One of the problems many homeschool moms face is finding time to actually stay at home! We frequently find ourselves running a shuttle service from one outside activity to another, all in the name of socialization. It is hard to homeschool without finding time to stay at home.
We also do our children a disservice by scheduling so many of their hours for them in three ways:
- They do not learn how to find their own interests. They do not have a chance to pursue those things that, with a little encouragement, may become their life’s work.
- They do not have to learn how to properly schedule their own day. If their day is always planned for them, then unscheduled time frequently finds itself filled with entertainment instead of quality productive interests. This can carry through to adulthood when adults spend their non-working hours glued to the tube, for example.
- They do not have time to think. If we are providing our children with a rich and broad curriculum, they will need time to process this information and make their own connections. That requires unscheduled time to simply think.
Have you ever watched someone prepare to write? They seldom drive right in. You may see them doing what appears to be absolutely nothing, and yet find that you have found them deep in thought.
Similarly, as we learn, we need to think — to process everything that is learned. That means we need time to just be.
Some children never learn how to simply enjoy their own company. Without companions or time scheduled for them, they are completely lost. Their problems only multiply as they become adults.
We have a unique opportunity to provide our children with time to just sit and think. No, they may not be able to sit still! Their hands may have to be moving. They may need to be building or constructing. Or perhaps moving a pencil about on paper. But they can learn to be content with and make use of time that they have to themselves.
So where do we start?
- We can try not to schedule every minute for our child, letting him have time to schedule for himself.
- We can leave margin in our days so that each member of the family can have a small bit of time to themselves.
- We can provide some time outdoors — a wonderful place to just be.
These days are very fast-paced. It can be hard for us to slow down, let alone provide that opportunity for our children. But don’t forget, sometimes he will have to just sit and think and be.
If those who spend so many hours in idle company, light reading, and useless pastimes, could learn wisdom, they would find more profitable society and more interesting engagements in meditation than in the vanities which now have such charms for them. We should all know more, live nearer to God, and grow in grace, if we were more alone. Meditation chews the cud and extracts the real nutriment from the mental food gathered elsewhere. When Jesus is the theme, meditation is sweet indeed.