As the semester drew to a close and I enjoyed our expo event with my home school co-op, I was suddenly both saddened and relieved. I love seeing my friends each week and hearing the chatter of children in the hallways. However, there are so many things I need to do at home; I’ll get that writing project finished with my daughter; I’ll finish painting that room; I’ll spend a little more time working with my son as he completes his first semester of algebra; I’ll get the kids to the dentist; I’ll update my computer; and I’ll finish that project I volunteered to do. The next thing I know, my heart is fluttering, and I realize there is no way to get it all done and spend time with my family over the holidays.
Everyone needs a break. However, none of us want to let the time slip away without accomplishing some things that will help us feel we used our time wisely!
The Bible speaks clearly of time management; I think God knew we would feel overwhelmed at times, and it’s evident that He considers each breath valuable to our time on earth:
- “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
- “O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah” (Psalm 39:4-5).
- “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
So, how do we slow it down? How do we get things done and feel refreshed during our winter breaks?
It’s one of those things that we do all year with our home school, but forget sometimes to do with our families. Plan!
I know this doesn’t sound appealing, but consider how you would feel if you looked back and you realized you let the time slip away from you, and the biggest thing you accomplished was getting slightly caught up on the laundry!
These are the teachable moments in which your kids can be involved. Get a notepad or a calendar and map out the time you have on your break. Planning with your children can be fun, and they are likely to have some ideas of which you might not have thought. Bring them alongside you as you decorate, wrap gifts, or plan the household budget. These are tools they need for the future. Time spent teaching your children life skills now will be free time later. I’m still surprised when I realize that my 11-year-old is completely capable of preparing a healthy meal for the family.[bctt tweet=”Time spent teaching your children life skills now will be free time later. #KeepingTXFamiliesFree #homeschool”]
Don’t be tempted to fill every moment of your schedule with tasks. Fill your schedule with memorable moments. Yes, the house does need cleaning; but your family needs you, and you need your family! I know you’ve heard so often that time is fleeting, but it is so true. I have four adult children now, and I don’t think about the times I spent mopping the floor. I remember the times I snuggled my newborn on a picnic blanket near a ball field, and we all laughed and ate sandwiches before a soccer practice.[bctt tweet=”Don’t fill every moment of your schedule with tasks. Fill your schedule with memorable moments. #KeepingTXFamiliesFree #homeschool”]
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
Now that you’ve left a few blank areas during your break, do you need ideas to get started? Here are some of my favorite things to do with my family:
- Game night: Every family benefits from time spent together in a little healthy competition!
- Family talent show: Get everyone involved and act out skits, sing a song, read a poem, or demonstrate a new skill.
- Attend local events for which you rarely have time: You miss these often with a busy schedule; take the time to see what is happening near you and go! Take advantage of special offers you are always deleting from your inbox!
- Visit a nursing home: Nothing will fill a void in your heart to serve like sitting at the feet of a man or woman who hasn’t had a visitor in months and letting him or her tell you stories. Local nursing homes usually welcome your visits. Ask them to direct you to someone who craves companionship and gets few or no visitors.
- Try something new: Have you been wanting to hike that nature trail nearby, or try the new rock climbing gym in town? Take advantage of this time to find a new passion!
- Color together: Sometimes it’s just therapeutic to sit down and color a beautiful picture, side by side!
- Reinforce skills with games: Have those multiplication tables been tough for your children to master, or do they need help spelling? Use some of this down time for a few minutes of daily practice, but make it a fun challenge! Search online for creative ways to have fun reviewing math, spelling, or geography facts. Just a little creativity with some free printables and you have a simple learning tool that doubles as a contest. Make reviewing fun with a memorable reward and family time at the end (like a picnic or trip for ice cream)!
- Read together: Nothing draws you closer than snuggling up on the couch with a good book!
- Invite a friend over for coffee: A fellow church member who has had a tough year, a new home school mom who has questions, or a close friend. Let the person bring the kids, and help your children set up an activity for the kids to do while you and your friend relax!
These are just a few ideas; you probably can come up with many more things your family would love to do with you! Don’t let the days slip by without spending time with those with whom our Father has blessed us!
What a joy it is that we get to spend our days with our children throughout the school year and not just our holiday schedule! I am so grateful to THSC for the rights we’ve been afforded in Texas, and I am thankful for each member who supports the daily work of THSC so that we do not lose those rights. Are you a member? Please consider joining THSC today to protect your rights to home school and parent your children freely. Your member support is vital in Keeping Texas Families Free!