In the midst of homeschooling our kids, it doesn’t take much to get totally zapped into the world of selecting curricula and the process of teaching, mentoring, training, and correcting. Some parts of homeschooling are more fun than others. Some we do out of sheer necessity.
So, whenever we get a chance to let the reigns loosen a bit for just a plain ol’ fun time together, I’m pretty sure most of us would hop on the opportunity.
Each February, I think about ways I can show different expressions of my love to my family, let the reigns loosen up a bit, and just have fun with my kids.
Here are some extra love perks you can add into your homeschool to make learning together more fun:
- Make room for a day of impromptu outings. Notice I didn’t say field trips. This is where the “educator” in each of us can take a seat and relax. Let this be a day that your kids get to choose where they want to go (Yes, the mall counts). Spend a leisurely day together window shopping, playing at the park, or just grabbing an ice cream or yogurt from your favorite ice cream shop. Sometimes life’s most valuable experiences come from the outings that aren’t necessarily planned. Free yourself to enjoy time together this way once in awhile. It can’t hurt.
- Make a date with each of your kids individually. If you can manage the time and logistics needed to pull this off, spending some alone time with each child can really cement a loving memory in your child’s heart for years to come. Your child will cherish that time together – just you and him. Do what it is she likes to do, whether you cozy up by the fireplace and read a novel together, take her out on a special outing, or simply go for a drive and talk. Time together makes a difference and brings your hearts closer together. The better you understand one another, the better your student will love and respect you, his teacher.
- Play board games together. If you have somewhat older kids who love board games, this idea will fly quickly. Mark Board Game Day on your calendar and your kids will be super jazzed when they day arrives. Set aside time that day to just dive in and play with your kids. Okay, maybe only half a day or just long enough to get through a round of Monopoly and another round of LIFE. But make the Game Day count, and whatever you do, get involved! Moms need to learn to have fun, too.
- Bake together. Okay, if you’re not much into baking you might be tempted to throw this idea out the window. But I challenge you to give it a try. Nobody says you have to bake from scratch. Pre-made chocolate chip cookie dough can be purchased from your local grocery store, so no excuses. It’s the process of working together in the kitchen, bumping elbows together, making a mess, smelling the results of yummy goodness in the oven, and cleaning up together afterward, that will ultimately loosen up any tight kinks or reservations you might inwardly have at first. Baking together with your kids will force you to let it all go. You’ll be sweaty and tired, you’ll make a huge mess, and then you’ll have to clean it all up – together. The good part is, you’ll get to sink your teeth into gooey, warm, chocolate chip cookies (or whatever it is you like to bake). It can be a challenging task (especially with younger kids), but just look forward to the cookies and tea as your final prize.
- Create a craft together. Again, if you don’t consider yourself a particularly crafty person, don’t throw away this idea altogether. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy and low energy some crafts really are. You just have to choose something which fits your style. Just think about the final result of a semi-glittery red heart with “I Love You Mom” scribbled across the front posted on the door of your fridge.
I don’t know about you, but I live for those moments of expressing my love to my kids and allowing them to express it back to me. Each time I pass a handmade drawing by one of my kids on my fridge, I am reminded of how blessed I am and of how so very easily I could not have had either of my children with me today.
God is so good and so gracious to bless me with these precious kids and I will to love them. I promise to cherish them. I commit to honor them.
I encourage you to love your children through their easy and not-so-easy stages. Keep loving them even when it’s difficult. Love them through those hard stages and difficult times even when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Keep praying and believing that God has the best intentions for your family. He will never let you down.
And know that being a Mommy this Valentine’s Day is a treasure of a lifetime.