A Heart of Dakota Life
Simplify (and Love) Your Homeschool Life by Enlisting Help
Using Heart of Dakota is already a great way to enlist help to simplify and love your homeschool life! However, as a homeschool mom, you have probably already discovered, homeschooling is not for the faint of heart. It takes real dedication, hard work, and a team effort. In the last “A Heart of Dakota Life” post we learned how important it is that we #1: Don’t Go It Alone! We can do this by first turning to the Lord as our source of strength. This week, we continue with our second way to simplify and love our homeschool life by enlisting help from those around us!
#2 – Help Is All Around You
“What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and the work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow.” – Martin Luther
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in various forms. – 1 Peter 4:10
What we do in our house as homeschool moms can sometimes feel insignificant. Loads of laundry, dirty dishes, meal after meal to make, and in the middle of it all – homeschooling to accomplish. If we are not careful, we can begin to think of our position as being lowly. This is simply not true! What we do in our house is worth so much! Our position and our work are sacred, and as such, pleasing to God. This is not because of the position we hold, but on account of the obedience from which our work flows. When we choose to homeschool our children in a Christian way, we are serving the Lord.
Though homeschooling is definitely a daunting task, the Lord did give us help! Each person in our family has gifts that God gave to be used to serve. Encouraging each member of our family to be faithful stewards of these gifts can show us, help is truly all around!
What are you doing that someone else could do?
Think of how many tasks you do each day as a homeschool mom! If you were to write down every little thing you did each day, the list would be quite long, I am sure. One day when I was feeling overwhelmed I did just that. I pulled out a piece of paper and set it on the counter. Every time I did something, I wrote it down. Yes. My day went long with all that writing, but at the end of the day, I realized how many things I was doing that someone else could just as easily do. By trying to do everything, I was not letting my family do hardly anything. One person doing all of the serving all of the time doesn’t work. It creates one exhausted, somewhat bitter person serving, and the rest of the people not learning to serve – even if they want to.
Take inventory of the help.
So, I encourage you to set a piece of paper out on your counter and jot down all you are doing throughout the day. This doesn’t have to be an ‘everything every day’ list. Just do it fairly quickly, mindfully throughout one day – I want you to get to the ‘help’ fairly quickly!!! Once you have made your list, it is time to take inventory of the help! One easy way to do this is to begin by circling the tasks only you can do. Be careful here! Just because you can do it better, it doesn’t mean you are the only one who can do the task. Yes, you probably are the neatest at folding washcloths. However, folding the washcloths is something even small children can do. So, don’t circle that one as a ‘mom only’ task.
Divvy tasks by having the youngest child who can do the task do it.
Once you have circled the tasks only you can truly do, look at the remaining tasks with your youngest child in mind (not including the baby). Put your youngest child’s name next to every task he/she can do. Then, move on to your next oldest child and do the same. Continue until you are out of children. This way, you can begin to divvy out tasks by having the youngest child who can do the task do it.
Fine tune your list by considering gifts, talents, and preferred ways to serve.
Finally, fine tune your list by considering each person’s gifts, talents, and preferred ways to serve. Keep in mind there are tasks no one may love. That’s ok – that’s part of serving, and they still have to be done. However, surprisingly, a task one person dislikes may be another person’s preferred way to serve. For example, my oldest son loves all things outdoors. My middle son does not. So, my oldest son enjoys scooping the snow, getting the mail, and feeding our pets. My middle son, on the contrary, prefers making our smoothies, bringing me coffee, and consolidating the trash. Our youngest son loves listening to music. So, he starts our Christian music, unloads the dishwasher, and sets the table. These are just examples of how our children are serving in our home in the morning.
So, today, why not set out a piece of paper and jot down what you are doing? Why not be mindful of you serving well by doing only the heavy thinking, grown up, tougher tasks as a homeschool mom no one else but you can do? Why not begin to encourage your children to serve in your home? Even if you just assign and teach each child one or two tasks – those are one or two tasks multiplied by however many children you have that you won’t be doing anymore! Serve, but serve wisely, and encourage your children to do the same by mindfully planning for ways for each person to serve. Help is all around you! Enlist it and get to enjoying a simpler, happier homeschool life!
P. S. To find out more about Heart of Dakota in general, click here!