Making Time

With students having to rise before dawn to prepare for school and not getting done with homework until close to bedtime, how are families to ensure that they spend adequate family time and time teaching them about the Lord Jesus Christ?

Below I have shared some techniques that I will use to ensure that our family does not loose the quality time that we’ve shared while home schooling.

Dinner will always be done prior to the children coming home. This way my attention won’t be divided at such a critical time of the day. By planning ahead to make myself available during the hours immediately following school I can provide time to listen to the events of their day and to nurture them physically.

We will also eliminate t.v. time during the week and replace it with family time. Whether it is a game night, reading together or preparing dessert together, three evenings a week will be spent doing something together as a family.

In place of after school activities, we will make plans to allow the children to participate in activities that are closely related. For example, for recreation all of the children can take swimming lessons at the YMCA versus participating on sports teams with various associations. This will prevent hectic schedules with multiple drop offs. This will also allow the children to remain close by sharing a common hobby.

To provide us the time to pray and read a bible verse from Proverbs each morning and night, we will pick out clothing once a week. One day a week the children and I will prepare a wardrobe for five days. So much time is wasted trying to find something to where at the last minute. The clothes will be hung in a special section of their closets. A plastic shopping bag will be draped over each hanger which will include clean socks and undergarments for each day. We will also pick out pj’s in the same manner so theirs no fishing around before bath time.

Rather than taking evening gym classes I will begin to take my classes in the mornings. This will give my toddler a chance to get out and interact with other children while at child care (included in my gym membership) and I won’t lose any family time with the kids.

One morning a week I will volunteer in each of the children’s classes. That way they are assured that I am and will be there if ever they need me. We haven’t quite worked out the kinks with my soon-to-be highschooler. She is worried that I will ruin her rep if I volunteer in her class. She admitted to being too embarrassed to accept my invitation to bring her a store bought lunch once a month. I’m talking Chik-Fil-A here. But she adamantly declined. We are really being patient with her regarding her options but ultimately I or her father will visit the school once a month, even if it is only to talk with her teachers.

Breakfast will also be pre-made in order to allow me more time to help them prepare in the mornings.

Saturday evenings will remain our Family Movie Night. Sunday’s we will worship together. And Sunday evenings will be the children’s day to socialize with peers during church activities, such as quizzing, bible studies and Christian social events.

Saturday, Sunday nights will still be official eat together as a family night at our house, but we may be adding Monday and Friday nights as well. We don’t normally have serious discussions at the dinner table but with the children being gone more they may look to these moments at the dinner table as an opportune time to bring up issues that are important to them. As a homeschool family we have had the luxury of being able to talk frequently throughout the day. But this will change once they return to school.

No life can ever be planned perfectly. Just when you think that you have things all planned out God comes in and takes you in a different direction. I make this list for my own benefit, because in the absence of a plan I see chaos. I make these plans for family time with our children so that my husband and I can continue to encourage them in the ways of the Lord. I admit that imparting the word of the Lord to my children wasn’t always a priority…at an earlier time in my life I didn’t even realize the importance of it. But now I know better, therefore I must do better. I want my children to remember that God is not just for Sunday but that he is for everyday. I make time for them so that I can encourage them with God’s promises until they are able to encourage themselves. And finally my hope is that they will encourage others by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

What does your schedule look like? Share some tips that have helped your family maintain family time and Christian development time as a priority.

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7 comments

  1. Hadias says:

    We have given it much consideration Nina, but what’s really awesome is how much my marriage is stregthened when I trust in my husbands judgetment without reservation.

    I don’t completely agree with his decision, but I trust his judgement completely and I trust that God has led him to making this decision.

    It is a very tough decision, because what if it turns out that he was wrong (which I doubt)…but it is an awesome responsibilty to carry. Husbands have a very weighty task when it comes to guiding and directing the family.

    Thank you for your words of encouragement. I will probably need to refer back to them when I actually drop the kids off on the first day of school.

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  2. Nina says:

    Wow Hadias. You know, I don’t know why, but it always makes me sad when I hear of someone giving up homeschooling – even though I did it myself with my oldest when he reached high-school age. Still, I know you and your husband have prayerfully considered the best thing for your children and it sounds like you have an awesome plan for keeping your family together when it threatens to get crazy. You’re right, without a plan, chaos will rule, but you are the planningest woman I ever “met” so I know you can make it work!

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  3. jubilee says:

    I admire your resolve. I am not sure I have the fortitude to incorporate all of it at once, but we should all be so diligent.

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  4. Hadias says:

    Hi Hopewell.

    I really like the tip regarding playing praise music. I often play instrumental classical music while they work on assignments.

    I am quite sure that I could find some instrumental Christian music to play during homework.

    In addition, the tip regarding playing Christian music at bedtime is great also.

    Thank you for sharing.

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  5. HopewellMomSchool says:

    Just a thought, but for the child going back to public school it will be a stressful time. Remember to pray for patience! They will be TIRED too–the day is long and stressful and they will have had no control over anything at all all day long. There may be teasing, bullying to cope with too. The homework is often ridiculously long and pointless. It WILL suck the life out of them for a while. Be gentle with anything else that’s “acdemic” for a while. Even Bible reading can become a pressure point at first. Try praise music or a Bible on cd to listen to at betime. No matter how rigourous homeschool is academically you can pee, breathe, stretch, move when you want to. It’s hard to give that up!!!

    I am praying for your family. I’ve been there/done that and know how heart breaking the first few weeks “back” will be. I found it helpful to make a real list of positives–a good book I didn’t expect to be assigned, a moment my kids told about with deserved pride, encouraging discipline–what ever. Focus on positives really helped. It’s now 2 years “back” and my son FINALLY wants to read-aloud again. I tried too soon to force it and it was a disaster!

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  6. Lawanda says:

    What a great plan Hadias :)

    I always picked out my kids’ clothes for the whole school week too (not as organizationally as you are planning though!)! Although sometimes it didn’t work out that way. Unfortunately, one of those times was when I was very sick, and my second dd ended up picking out her own clothes on a picture day! Ugh. The result was not a pretty one! LOL

    My kids have always helped me with supper. If I’d had it done before they got home, they would not have been happy with me. haha

    But I think it sounds like a winning plan.

    We never did extra curricular activities, and that helped out with the family time.

    And we’ve never missed sunday worship or wednesday bible studies, except due to sickness. That is big, imo. And it is something a lot of people disregard.

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  7. Earthmommy says:

    You go girl! I am so impressed by both your planning ahead and your commitment to your children.

    As for your oldest…what aorked for me was emails to and from the teachers. This was I could keep in touch “covertly”….I developed a relationship with the teachers, kept on top of my daughters’ progress and kept from embarassing them : )

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