Back to School

Aug 19, 2013 by


back to school

Summer is coming to a close. While the heat continues throughout the country, vacations are coming to an end. Moms are putting away the swimming suits and dad’s are winterizing the boat and camper. Department stores are flooded with frantic parents searching out the right glue sticks and #2 pencils. Children are in dressing rooms begrudgingly trying on uniforms that will be their main wardrobe for the next nine months. It’s that time of year again – the beginning of school.

While the new school year brings many challenges – kids adjusting to waking up earlier, parents adjusting to waking up earlier, and making lunches that your children will eat and not trade away – it is also a “new beginning” time for some great changes in your family life.

We homeschooled through most of our children’s education, however, they were in public school for 3 years. Not having them with me all the time, we had to be very deliberate in how we discipled our children throughout the school year. When you compare the hours of the day they spend with us and the hours they spend in school, we parents are on the short end of the stick. So what are some ways to capitalize on that precious time with our children?

1. Be Prepared: I know when I am rushed in the morning, I can tend to set the tone for the whole family. So I need to be sure I have gotten enough sleep, have planned what everyone is going to wear, and awakened myself and everyone else early enough to get done what needs to be done. It’s a very simple principle, but one where we stumble right out of the gate if we don’t get it right. Here is where the old scout motto of Be Prepared definitely comes in handy.

2. Be Purposeful: I always tried to think of ways that I could pour words of wisdom into my children to help them with their day. Here are a few ideas.

  • Put post-it notes in their lunches that told them their dad and I love them. Or sometimes just a drawing of a smiley face.
  • Write notes on their bathroom mirror in erasable marker. They can be messages of love or Scripture.
  • We would try to “get dressed” every morning. I don’t mean with clothes, although they did do that. Before we’d go out the door, we would put on the Armor of God – the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, our feet ready to spread the gospel and peace, the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit. Then one of us would say, “Are we dressed?” “Yes!” “What are we going to do for God today?” Then we would proceed to list our day’s activities because everything we did that day we wanted to do for the glory of God.
  • As Jim or I would drop off the kids at school, we would leave them with a word of advice. “Smile today; someone may need it.” Or “You have to be a friend to have friends.” These little phrases must have made an impact because recently, our college student home on summer break dropped me off at work so she could have a car for the day. As I got out of the van she smiled and said, “Make good choices.” Your repetitive words of wisdom will become embedded in their hearts and minds.

3. Be Prayerful: If you do nothing else, send your children off to school with prayer. They face many challenges in their day and not all of them are academic. They need Scripture and prayer spoken over them so they know that they can do all things through Christ who strengthens them. They need to be assured that nothing is impossible with God. They must know that they are not alone because our loving Father will never leave them nor forsake them. It is our job to instill the Word in our children’s hearts and to lift them and their day to the Lord every morning.

Make this new school year a time of new beginnings that will help shape your child’s life for this year and many years to come.

These were just a few ideas. How do you disciple your children during the hectic schedule of the school year?


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