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Newsletter #400: Summer Time - Archived Online.
Since 1980 The Teaching Home has provided families information,
inspiration, and encouragement from a distinctively Christian perspective.
Co-Editors: Veteran Homeschool Sisters, Sue Welch and Cindy Short
Our Gift & Stewardship of Time
Time is a precious gift from God, a treasure for which we are accountable as stewards.
Through God's Word, we learn the Lord's will for the use of our time.
"Therefore be careful how you walk,
So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:15-17
Although we are to make good use of our time, the Lord is not an unreasonable or hard taskmaster.
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30
Whatever You Do,
Time is a non-renewable resource – once spent, it is never again available to us. We each spend our allotted "coins" of time each day. For what are we exchanging our time?
If we do not plan the use of our time, we abdicate to the dictates of the moment – also known as letting the urgent overrule the important.
Planning offers a great sense of security in knowing that we are doing what we need and want to do. A time budget (a.k.a. schedule) will enable you to reach your goals in serving the Lord, your family, and others.
(See practical ideas and free resources for planning at right.)
Options for Summer Time
As with all things, balance in a schedule is crucial. Your schedule will include a variety of activities. However, that balance may not be the same each day, week, month, or year.
Summer provides a change of routine with a variety of options for the use of our time.
In this issue we suggest general uses of your time, plus options for your summer schedule.
Past Issues Archived Online
"I'm bored" is often a summer time cry. And that can mean trouble is on the way!
Unstructured time can be disconcerting for children at any time of the year, and you know what they say about idle hands.
If you don't have a schedule as a frame of reference for the use of your children's time, this checklist provides options for enjoyable and constructive activities.
So when faced by the dreaded cry, "I'm bored," simple point the your list (which you can adapt from the one below), smile, and say, "Choose something on this list and let me know how you liked it."
You might even make a chart for the week with boxes to check off which activities they did on which days.
Maybe a prize or reward (choosing the menu for dinner or something) can be attached to completing so many or the most items on the list.
Most certainly praise, thanks, or a show of appreciation are appropriate and helpful, as children will do what they are rewarded for.
Read something in your Bible.
Learn or review a Bible verse.
Pray for someone.
Do a chore for someone else.
Ask Mom how you can help her.
Learn to cook something healthy.
Help declutter your belongings.
Learn some spelling words.
Learn some vocabulary words.
Play with a younger sibling.
Practice your music lesson.
Do some art or crafts.
Big Evangelism Day Coming
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1. God loves you.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
2. Man is separated from God by sin.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23) For the wages of sin is death. (Rom. 6:23)
3. The death of Jesus Christ in our place is God's only provision for man's sin.
He (Jesus Christ) was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. (Romans 4:25)
4. We must personally receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. (John 1:12)
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. (Eph. 2:8, 9)
Immerse your family in God's truth through systematic reading and study of God's Word.
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In this issue we consider the use of our time (see "Our Gift & Stewardship of Time" in sidebar at left). We trust that these ideas will provide you:
1. Options for the use of your time during the summer.
2. Alternatives to the time spent by family members on the Internet.
May the Lord richly bless your family for His glory as you enjoy this summer together!
The Pat Welch Family, Publishers
Pat, Sue, Heather, Holly, and Brian
The Teaching Home is a homeschool, family-run business operated in our home since 1980.
1. Time for God
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your might.
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." Deuteronomy 6: 5-7
Our time with God and teaching His Word to our children is the most important use of our time each day and should have the highest priority in our schedules.
Spiritual activities include:
• Daily personal and family devotional time (prayer, systematic Bible reading (see schedule), discussion, and study).
• Talking about the Lord and spiritual things with your children throughout the day.
• Helping your children memorize God's Word so that it will be available to influence them throughout their lives.
• Making personal application of Scripture to your children's lives (e.g., resources from Doorposts).
• Leading your children to Christ in salvation when they are ready.
• Training your children in Christian living and character development through example, teaching, and discipline throughout each day – this takes time and should not be looked at as an interruption of your daily schedule.
• Attending church services and fellowship with other Christians.
1. Don't let a busy summer schedule rob your family's time together with the Lord; this time will bear fruit in your children for life!
2. This is a good time to establish or brush up on child discipline (see Newsletter #45 on "How To Establish Child Training, Discipline, and Family Responsibilities").
3. Take time to identify and remove ungodly influences from your home.
Sharing the Good News of the Gospel
"And He said to them,
'Go into all the world and preach the gospel
to every creature.'" Mark 16:15
Fulfilling the Great Commission should be one of our goals in training our children to love and follow the Lord. Sharing the good news of salvation is both a command and a privilege.
• Discuss ways your family can become involved in personal evangelism.
• Examine different careers, including Christian service, and encourage your children to consider how the Lord would have them serve Him.
• Witness to neighbors, friends, and relatives.
• Take tracts with you to give to those you come in contact with.
• Contribute to missions and encourage your missionaries.
Summer opportunities for evangelism include:
1. Street, or door-to-door, witnessing or canvassing for VBS
2. VBS or backyard Bible clubs (see information from Child Evangelism Fellowship)
3. Summer camps or evangelism at a fair (see information from Amazing Grace Mission)
2. Time for Work
Work has been an important use of man's time from the beginning in the Garden of Eden. Work was given to man, not as a punishment, before the fall. One consequence of the fall was that work would be harder to do.
One of the best things we can teach our children is that work is not a punishment, and although it may be hard at times, it can also be fulfilling and rewarding.
"If anyone is not willing to work,
then he is not to eat, either." 2 Thessalonians 3:10
Whatever you do, do your work heartily,
as for the Lord rather than for men. Colossians 3:23
Also teach your children that God commands us to work – and that we are to work like we are working for Him.
Our work is not to be only for our own profit, but to enable us to help others.
"He must labor, performing with his own hands
what is good,
so that he will have something to share
with one who has need." Ephesians 4:28
Work can be:
• Done in or out of our home
• Full or part time
• For an employer for wages or salary, self-employed, or apprenticeship
• Multiple jobs (e.g., main employment plus part-time self-employed entrepreneurial)
• Paid or unpaid (volunteer/service to others)
Service to Others
"So then, while we have opportunity,
let us do good to all people,
and especially to those who are of the household
of the faith." Galatians 6:10
Service to others is an important part of our spiritual lives in obedience to God. Our service:
• Helps provide for the needs of others.
• Gets our attention off of ourselves and onto others.
• Can make us thankful for God's blessings to us.
• Offers an opportunity to learn new skills and explore career possibilities.
Some opportunities to serve include your church, support group, rescue mission, retirement home, meals on wheels, crisis pregnancy center, animal shelter, etc.
Working together as a family ensures that your children are safe and that the family shares a unifying goal.
1. You may have more time this summer to serve others (neighbors or church members who are elderly, busy, or physically challenged), as in visiting the sick, doing yard work, or cooking a meal.
2. The chores each of your family members do for your own family is a service to others.
Home and Family Care
Much of our time is not open to discretionary use. We demonstrate our love and care for our family each day as we supply their basic needs:• A healthy diet
• Nurturing of children and husband (spending time together; giving attention and listening to; reading, walking, and talking together)
Other household duties include:• Lawn care
As long as we have to keep up on these chores, we might as well find the fastest, easiest way to do it and be cheerful as we go!
As mothers our joy can be in meeting the daily needs of our family. We can encourage our family to experience the same joy by pitching in and sharing the work.
Summer can give you time to do those things that don't fit into your regular school schedule, such as:
1. De-cluttering and thoroughly cleaning your home
2. Establishing and training your children to do new chores for the coming year (see Newsletter #45 which includes "7 Ways To Teach Responsibility through Chores")
3. Updating your family's wardrobe
4. Reorganizing the use of space in your home
5. Cleaning out your library and books
6. Showing love to each family member every day in tangible ways such as a hug or words of thanks or affirmation
7. Planing special extended time alone with your whole family together; a Mom/girls and Dad/boys activity; and with each individual member
3. Time for Learning
As home educators, we realize that learning can, and does, take place at any time and any place.
• Formally (in class), or informally (teachable moments / discussions)
• By an instructor (Mom, Dad, or others), or self taught through research
• In a class, or out in the world around us
• Academic, or life skills
• The basics, or electives
• For credit, or just for the joy of learning
• Through an institution (in classes or distance learning), or on your own
1. Daily or Weekly Review
Just 5-10 minutes a day of review and practice of the basic skills of reading, writing, and math will prevent your children from forgetting all they know over the summer and needing extra time in the fall to catch up to where they left off in the spring.
Educational games can make this review more interesting.
with a Change of Pace
Use different methods of learning
Do a unit study with all your children together
Read more than usual
Follow one's own interests
Do hands-on activities
Learn life skills
3. Credit for "Summer School"
You might assign school credit for some of the fun, practical activities and skills your children do and learn during the summer.
4. A Head Start on Next Year
You can also get a head start on next year's lessons by doing one class with all your children for six weeks during the summer – perhaps a science class with experiments and field trips.
Besides a good use of your time, this can provide your children with an interesting activity and give you more time during your school year for breaks or a more leisurely schedule.
4. Time for Planning
Planning and scheduling does not mean that you will have to live according to an ultra-strict regimen. This false fear can keep us from fulfilling God's purpose for our lives.
It does mean that we should consider and decide how we use our time – be master of it, rather than just let come what may and be subject to circumstances around us.
You need to make time to plan:
• A day or large block of time once a year for major, over all planning
• Several sessions during the summer for next school year's plans
• Weekly and daily plans
Planning and scheduling (making a time budget) helps you make good use of your time, do what you really want to do, and makes your life go more smoothly.
• Purpose or mission statement
• Goals. Personal Goal Setting. Find Direction; Live Your Life Your Way.
• Master to-do list. To-Do Lists: The Key to Efficiency. Tackling the right tasks first – Prioritized To Do Lists.
• Master calendar
• Scheduling. Planning to make the best use of your time – Effective Scheduling.
• This is a great time to re-evaluate (see survey in Newsletter #370) and plan for next school year.
• Determine life goals and next year's goals.
• Set up your master to-do list and calendar.
• Schedule classes and activities that will help meet your goals.
• Choose and purchase curriculum.
• Plan class arrangements.
5. Time for Leisure
Relaxation and downtime are very important elements in our lives and time should be included in our schedule for:
• Relaxing, sitting, and visiting
• Following individual interests or hobbies
• Doing something just for enjoyment
• Socializing (visiting with friends, attending or hosting social events)
• Physical activities (outdoor games, sports, walking, hiking, or exercising)
• Using a computer for leisure
• Reading for personal interest
Taking a break is important each day and each week throughout the year.
Change of Pace
A variety in our schedule, or a change of pace, differs from taking a break, in that something done for a change can still be productive and yet provide refreshment just because it is different.
Making the Summer Break Last All Year
You can divide up your summer break and spread it throughout the year by following some adaptation of one of these year-round school schedules.
• A four-day school week with three days off.
• Three to six weeks of school with one week off; repeated in cycles.
• Eight or ten weeks of school; two weeks off; repeated in cycles.
Vacation days can be spaced out evenly, reserved for holidays or family vacations, or taken all at once in the summer or whatever season is preferred.
Summer affords more time for greater and more extended changes of pace.
There are so many things that can be done in summer better than at any other time of year, that we need to take advantage of them.• Enjoy being out of doors
6. Time with Others
1. Your Family
Time spent working, playing, learning, and worshiping together with your family brings you closer together and increases the opportunity for influence upon your children.
2. Like-minded Families
Fellowship with like-minded, spiritual Christians for needed support and encouragement for the whole family.
3. Teaching Social Skills
Teach your children social skills that include understanding others, communication, cooperation, managing conflict, leadership, and lovingly meeting the needs of others.
• Summer allows more time to spend with others, especially outdoors.
Note: Always be sure to keep your young children within your sight and hearing when they play with other children. Do not hesitate to schedule and limit playtimes and enforce your family's rules of conduct.
• Go over the rules of good manners (see Newsletter #224) and practice with a tea party, formal family dinner, or dinner with invited guests.
7. Enough Time for Sleep
Adequate rest is essential for good health. It also helps your children to learn and behave better.
Although individuals vary in their need of sleep, the recommended amount of sleep for various age groups is as follows:Toddlers (1-3 years): 12-14 hours
Read "How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?" by the National Sleep Foundation.
• Sleep is something that should remain constant throughout the year.
• Although your bed time and get-up time may vary, it is best and easiest to keep it nearly the same.
As you consider the use of your time:
• Pray and ask for God's promised wisdom to guide you.
• Consult your husband (or wife) for his (or her) input and support.
• Teach your children how the use of their time can help others and please the Lord, and teach them Bible verses such as:
"Whatever you do, do all to the glory of
1 Corinthians 10:31
"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with
all your might."
Our father had us say this verse out loud each time we sat down to practice the piano. His teachings are a wonderful memory and heritage, as your instructions to your children will be also.