Less Home-Schooling and More Home-Living

Have you ever had someone put something really big, totally massive, incredibly scary on your “to-do list”? 

Oh my goodness, I totally have.  I’m thinking of several past employers (which was understandable, because, you know, that was their job), and sometimes my children…. 

I remember the moment I sneaked a quiet moment only to emerge to find my very young toddler had unrolled ALL the toilet paper (necessitating a long clean-up operation). Or when I came downstairs after changing a baby’s nappy, to find my toddler had torn up the New Testament of my (brand new) Bible into very small pieces (necessitating an even longer sellotaping operation).   

Sigh…. And breathe…. 

And now this new emerging-world-situation has put “homeschooling” on our to-do lists.  Or perhaps, “homeschooling-without-outings” is a more accurate description.  (Yes, this whole thing is also a change for experienced-homeschooling-families) 

I want to respond to all you wonderful Mums who have been emailing me about how you have suddenly found yourselves as a “Homeschooling Mum”.  And all the emotions surrounding that.  And all the questions about HOW to do it and WHAT to do and in WHAT ORDER.   

This is what I think… 

You can do this.  The “you-and-God-team” have got this one.  You do not need anyone to tell you WHAT to do or in WHAT ORDER to do it.  You will become more confident about that bit – and you do not need to have it all figured out this week or even this month.  As a Mum, you have the ability to see inside your children, and as you continue looking deep inside them, you will figure out the WHAT and the ORDER and SYSTEMS.  With God’s help of course.   

Reading about other peoples’ strategies and “how-tos” can be useful, and yet I am not going to share mine today.  I want to invite you to look at this in a different way…..  

WHO are you in the Lord and HOW can you embrace general LIVING in God’s Spirit in this time and this season?   

THIS is the essential piece of the jigsaw.  THIS is the part that will underpin everything (regardless of what curriculum or homework-book or schedule you decide to use).  THIS is the question that will help you stay connected with God and your children and God’s invitations for your family. 

Even though you did not choose this situation, or any of this change, I wonder what it makes possible for you, for your children, for your family? 

God has been preparing you for this, I promise.  Look back over the previous months and year….  God has been there, quietly preparing you for this.  Take heart.  You are not alone.  You do not have to do this alone.  God was with you.  God is with you now.  God will be with you tomorrow, next week, next month. 

Which means you can relax.  You can breathe.  You can even – perhaps – enjoy a little bit of the journey.   

And I want you to consider that the actual “academics” of “homeschooling” is probably going to take up only a small part of your days with your children.   

The actual challenge is less scary – and more encompassing.  HOW do we LIVE WELL with our children?  How do we work together to get three meals on the table every day, clean up afterwards and still find time to give each child a little bit of our undivided attention?  How do we incorporate some movement into our day, and beauty and craft and stillness?  How can we embrace poetry or music, baking or play?  How can we have fun together while being OK for us all to get wet and dirty?  And how can we slow down enough to be able to enter into one task in depth?  Because it is only then that time will “swirl” around us and stand still, only then that our work becomes satisfying. 

If your school has sent your child home with mountains of “homeschool work”, do NOT let it take first place on your to-do list.  Yes, I’m sure it needs to get done at some point, but how?  But with what atmosphere?  I think we are called to figure out the “home-living” bit first.  Even better, to embrace a bit of “home-wholesome-living”.   

The “you-and-God-team” have got this! 


Kate Cavanagh,
Raising Happy Healthy Christian Kids
Your Domestic Ark

P.S.  I’m always interested to know your answers to these questions :-),  Choose just ONE question, your favourite question, to get started :

  • WHO are you in the Lord and HOW can you embrace general LIVING in God’s Spirit in this time and this season?  
  • What does this situation make possible for you, for your children, for your family?
  • Look back over the previous months and year….  God has been there, quietly preparing you for this.  What do you see?
  • How can you slow down enough to be able to dive deeply into one task in depth?
  • What does “home-wholesome-living” mean for you, for your family?

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