I may be on a plane as you are reading this.
For the first time in my LIFE, I am leaving our crew for a couple of days to join other writers from around the country at a blogging conference called Allume.
So, while I’m gone I asked one of my most special online friends, Sarah, to share her heart over here. She normally welcomes readers into her home at Joy-Filled Days and I read her posts regularly because her love for God and desire to live for Him shines through clearly whenever she writes. And this is just Part 1, so make sure you come back tomorrow for Part 2.
“Failure to Thrive” is a diagnosis that no mother wants to hear said of her newborn child. It would be heart wrenching and terrifying to hear those words. Yet, I have noticed a “failure to thrive” of sorts in older children who are not doing well socially, emotionally or spiritually. You can see it in their hollow eyes. They lack joy and motivation.
One of my goals as a mom is to raise children who are “fully thriving.”
To best accomplish this goal in our family, we homeschool our kids.
When people find out that we homeschool, they usually assume that I either have the patience of Job, we have no financial worries, we are some kind of religious fanatics or that we are social anarchists.
I am not homeschooling our kids solely for religious reasons (although I am thankful for the time that I have to teach them God’s Word) or for worldview reasons (although I understand the benefit of giving them a Biblical worldview.)
We aren’t social anarchists, and in fact, we teach them to obey every ordinance of man, unless God forbids it.
I don’t even believe that homeschooling is THE only right way to educate a child.
I homeschool to provide a certain atmosphere that I believe helps to reach and inspire the heart in order to nurture a “fully thriving child.”
Today, I want to share some of the qualities of a fully thriving child.
Tomorrow I’ll share some ways that you can create a home atmosphere that will help you help your child grow.
A fully thriving child:
1. Is always growing in grace and in the knowledge of their Savior, Jesus Christ. He is central.
2. Loves to read and is always learning. I d0n’t want my kids to think that they only learn during the hours of 8 am-2:30pm. I want them to constantly be reading and learning something.
3. Must know how to think for himself. When our kids read, we want them to discern the writer’s background, bias, their goal for writing and whether they have used faulty reasoning or not. And then make an assessment on their own, using Scripture as a sieve.
4. Cares for others. Very often our day includes sending cards to college students, visiting the sick in nursing homes, volunteering locally and in our church, entertaining guests in our home or making a meal for a sick family. When people enter our home, it is our job to make them feel welcomed and loved. The kids are part of this. We want them to value people and to love others well.
5. Has time alone with their own thoughts. You can’t know what you believe if you never have time to think. So much good comes from quiet, reflective time. Thinking big thoughts takes quiet time! We limit screen time to make room for book reading, down time and creativity.
6. Has time to be creative and is encouraged to be creative. Creativity mimics our own Creator and is good for the soul.
Taking something ordinary and crafting it into something beautiful is rewarding. Very often the mess in our home is due to some art project sprawled all over our kitchen table. We enjoy making handmade cards, writing stories, sketching in a journal, watercolor painting, crocheting, making music or practicing an instrument.
The holidays are especially fun times for crafting and decorating. We love making gift tags and making cookies. We gather greenery outside to make wreaths and swags. We tuck evergreen and holly berries into any container we can get our hands on. All of these little things make our house a home that reflects our family.
Those are my ideas of what a thriving child looks like. Carrying these ideals out can be tricky. For instance, art is no fun if mom is looking over your shoulder correcting everything to make it just perfect.
Or if having people over for dinner means that everyone is stressed out because the house has.to.be.just.so.perfect.
So, what kind of home atmosphere is ideal for raising a thriving child? We’ll talk about that tomorrow.
Are your children thriving or just surviving school and life? Share your goals for your children in the comments.