There’s so much to do…
At any given moment during my homeschool day, I could choose from at least ten different things to do. Scramble an egg. Swap the laundry. Read with my son. Pick up the Lego. Teach a logic lesson. Edit a science research paper. Settle a disagreement. Plan next week’s meals. Instruct handwriting skills. Schedule a dentist appointment. Print a worksheet. Wipe up a spill. Cut out flashcards.
Do you ever feel paralyzed by the overwhelm of choosing today’s priorities?
Perhaps I should ask a different question.
Have you ever wondered why priorities is a plural noun?!? Doesn’t the nature of priority imply one? Although the word priority has its root in the Latin word prior, the plural use of priorities didn’t enter common use until the 1940s.
Perhaps we need freedom to focus on less.
We need a sense of rest with our priority.
Over time, I am learning the power of one thing for my homeschool.
- A priority for the year. One thing for the family. Perhaps this year is math. Another year might be nature study. With little ones, it might be household chores.
- A priority for this student. One thing to evaluate progress. Discipline to write out math problems. Learning how to type. Enjoyment through personal pursuit. Confidence. Humility.
- A priority for this season. One thing to re-establish order. After vacation or an out-of-routine season, we first focus on food. Then laundry. Then the house. Then school.
Learning the power of one thing has been part of finding rest with my homeschool plan.
God instructs us on our priority for a God-centered homeschool.
Many homeschool families claim Deuteronomy 6 as the passage God used to call them to home-centered education. He wants us to pass on His Word to the next generation. He wants us to talk our sons and daughters. This priority does not negate the many other tasks. They are still important, and we will still complete them.
But Deuteronomy gives us a benchmark of what to focus on first.
This focus will help us receive rest with our priorities.
These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.”
Thousands of years ago, God told the Israelites what He wants us to teach our children: His Word. When we are teaching our children His Word throughout our days, that is discipleship.
What were the words which God spoke of that day?
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Deuteronomy 6:4-5
Jesus said this is the greatest commandment: “To love the Lord your God…and to love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:30-31
Love God. Love people.
Teaching our children to love God and to love people? This is discipleship. This requires conversation. This requires continual focus. This is our priority.
Are you ever so busy accomplishing tasks that you neglect to converse with your students?
I want to enjoy meaningful conversations with my family. I want to discuss life lessons from the stories we read. I want to break the statistics of teenagers not talking with their parents. I want to diligently teach God’s Word to my sons and daughter.
But honestly, conversation doesn’t occur naturally for me.
As an introvert and internal processor, I often retreat inside my own head. For school, I prefer to give a checklist and expect it to be completed.
But discipleship is not cultivated through a checklist. Discipleship is cultivated through conversation.
Thankfully, God gives us guidelines for how to lead these conversations. I’m learning, and you can too.
You can create a culture in your homeschool where conversation naturally leads to discipleship.
Sit in your house.
Walk by the way.
Lie down. Rise up.
Recognize your tools for discipleship
When you sit in your house…
When do you actually sit in your house? For busy moms, these moments might be far and few between. (Perhaps you need my One Simple Secret to Cultivate Rest.) But when you have those moments, do you recognize the opportunity for discipleship? These moments are tools you can use for conversation.
Mealtime. Academic instruction. Board games.
When you recognize these ordinary moments as tools for discipleship, you are creating a culture of conversation.
Infuse Jesus throughout your day
When you walk by the way…
How often are you not sitting at home? I discovered early in my homeschool days that I must be intentional to stay at home. At least sometimes. One of the beauties of a home-centered education is that we take our homeschool anywhere we go. The best news? Jesus is there with you. So talk with your children about Him.
Driving down the road. Playing at the park. Walking through the store. Waiting at practice.
When you go beyond a family devotion book and infuse conversations about Jesus everywhere you go, you are creating a culture of conversation.
Create moments for conversation
When you lie down and when you rise up…
How often do you lie down and rise up? Every day. It’s routine. Type A, Type B, Type any other planning personality. We all have routines and habits of some sort. If conversation is to be part of the lifestyle in your home, it needs to happen regularly. Moments for conversation can be intentionally created. Habit helps us remember our priority.
Morning hugs. Mealtimes. Morning time. Teatime. Read alouds. Bedtime snuggles.
When you intentionally plan conversational moments into your routine, you are creating a culture of conversation.
There’s so much to do…
We must choose carefully.
When you feel the pressure of too many important options, choose your true priority. Choose to look into your child’s eyes.
Choose to talk with them rather than at them.
- Choose to recognize moments at home as tools for conversation…when you sit in your house.
- Choose to infuse Jesus in your conversations everywhere you go…when you walk along the way.
- Choose to create routines for intentional conversations…when you lie down and when you rise up.
Choose to create a culture in your home where conversations naturally lead to discipleship.
Then rest in your priority of conversation.
Coming next: How to find rest with my people.
December 30, 2017 at 10:09 pm
Such wise words! How I wish I’d had this encouragement many years ago as a young homeschooling mom. Thanks for sharing your experience in a way that is so relatable, I will definitely be sharing with my homeschooling friends