From Our House to Yours
Why homeschool? The home setting provides ample opportunities to be servant-hearted!
In this Heart of Dakota From Our House to Yours series, we continue to explore why it is a good idea to homeschool! In homeschooling, we spend much more time with our families. Often times, we share all 3 meals together. We also share our space with one another, creatively using every nook and cranny of our homes. Likewise, we share our chores together, and there are more of them, simply because we are using our homes from sunup to sundown. We share communication tasks, for someone must answer the door, the phone, the email, or the answering machine, and all are home. Finally, we share hospitality needs with one another, as the home is the hub for visitors. When the whole family is home, there are ample opportunities to be servant-hearted!
Serving, Instead of Sitting and Being Served
Eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner together as a family gives ample opportunities for serving! Children can help make the meal, set the table, serve the meal, clean up the table, rinse the dishes, load the dishwasher, put leftovers away, and vacuum the floor after the meal… all 3 times a day. Many children who are not homeschooled are used to their parents quickly getting breakfast for them, a lunch lady serving them at school, and a drive-through attendant serving them a fast food supper in between activities. In homeschooling, meals are a family affair, and everyone is expected to be a part of the serving instead of just sitting down and expecting to be served.
Being Servant-Hearted by Sharing Space and Chores
Homeschooling is like a one room schoolhouse, as many different ages are learning together under one roof. Children who share a room and are homeschooled are sharing the room more than just at night. When their roommate fails to pick up, it is an annoyance every time they enter the room during the day. The same is true with sharing space in the rest of the house. The kitchen table, dining room table, and desk space must be shared. Couches, computers, closets, and cupboards must be shared. We can train our little ones to pick up, while training our older ones to patiently help them. We can assign chores for maintaining an orderly, organized, clean home. This is much different than children who are not homeschooled arriving at a school that has just been freshly cleaned by a janitor.
Being Servant-Hearted in Communicating with Others
When someone calls the home, any person in the household needs to be prepared to answer. It is not just one person taxed with this task. We are all busy in the home when we are homeschooling. Likewise, when someone comes to the door, any person needs to be prepared to answer. When an email is sent or a message is left on the answering machine, more than one person may have to be prepared to respond. We are busy in the home when homeschooling, so all must pitch in and help. For this very reason, I have been forced to teach all my children to answer the phone, to greet someone at the door, to email someone a response, and to retrieve a message from the answering machine. This is much different from children who are not homeschooled leaving all of these tasks to the classroom teacher.
Being Servant-Hearted by Showing Hospitality
If you are living on a “mountain top,” give praise to the Lord. There will be valleys. We draw closer to the Lord in the valleys, and we sometimes forget Him on the the mountain tops. One very unique, special thing about homeschooling is the drawing closer to the Lord in the valleys, as a family. We have had both, and so will you. Valleys give the chance to either be servant-hearted by showing hospitality, or to be humble by accepting servant-hearted attempts at showing hospitality. We have servant-heartedly cared for my mom when she was sick, and she has servant-heartedly cared for my children when I was sick. Likewise, we have servant-heartedly cared for my sister, when she was weary, and bedridden with fever and dizziness, and she has servant-heartedly cared for me when I was so ill I could not care for myself or my baby.
Our children watch and learn. Bring a blanket, a cup of coffee, a tray of food, a hug, or just quietly close the door. Get past yourself. Someone else is hurting, and you can ease their suffering. I often felt teaching in public school that it was survival of the fittest. Weakness was to be needy, and to be needy was an embarrassment. I have found teaching in the homeschool setting to be quite the opposite. Weakness gives the opportunity to be servant-hearted, and there is no embarrassment in that. Rather, we see someone we love hurting, and we long to help. We meet them in the valley, and when they rise to the mountain top, they lower themselves, in turn, to come back down and meet us in the valley. Why homeschool? The homeschool setting provides ample opportunities to be servant-hearted. There is no greater honor.