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I often think that we have too many things to do in a day of homeschooling. The major subjects have been enough for us to get busy a day long. Even we sometimes don't finish the targets of the day. How can we fit the devotion time in homeschooling?
Many homeschooling families from various religions look so peaceful with their devotion time included in their homeschooling days. I often ask them and myself,
How do you have time for devotion in the busy homeschooling day?
I have asked too many questions to people about the devotion time and I think, it is the time for me to share about devotion time with you. Well, I am not good at it yet, for honest, but I hope it will help others who ask the same questions like mine.
Why Do We Need Devotion Time with Children?
There are several reasons why homeschoolers need to include devotion time for whatever religion you have.
- The prayer, the scripture reading, and the discussion during the devotion time will be kept for your day. I will not expect we remember all the morale and the messages during the devotion for a long time. Keeping it for one day consistently and repeatedly will be great for the character and mental development
- A content of devotion can be a point for moms to remind children in the daily life. It will give good reasons for doing or not doing something. Not only that, kids also often remind me when my anger turns up.
- Devotions usually will strengthen the faith and confidence of you and children to solve the problems you have daily. Is this your homeschooling vision and mission? For is, it is.
When Do I Have Time?
Like I mentioned previously, finding time in homeschooling is not easy. Especially if you have already got well-structured days after the chaos. How can we get time among the crowded schedule? This question makes me confused successfully for several years. The day becomes longer and more crowded.
Doing a devotion is very difficult for us. However, considering the benefits , we try hard to be discipline in doing morning devotion just 3 times weekly. It is not our first trial, for honest. We have tried to fit this routine several times and rarely got success previously. It took a long time and really made our days long.
Start from this year, we change our devotion time and activities completely. It just takes 5-15 minutes to do the devotion routine right now and kids get more in their mind. They can remember the message longer.
Where Should We Do Devotion Time?
Well, we have night family devotion before we go to bed. We do it in the children's room after the sleeping prep and reading time. The morning devotion takes place in the school room. Every family might have got different place to have the most comfortable place to do devotions. You can do that in the kitchen side table, dining room, living room, car, or prayer room.
What Can We Do in Devotion Time?
There are several things you can do in the devotion time. Once again, it will base on your religion and your needs. I cannot say or give suggestions for other religion, but I will share what we have.
- We open the devotion time with prayer. Either I or my children will do.
- We open the bible study folder to see what we plan to read. We use devotion materials from Not Consumed. It has worksheets to reflect what we have read. We just do 3 reflection questions each time.
- Sharing time is just very short to confirm our intention for that day.
- Closing prayer.
Here are some alternatives and variations:
- Rosary with children
- Reading the saint of the day.
- Singing hymns
- Memorizing the bible
- Bible Copywork
- Discussing and memorizing the prayers
Do you have regular religious devotion time? What do you do? #ihsnet #religion #family
How Often Do We Need to Have Devotion Time?
We do the night devotion every day as it is the time that daddy can be involved. We tried hard to do the morning devotion every day as well, but we always failed. Therefore, we are just doing it 3 times in a school week. When it comes to holiday or homeschooling break, we do it every day. On Saturdays and Sundays, we don't have morning family devotion time since we will be busy with the church mass and activities.
Resources for Devotion Time
At night, we simply have prayers as a family and sharing time. The morning time needs several variations and materials. As a Catholic, we have plenty of resources and possibilities we can use for the devotion time.
The first time we homeschool children, we only have one bible, so we used one and read aloud. It was not children bible so it was hard to keep them sit still listening to the bible reading. The memorized the verses with the printables, but it is still different when they use real bible that everyone has. They will have the sense of belonging and they will have skills to look up the book and verses.
If your children are still young, I would like to suggest you to purchase a children bible that has pictures. They still cannot read and you can read it for them. Once they are fluent in reading, you might need to invest purchasing bibles to everyone. Don't forget to use the same version of bible so you can read it together or by turn.
There are several versions and translations of Bible you can choose based on your like or religion based demand. You also can do bible journaling in the devotion time since there are several Bibles made for journals. In this activity, readers can express their comprehension and feeling in the form of visual drawing and typography. As we are Catholic, we use the Catholic Bible. Here are some options for Bible you might be interested:
Saints of The Day Books
We use some local books for saints of the day reading. We sometimes use an iOS app for Saints of The day. You might prefer to read specific books so your children will not lost focus in reading, here are some books we would like to recommend:
Devotional Books and Printables
If you would like to use more serious bible study that emphasizes the stories, you might want to check out the stick figure bible study, Grapevine. Click the image bellow to check out:
Church Worship Books
There is usually standard prayer book from church to use in worships or masses. It is good to introduce children and to familiarize them with the use of the book. Therefore, they are going to master the book in the right occasions.
A lectionary is a book or listing that contains a collection of scripture readings appointed for Christian or Judaic worship on a given day or occasion.
Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lectionary
You might appoint a list of for you to read, discuss, and pray with children. You can browse it online or you might ask your local church or group.
What Problems Do You Have in Homeschooling Devotion Time?
Devotion time in homeschooling doesn't always work smoothly. There are some problems that we need to overcome
- Time punctuality
It often happens that I have some unfinished or emergency work. It sometimes cancels the devotion time. When there are too many cancellations, the motivation will decrease. Therefore, consistency is really needed to make the devotion time a habit.
- Incidental Schedules
Sometimes we belittle the devotion time since it is not included into the academic requirement. This attitude will just dismiss the devotion time routines.
- Longer time
The devotion sometimes takes longer time to finish than we expect. There are many chance that the devotion time get extended. Well, I try hard to be discipline with the duration so it won't spoil the other lessons and activities. However, it should be flexible as well.
- Kids cannot sit still
Well, it is not only in the devotion time, I think. However, it is quite challenging when children are over active. It also happens when we get them to the worship places. Doing devotion will train them for being in the bigger place.
It often happens here. I don't know what we are going to read and how to deliver it to children. As a result, I postpone the devotion time. Too many postpones will just make us lazy.
Adelien Tan is a mother of three awesome boys and a wife of a great husband. They are a home education family who live in Surabaya, Indonesia, where home education is still very rare. English is her foreign language, but She tries to use it in blogging.