Creating Loving Traditions for Your Homeschool
An excerpt from Nourish, Encouragement for Parents Homeschooling Through High School releasing Winter 2021.
“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2
What do you want your child to remember about the days of homeschooling?
When you are knee-deep in hard academics, transcripts, standardized testing, college/career choices, and meaningful extracurricular activities, it can be challenging to think beyond the moment. Yet the reality is one day your child will graduate and leave home. They will look back on these days you are walking through right now. What will you want them to remember?
I wanted my child to develop a rich faith with tiny deposits made over the long haul. I hoped for meaningful, thoughtful conversations to be the fabric of our days, whether it was woven by seeing God in scripture or in physics. My desire was to raise a thinking, curious, virtuous young man who wasn’t afraid to learn anything and would follow God all the days of his life.
Your vision for what your student takes away from high school may look different from mine. However, my guess is we share the ambition of cultivating hearts and minds in the best possible way. How do you do that?
I think it starts by modeling it for them. We begin by being curious ourselves, reading interesting things, asking good questions, and creating space for our student to wonder about life. I think it starts with being intentional with your conversations and experiences on a daily basis.
High schoolers don’t have a lot of time. If they do, they typically don’t want to spend all of it with their parents. You have to be a bit sneaky with weaving in times of connection. Simple, intentional acts of care might be the loveliest things they will remember ten years from now.
My hope was to create memories as part of our days with seasonal rituals. Traditions to support your school year do not have to be expensive or complicated. It could be as simple as making homemade bread in a bread machine together and letting its aroma fill your home on a rainy fall day. It could mean spreading out a 1,000-piece puzzle on the table to work together as a family after dinner. Maybe it’s a favorite seasonal movie and hot cocoa with popcorn. Traditions are about being intentional with how you connect as a family and may look different in every season. Find ways to nurture your child’s heart as part of the journey.
As Christ loved us, we pour out this same love on a daily basis to put our faith in action. These small loving acts are what will create memories lasting long after graduation. They may feel like ordinary things, but they are the things that will make extraordinary memories for years to come.