Mornings at our house are pretty much the opposite of what you might think a homeschool family’s mornings are like. I hear of homeschool moms using their morning reading baskets, and I wish that was our morning too. I dream of what it would look like if we could just all get dressed, have breakfast and snuggle up on the couch for some quiet reading time or devotions together. It sounds glorious. Sigh, of course since our family is far from ordinary. For us, this idea is just a fantasy.
Here is our reality. First, there’s Ladybug. Her cerebral palsy means we need to get her ready for the day. We need to get her out of bed, dress her, get her into her wheelchair and feed her. Then there’s Grasshopper. His ADHD means we have to constantly remind and walk him through his morning routine of getting ready for the day. I really should make him a visual checklist. I’ll get to it when I have some “free time” HA!
Then we’re off to therapy appointments. Ladybug has therapy appointments Monday-Thursday at 8 am. This means, unlike most other homeschool families we need to stay on task in the mornings. We need to be out the door just like most other families heading out for work or school.
After therapy, we drop Ladybug off at school, Grasshopper and I can finally get home to get a start on our school day. By this time, however, I am usually already in my get-it-done mode. I really want to just dive into our classes. If we don’t start school right away, it just isn’t going to happen. Things come up, we get distracted, and pretty soon the day is half over. So as soon as we get home, we dive in. However, one thing I am making a priority before we dive into the curriculum is our devotions.
The main reason I wanted to start our school day off with devotions this year was so I could teach Grasshopper to develop the habit of spending time with God. I also wanted to focus on some character building activities this year. I couldn’t think of a better habit to get into that will also build his character than spending time with God each day. Although this was my main reason it has had many other benefits.
Devotions help me refocus my priorities
Like I said, usually, when we get home from therapy I am ready to dive in and get our school day going. I have a business background so it’s natural for me to try to maximize each day by being as efficient as possible. When I spend time doing short devotions with Grasshopper it reminds me that my top priority is to be their mom. This means that while the academics of homeschooling are important, they are not near as important as developing his heart. I want him to grow in his love for God and desire to serve Him. I could give him the academic knowledge to be a great business leader; but, if he isn’t using these gifts for God than what’s the point?
Devotions give us a glimpse at each other’s heart
Spending time reading the Bible and praying together gives me the opportunity to see and hear what he’s feeling. It allows me to better understand what is on his heart and what his concerns are. It’s a great opportunity to be more open and share with each other on a deeper level. And, surprisingly enough this has been a two-way street. As a mom, I’ve always focused on our kids, but I never really stopped to consider the value of having our children learn what is on our hearts. I think it’s benefited Grasshopper to hear my thoughts on things as well.
It sets the tone for the day
Last year we would dive right into school when we got home from therapy. This meant we missed out on this opportunity. We did use the Bible as history class last year, so it’s not like we didn’t use the Bible. However, doing this made it more of a class to him. When we didn’t do this before our school day started, school work seemed like it was all business. Because doing devotions together has helped remind me of my priorities I find myself more patient with Grasshopper. Our school days have been going more smoothly, and our days have been more enjoyable together. Devotions are a great way to invite God into your day.
We start our devotion time by singing a worship song together. I started this a few days ago when Grasshopper wasn’t in the mood for Bible time. I pulled out my phone and played his favorite worship song. Because of his attitude, he didn’t want to worship, but as the song played his heart softened and by the end of the song he started to sing and was ready to begin. Since this day, we start our devotion time by singing a worship song together. This has really helped us to go from focusing on the to-do list of the day to focus on our devotion time.
This one should be so obvious I almost missed it. Of course with spending time daily worshiping, reading the Bible and praying together our faith has grown as well. I am really excited to see Grasshopper’s spiritual growth develop and mature this year.
Overall, this has been a great way for both of us to get over the chaos of what our mornings can look like. It helps us regroup, and focus. When we turn our focus to God, we are ready to start our day with positive attitudes.
This routine might look different for you. Maybe you and your child will each do your own devotions and then come together to pray. The main reason we are doing the devotion together is that I am reading to him during this time. With his dyslexia reading is laborious. The last thing I want to do during this time is to turn it into a chore or something he dreads. I also want to make sure that he is able to focus more on the lesson he’s hearing than trying to read each individual word.
I have found Jesus Calling for Kids to be an amazing devotional for kids. The devotions are practical, short and sweet. It also lists Bible verses to read that tie into the reading. We also love the NIrV Adventure Bible for early readers. It also comes in so many fun cover options. Your boys might enjoy the blue turtle cover while your daughters might enjoy the Purple cover with flowers.
How do you start your homeschool day? I would love to hear your ideas, comment below!