There is sometimes so much to teach an adopted child, just the thought of it can be overwhelming!  Those blessed with the placement of a school-aged child have a big job ahead.  Where does one begin?

1.  House Rules Education:

  • the 10 commandments are the basic house rules (no coveting, hating, lying, stealing, etc)
  • everyone sleeps in their own bed, alone (except for Dad and Mom)
  • everyone changes in their bedroom or bathroom, alone
  • doors stay open at all times unless someone is in bedroom or bathroom, alone

Are you catching my drift?


  • side hugs and kisses on cheeks, only
  • boys and girls do not wrestle with each other, ever
  • telling on others who do not abide by these rules is EXPECTED!  (Just make sure the truth is told)
  • clear and consistent consequences for breaking House Rules will be enforced

2.  Character Education:

  • teach the 10 Commandments (post in a visible, public place for frequent review)
  • teach the love of Christ, His sacrifice for our sins, and His forgiveness when we do sin
  • everything we think, say, and do should glorify, honor, and serve God
  • Dad and Mom are to be honored, loved, obeyed, respected, and trusted (not all adults should be)
  • everyone tells the truth at all times (FYI: lying will go on for years)
  • we don’t touch or use others’ personal possessions without permission (FYI: stealing will go on for years, especially food)
  • we keep our private parts, private (this is why 24/7/365 supervision is highly recommended)

3.  Work Ethic Education:

  • each person is responsible for their own stuff, which should be organized at least once daily; help is available
  • each person is responsible for completing their assigned daily chores; help is available
  • work can, and should be fun; play dance music while everyone cleans the house once a week
  • each person is to cheerfully respond to Dad or Mom’s requests (what I say, right away, with a smile – thanks Marcia!)
  • if someone doesn’t work, they don’t eat (use another ‘hook’ if eating disorder is an issue)

4.  Academic Education (adopted children are most likely behind in school achievement):

  • provide an environment where reading and lifelong learning is encouraged and desired
  • use conversation and demonstration to teach culture, history, math, and science while cooking or woodworking
  • read WITH child at his/her level of ability; read aloud TO child at a higher level
  • art and music get creative (right) and logical (left) hemispheres of the brain communicating for increased achievement
  • accept your child’s current abilities; grow strengths while working on weaknesses
  • unrealistic expectations lead to defeat and kill motivation
  • provide you own home therapy for learning delays; if needed, seek outside help ie: Speech therapist
  • government schools are free, have special education resources available, but moral and safety issues can be a serious concern
  • Christian schools are expensive, provide teaching from a biblical worldview, but don’t always offer special ed help
  • home schooling takes parent time, is of nominal cost, and meets a child at his/her level with individualized learning

Educational concerns for elementary age adopted children are wide-ranging, but with the Lord’s leading, these’ needs can be met.  Attentive efforts and wise decisions made now will provide long-term gains later.