So summers in our home are a true juggling act, this summer is keeping us on our toes for sure. We balance varying summer visitation schedules, with camps, trying to squeeze in family camping trips, play days, on top of the schedule of full time working parents and Noah’s school breaks and afternoons which need to keep from disturbing his routine or having obstacles or disaster with having the other children home. We are truly being forced to take this day by day and week by week. We need to stay flexible and ready to adjust schedules moment to moment as well.
With that being said I had been working on trying to find a way incorporate our older three to have some form of scripture study or devotion without making it too complicated or arduous.
We are not ashamed to admit we are the ‘mean parents’; we make our children do workbooks over the summer to keep their brains from melting and losing what they have learned during the previous school year.
Earlier this year we had also initiated a reading program with them that we are continuing into the summer. They are required to read one book a month of our (mine or my husband’s) choosing and then they have brief summary to complete on the book they read and keep a reading log. To make this fun we did add in level of competition, so they are allowed to read more than one a month and at the end of the year the most books read and the most pages read will receive a prize.
In previous summers they have been given their workbooks and list of chores each morning to complete and required to read for 30 minutes a day, all before playing outside or video games or whatever they choose to spend their day doing. This summer we have changed things up, some days they are given 2 or 3 workbook pages that I have selected and pulled out for them, they are still given their chores each day and expected to keep up with their reading. They have not been given any time frame or restrictions to do this in their own timing during the day. Letting them build on their time management skills.
This summer with less emphasis on the workbooks we have added in scripture cards. We have never told the kids they must do these cards. There are no consequences for not doing them however we have not had to worry about that because they have done them each and every day(except one;). They have not once complained or grumbled about the scripture cards, they have actually seemed to be enjoying them. They have complained and grumbled along the way about the chores and despise the workbook pages (well the boys hate them) but not one word of complaint about the scripture. It seems to be an effective way to get them into their bible each day over the summer!
The first few cards we left went down the Romans road, we had some very good follow up discussion with them in the evenings the days they did these cards. We were actually making them think! Parenting win!The cards are left for each one of them on the counter next to their list of chores. Some days they put more effort and thought into but I count this as a HUGE success. We have our preteen and teen children willingly reading and highlighting in their bibles everyday.
I have thoroughly enjoyed coming home from work each day and seeing their bibles on the table and picking up the cards they have left and reading what they wrote. Some of the cards they keep tucked away in their own bible but some get left behind and I have been collecting them.
To try and mix things up yesterday I skipped the scripture cards and left them this bible treasure hunt.
While this treasure hunt did not go quite as I had hoped, there was some arguing and disagreeing between them during this but overall I think they enjoyed. They had to look up a verse and figure out what keyword in the verse indicated where their next clue would be. Example of this- ‘Matthew 7:8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.’ And the next clue would be on a door in the house. They eventually got to their prize which consisted of some treats and water balloons. I came straight home from work yesterday and we immediately set up and had a water fight in the yard.
I do find it at times easy to become discouraged when our efforts or plans do not go quite as expected. My husband is always very good at reminding me of the positives when I feel like we are failing in one way or another. Truly it seems like some days we take one step forward and three steps backwards.
The enemy works hard to interfere in our lives with discouragement and negative thoughts. Satan is constantly attacking our families and homes. As parents we need to stay in constant prayer and be on guard. Continue to study and pour the word of God in our homes and show our children God’s love not only in our instruction to them but on the way we live or lives. Our example in their lives will be the most powerful witness we have.
And we must pray pray pray over our children.
‘Be alert and of sober mind, your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.’ 1Peter5:8
Heavenly Father, thank You so much for blessing us with a home full of children! What an awesome and big responsibility to raise these children in today’s world. I pray for continued strength and courage as their mother. I pray for wisdom in our teaching and the way we live our lives. I pray that their hearts will be open and absorb all we are trying to teach them, I pray for their salvation that they truly know you Lord, that they will live their lives to serve You and glorify You in all they do. I pray that I stay alert and sober minded that my walk with You would grow each day and to rise up in prayer, to be confident and comforted in knowing You are in control. I pray You cover our lives in Your protection. In Jesus name~Amen
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2
“May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word. I know, Lord, that your laws are righteous, and that in faithfulness you have afflicted me. May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight.”. Psalm 119:74-77