It can be hard for children and teens to see the point of doing schoolwork. Why finish homework or homeschool lessons when you can go play or hang out with friends instead?
Play is absolutely a very valuable and crucial part of education, but at some point a child needs to learn to read and write and do math (although playing games can play a big role in education, too!). And a lot of times, kids just don’t see the value of writing a paper or finishing their math homework.
When my kids don’t see the point of doing school, I find it can help to explain the long-term value of a good education. Here’s what I tell my children to help them understand the purpose of their education.
I like to tell them the story of our family’s history. When my grandparents were young adults, there was a hostile takeover in their homeland and everything they owned was taken from them. All of them were able to flee to the United States and rebuild their lives from the ground up. They used their education prior to immigration to be very successful in the U.S.
I’ve told my kids about this family history so many time that they’re very familiar with the story. I tell them,
“Remember what happened to our family. The bad guys took everything they had, all their money, their clothes, their car, their house. But they didn’t take away the knowledge they had inside their heads. Nobody could take away their education.
“And when they came to this country, they used all that learning they had saved up in their minds to build an even better life. So when you learn and go to school, you’re building up a treasure in your mind, and no one can ever take that treasure from you.
“That’s why your education is one of the most valuable things you have. That’s why Dad and I spend so much time and money on your schooling and books and supplies. It’s one of the most important things we can ever give you.”
If you have a story like ours in your family, it can be a great way to really drive home how important and valuable an education is.
Many things can be taken away or lost. But our education and our faith are two treasures that no one can take from us, and so I tell my children they are some of the most valuable things we have.