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When Life gets Chaotic - Issue 145
March 26, 2010
Hi there! ....

This week A highlight for us this week was that Daniel got to write a song – He had been writing the words for several months now, but a friend who is a song writer came around and in one hour he worked with Daniel to arrange the words into lyrics, set them to music, practiced singing it and then burnt a CD! How cool is that! I get so thrilled when friends or community folk offer their gifts and time and help us educate our children. It creates rich experiences.

Live life with your kids!

When Life gets Chaotic

There are seasons in our life where formal lessons are not working or are just not happening for our family:

  • Our children are still young and not showing the signs of readiness for formal lessons
  • We are de-schooling our children (that is, helping them understand the new lifestyle of being at home with their family)
  • We are re-educating ourselves (that is, shifting our paradigms on learning and education)
  • Family commitments (such as holidays, visitors, family projects or sickness)
  • Life is just busy (though hopefully this is only a season not a way of life)

When we find ourselves in these situations we don’t want to lose ground – we don’t want to lose our intentionality. And yet it is easy to begin to waft; not sure what is a realistic goal, not sure what we can really achieve considering all that is going on. There are four key words that are crucial at these times and if you remember these words your family life will continue to bring learning opportunities to your children.

Relationships – We need to make sure that time is available to catch up with each other, to spend time together; talking, laughing and praying. Meal times are something that quickly can slide to a quick bite, so I encourage you to prioritise healthy food and time together to eat it. Meal times can be prime relationship time if you are intentional about it. This may not be a reality for every day, but look at your diaries, confer with each other and make it happen some of the time.

Creativity – Idle hands just lead to mischief! While we are busy or distracted with life’s commitments we need to keep our children busy, but not busy for busy sake – we need to teach our children to be productive, to be creative. Creativity can take on many forms from cooking, drawing, making, tidying, building etc. If your children aren’t involved working beside you it is worth the time to prepare activities for them to do. Leaving them to their own devices for extended periods of time will often test their self control and focus beyond their ability for success! I have found that if I give 10-15 minutes of input and instruction my children can then be by themselves between 20-45minutes (depending on age and training). I then rotate this pattern throughout the day. (Big tip: A timer is your friend!!)

Curiosity – We can encourage curiosity in our family by simply being curious ourselves. Are you curious about the stars in the sky? About a bee landing on a rose? About the painting your saw in your neighbour’s house? Are you curious about God’s Word? About the latest political debate? About the bridge you just drove over? Do you know how things work? Do you know why things are? Do you know and seek God’s wisdom and understanding? If we actively ask questions and seek answers then this will become a part of just being in your family. It doesn’t need to be something you ‘put on’ for lessons – it is a part of living in your family. Curiosity is the key to learning – we need to model curiosity ourselves, as well as stimulate it in our children.

Restfulness – In amongst the chaos of busyness our children need to find rest – we need to find rest. Each day, I encourage you to find a moment, a time of peaceful rest in your home. It could be total silence in the car as you drive home, it could be reading time, nap time, or watching a dvd. Our bodies need rest. But restfulness is more than just a calm quiet in our physical realm – we also need to find rest (peace) in the spiritual as well. It is so easy to skip over our Bible readings and times of prayer when life gets busy. Now, there will be a day or so that things slip by but I encourage you not to let it become the norm. In busy days we need to keep our focus on Jesus – He is our Peace. If you have lost your peace, find a way to soak in God’s presence. You will be truly refreshed. (I often change the music I listen to – worship music will minister to your heart.)

When these seasons hit us we are often swept along without any time to be intentional. What happens is that we suddenly realise where our family is at – it is at this time that you need to pause, take a moment and pull your family together. Consider how you can be intentional in this season. The time you take out to plan will bring high dividends – it will be worth it! We don’t have to plan formal lessons we just have to be aware how these four aspects – relationships, creativity, curiosity and restfulness – is happening during the day. If it is not happening how can you make it happen?

We can be proactive and intentional even when life throws us surprises!

Website Updates
There are no updates this week but if you are starting out homeschooling, or are changing your perceptions you may enjoy some of these articles Starting out Discipleship Homeschool

Blog Updates
This week I posted twice:
Keeping Hope Alive - ways that I can keep enthusiasm happening in my home.

The First Hour A personal challenge I'm facing to be diligent with that first hour of my day.

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.

Heart Focus Parenting - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

My Sitemap is a quick reference to all you will find on Lifestyle-Homeschool. I encourage you to have a browse around!

Back Issues
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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter I know homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, so I have divided my newsletter into four sections and you will receive one section a week; short but regular newsletters!
  • Be a Deliberate Parent – Encouragement to continue in purposeful and intentional parenting.
  • Family Life – Spotlights on a particular aspect of family life so we can see the natural opportunities available to us in educating our children.
  • Character Education – Each month we focus on a different character trait – The newsletter will include application for Mums, as well as seeing character training opportunities in everyday life.
  • A Homeschool Thought – Discussing homeschool issues

The newsletter will also keep you updated with all additions to Lifestyle-Homeschool

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