Gospel-Centered Parenting through Relationship
“For our family it hasn’t been a particular program or study that we have done, rather it’s been living our relationship out in front of our children. Allowing the kids to snuggle up while I finish my morning quiet time has been key for them to see how we prioritize God in our home.
Taking them to Sunday school and church weekly and allowing for questions and conversation. Having them share prayer requests and watching God answer prayers has given our kids a foundation to stand on into adulthood. We read real stories of courageous Christians as examples of people who lived Godly lives. They have seen God provide clothing when we needed something in particular, food when there was none, money when it was needed, vehicles to both our family and individual adult children.”
“I have a general prayer I say, and I make general comments to God throughout the day, often when I am feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, etc. My son always comments that he doesn’t see the point of it. He also wonders when I will stop considering any kind of “pseudoscience” (e.g. Feng Shui). I recently bought a vinyl sticker I have in my office area at home that states, “Don’t Stress God’s Got this.” It has been rather recently that I have begun being more open about my beliefs, but I have always lived a life in which I serve others as much as possible. I have always hoped I lead by example and my children know certain behaviors that are expected in my household, as well as in the treatment of others and responsibility to our greater community.”
Gospel-Centered Parenting through Prayer
“We write out our prayers on a board and talk about how God has answered their prayers. Some of their prayers have been on the board for many years and still they see we are consistent to pray.
What came to my mind is the power of prayer and what my kids have witnessed as they have prayed for others and have seen them be answered. It was hard to see when prayers of healing are not answered the way they wanted. They also saw how when they have a need or have a hurt it is the best way to get their needs meet. I have seen my daughter find people and pray with them. I wish I would have had that opportunity when I was younger.”
Gospel-Centered Parenting through Service
“Our homeschooling journey spanned many years, so different methods and techniques were utilized, but the overarching emphasis in our home was ALWAYS the Lord. (Hind-site has shown me several areas that I was flawed in, but I did the best I knew at the time, as most of us do.)
Memorization of scripture and hymns, reading/learning Bible stories, family prayer time, and service in our community were main pillars in our spiritual pursuits. We invested in quality Bible story books when the girls were young, and read them over and over again in our evening devotions. Christian radio was the main medium in our house, and the girls listened to tapes of Adventures in Odyssey daily. When they got older, we read Christian biographies and memorized hymns.
The girls and I enjoyed baking, and often we would take muffins, cookies or cake to the sick or elderly.
One Christmas we bought several gifts from the dollar store, wrapped each one (I think we somehow segregated male/female and child/adult gifts.) We piled them in a wagon and took them to the hospital. It was so touching for me to see my young daughters pass out gifts to the patients. We also often visited the local nursing home, and we entertained in our home weekly. We enjoyed having a couple over for board games, families over for meals, and large groups (church, neighbors, home-school friends) over for Open Houses. We also entertained missionaries frequently.”
Gospel-Centered Parenting through Bible Study
“For our spiritual learning we do a lot. We go to church and Sunday School each week and our church has a curriculum that encourages families to learn at home when not at church. The manual has the topics that will be taught on Sunday (and ideas on how to study at home), so you can instill the gospel in their hearts with continuity. We also have a nightly scripture study and prayer as a family. Overall I think that my kids are not going to remember all the specifics of the lessons and prayers we had, but they will remember that we were always striving to be closer to God and to have a Christ-centered home.”
“In the past, we have done daily Bible Studies, and I hope to make this a priority again as we settle into a new schedule this new year. We enjoyed learning about the Names of God, and the different ways we see him based on those names. My son has learned to pray from going through that study, and can say the most heart-warming, sincere prayers that I feel are years beyond where most people would see his understanding. I feel it is God who gives him the ability to pray with such sincerity and earnest!
I know my kids see my faith and hear me talk about it because of the things that I hear them say and do. I know as parents we all feel inadequate at times, and unsure if we are doing enough. I know this season of my life will pass, and with time pain will turn to memory. Life will continue and will become peaceful once more. In the meantime, I try to remind myself that it is not how we deal with the peaceful times but how we deal with the tumultuous times that make the most lasting impressions on our kids’ lives. I know my parents did not have much to offer us financially during many seasons of our lives. Yet, they gave their time to us, to our friends, and to others. And this meant a lot to those whose lives they touched. I hope that my kids will someday say the same about me.”
“I think in many ways, homeschooling reflects the person or people involved. If Christ is central in my life, Christ will naturally be central in our homeschool and in anything I do. So first and foremost, my own heart and my own spiritual journey need to be a priority. It’s easy to let my own needs slip as I’m focusing on my children, to read my Bible less, to pray less, to seek fellowship with other Christians less because I’m focusing on the urgent immediate needs I see everyday. But one of the best ways I can serve my children and my family is to seek the Lord in my own life regularly. To carve out time, even a little time, and make that a priority.
Next, we incorporate Christ-centered conversations throughout the day, particularly at meal times. Right now, we are reading together through the book of Hebrews at breakfast, and my husband leads us in the evenings as we study Proverbs. I love the Simply Charlotte Mason resources for Bible in our homeschool. Each child also has an individual time of study, using various resources we have gathered over the years. Seeds Family Worship is another favorite resource of ours for Bible memory. Each subject also triggers lots of conversations about God and His plan for our good and His glory. The books we read out loud together, the history events we study, the marvels of creation—all speak of God’s hand in our world.”
As you can see, there are so many ways to add faith and service to your homeschool, and no wrong way to do it!