan ways to help your children grow and mature. Help them see the need to put forth effort and energy when they hit a tough spot. Our kids don't just need to learn school lessons; they need to learn character lessons!

While I still greatly enjoy chocolate pudding, I actually like to eat carrots. They have a sweetness of their own. Sometimes school can be hard work, but it can still be satisfying. Discipline and diligence will help our students throughout both the school years and adulthood. Let's teach our children to eat their carrots! And then let's have a little dessert too. :)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Lont - HomeWorks by Precept Consultant


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