I never thought this day would come and yet it came so fast….we graduated our first child a couple weekends ago. It seems like only yesterday that we were bringing our firstborn home from the hospital…and now she has graduated from our homeschool and seeking the Lord’s direction for her future. Where does time go? It has been a true joy to homeschool Sarah and I am excited about what God has in store for her. As I have had some time now to reflect back on the past 13 years of homeschooling, the Lord is showing me some things that I want to share with you today…
Live each day to the fullest
Being a homeschool mom with a large family, it is very easy to let the days and weeks slip by way too quickly. Learn how to live for today…to cherish each moment…to take time for the important. Learn to look at each day as a precious gift and grasp each moment in wonder as you “unwrap” each part of your day.
Encourage your children’s interests
Really get to know your children. Learn what makes them happy, what makes them feel loved and special, what they love to learn about. Take time to encourage those interests. Include those interests in their homeschool experience…and don’t make light of them no matter how “trivial” their interests seem.
Be intentional, but don’t plan your days away
I have said this before, how I want to be “intentional”…not wanting the days to slip by without purpose and meaning. But while I plan out my days, it can be easy to slip into a mentality of just checking off the items…always looking to the “next thing” or “getting it all done” and totally missing out on the “now”! As you plan your days, make sure you keep your purpose in mind…be intentional so that each day is full of purpose, memories, and times with your children.
Read lots of good books together
Our read-aloud time in the afternoons is probably our most favorite time of the day. Later this week I’ll share some of our favorite books from this past year. I started reading aloud to the kids when Sarah was just a baby. When I started homeschooling her, we started reading the Little House series…then I just never stopped. We have read all kinds of books…from historical biographies, to good literature, to Bible story books, to science related books. We have learned so much together through just reading together. My youngest daughter will be in Kindergarten this coming year, and she can’t wait to get to stay up during nap-time and listen in on our read-aloud time! If you don’t already, make reading together a part of your day. Use the summer months to get this habit started…you won’t regret it!
Build relationships with your children
Just a it is easy to plan our days away…it is easy to fall into a mentality of “parenting”, “training”, and “teaching” that we neglect really building relationships with our kids. We think that since we are with them all day, that we ARE building relationship…but not necessarily! I am learning that I need to take time to really listen to my kids, to get down and play with them, to talk with them about their interests, to laugh with them, to do things to show my love for them…just because. I encourage you to really focus on building relationship with your children. Learn to enjoy them….love them deeply.
While there is much more for me to learn, these are just a few things that came to mind this morning. I pray each of you have a blessed day…filled with good memories and lots of laughs with your kids!