I loved participating in TOS Crew’s August “5 Days” blog hop last year (my contribution was “5 Days of American Art,”the first one is found here), so I jumped at the chance to join in on this year’s first blog hop. This week I, and 89 other TOS Crew members, will share 5 essentials of our own homeschools. Maybe you’ll find some ideas to inspire your own list!
A wise aunt told me once that “a mother shapes the lives of her children.” That is a somewhat overwhelming thought, isn’t it? Yet I know it’s true. We live with, love and walk out every day with our children….each day that the Lord gives us until they head out our doors to college or whatever the Lord is calling them to. Of course, as a mom, my desire is to make those days meaningful, fun, effective and full of joy. But how do I get to that end each day? Especially if I’ve had a rough night of little sleep, sickness or some other difficult challenge? Or, even if I haven’t had those things, but am just facing a new day, full of responsibilities and cares?
I’ve discovered (and trust me, I’ve had days both with and without today’s Essential) that the best way for me to start my day, every day, is to take a little time with the Lord. Just me and Him (and a cup of coffee), in a quiet room in my home, before anyone else is up and about. When I start my day with Him, I have just a little more peace; a little more margin; a little more strength; a little more grace to share with my family members. And I truly need each one of those things.
Just as we mothers shape our children and our days with them, I find that the Lord shapes me and shapes my days. And of course He can do this without my having a devotional time with Him every day. It just seems that we both get a big leg up when I have had time alone with Him! When I can sit alone with Him, in prayer, journaling or reading the Bible, it fills me with something my heart and soul desperately need and want. And, with something that then shapes my homeschool days.
This is a habit that I’ve cultivated over the years, ever since I learned what a quiet time was and why it was important for me. I’ve done a variety of Bible studies and devotionals, Bible reading and journaling activities….there’s really such a plethora of options out there that I think there’s probably something for everyone! Here is what I’m using now:
- Some years ago, Lorrie Flem published a little prayer book for moms. It includes some devotional readings as well as prayers to pray for both your husband and your child. I love to use this—it covers so many of the concerns I want to lift up for these special guys I live with! God reminds me of other things I want to pray for…and we hang out together in the early morning together. I have to admit that I generally spend a lot more time talking to the Lord than I do listening (a typical issue for extroverts, I’m sure). I definitely want to grow in becoming more of an active listener in prayer. If prayer is truly a conversation, then I certainly shouldn’t be the only person speaking!
- My Homeschool Mom’s Bible, which is divided into 365 segments of Scripture, along with a daily devotional especially written for homeschool moms by Janet Tatman. If you follow the assigned readings you can read through the entire Bible in one year. I started this one in August and am just loving it every day. For me, it’s almost like I have a mentor sharing wise thoughts with me every day, along with my Bible reading. It’s truly remarkable.
- I’ve just purchased (with some Christmas money–yay!) a Bible study from Kay Arthur’s New Inductive Study Series. This one includes studies on 3 New Testament books, including 1 Peter (the one that’s been on my heart lately).
Of course I’ve found that God gives me grace on those odd days when something happens and I can’t get my quiet time in; and we make it through those days. But I love and need the other days, the ones I described here, which enable me to start my morning and my homeschool with grace and truth.
What do you need to start your homeschool days?
Like I said above, 90 of the TOS Crew bloggers are participating in this blog hop. If that’s too many blogs for you to visit, I invite you to visit the other 9 in my group. I’ve included their links below!
Erica @ Be The One
Ellen @ Grace Tells Another Story
Jenn @ Treasuring Life’s Blessings
Christine @ Our Homeschool Reviews
Michelle @ Delightful Learning
Sharon @ Life with the Tribe
Hillary @ Our Homeschool Studio
Brittney @ Mom’s Heart
Heather @ Principled Academy
If you’d like to see all the Crew posts in this blog hop, you can click on the banner below: