The Scriptures state, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven”1 including “a time to keep, and a time to cast away.”2 Clearly, we are exhorted to consider our time and actions carefully. In daily life as home educators, we are bombarded to get everything done (yesterday), to schedule for the future, and to make the most of our time now. All the while, we are warned not to be stressed about the present fears, the past regrets, or the future unknowns. We all know we should be organized, but we struggle with how to live well without being a slave to the calendar or a victim of poor planning. Considering these Scriptures, homeschool families can live joyful, abundant lives by living from a state of rest, teaching from a state of rest, and acting from a state of rest.
First, we live from a state of rest. “Home is where the heart is.”3 We preserve this desire by ordering home life priorities. Our homes are reflections of ourselves. By realizing who we are in the kingdom (royalty) we live the good life, keep important values in the forefront, and cultivate an atmosphere that is conducive to peaceful and vibrant life. When we savor spiritual matters we grow in grace and receive love from our heavenly Father. With thankful and humble hearts we have confidence to pray knowing we will receive guidance.4 In addition, we culture our attitudes much like a garden. As we keep our attitudes in balance, they influence our children. Bad attitudes within the home can be judiciously nipped in the bud before they grow out of control. Pruning character for growth fosters focus and reaps a harvest of right living. Living in rest feeds the imagination.
Second, we teach from a state of rest. Academic priorities need establishment. Time for teaching and time for learning is crucial and results in growth of understanding. Patience and watchfulness gauge when to move to new tasks. Planning and vision enable living in the present, but being aware of the future. “Now” moments can be savored without being pressured by blindness to upcoming events. The planned and scheduled home school provides form like a stream that merrily ripples and gurgles within its banks. A stream out of its banks is wild and chaotic. Furthermore, consistency and adjusting schedules or curricula only when necessary maintains harmony. We learn from mistakes. We support our students to help them grow for future endeavors. We know who they are becoming. Teaching from rest creates active learning.
Third, we act from a state of rest. We need to be wise and watchful so we can discern interests and gifting in our children. Then we can help them purposely pursue and plan time for the cultivation of interests and activities. Knowing our limits safeguards time, energy, and resources. It enables living within values, budgeting time and money, and knowing when to say, “No” to pursuits that detract from goals. Guarding home life keeps the schedule from being frenzied. A good practice involves thinking in concentric circles. Larger circles represent activities of younger children who are freer with time and able to investigate in frequent new ideas or projects. Smaller circles represent older students who require more time to focus as they grow rhetorically in academic areas and avocations. Acting from rest builds happiness and sufficiency.5 (Hicks 26)
Homeschool families can live joyful, abundant, ordered lives by living from a state of rest, teaching from a state of rest, and acting from a state of rest. The unstressed and structured home produces positive nurturing life. Whatever phase, season, or moment arises we will be able to know when to flow or when to draw in. Savor homeschooling, children are young only for a season.6
“I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.”7
1Ecclesiastes 3:1 (English Standard Version)
2Ecclesiastes 3:6b (English Standard Version)
3 Attributed to Pliny the Elder, a Roman philosopher, (AD 23 – August 25, AD 79).
4 James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (English Standard Version)
5Hicks, David V. Norms and Nobility: Lanham, MD: University Press of America, Inc., 1999. Print.
6 Listen to Living Well with Calendar Planning at CCConnected Challenge Tier for more information to plan various calendar events in academics, activities, and work for an older student.
7Ecclesiastes 3:12, 13 (English Standard Version)