I make my bed every morning. No big deal. Takes me less than two minutes to do it correctly. (I timed myself once!) But today, I did not want to do it. I don’t know why. I just threw the blankets across the bed haphazardly and began to walk away…
Until I remembered the three young lives I’m responsible for today. And the prayer from morning worship about being a witness for Christ in all our words and actions. And the expectation that my children to do their best at their morning chores the first time. I remembered my first work. It took less than two minutes for me to feel 1000% better about my day.
“Parents, do you ask what your work is? It is to take up your home responsibilities, doing the best you can, and seeking daily, hourly, to set before your children an example worthy of imitation. God’s purpose for your children is that they shall be sanctified through the truth, and to reach this condition, all the help that you and heavenly agencies can supply will be needed. “ The Signs of the Times – Nov. 14, 1911
It’s easy to forget life skill lessons when we are busy considering what mathematics curriculum to use or how to improve a child’s reading comprehension. The lessons of daily living- cooking, cleaning, laundry, yard-care- also teach important skills and help develop positive character traits. What life skill lessons are you intentionally teaching your children this year? Adventurer Club honors can add a little fun to those life skill lessons – Click here -> Household Arts.
“In the home school the children should be taught how to perform the practical duties of everyday life. While they are still young, the mother should give them some simple task to do each day. It will take longer for her to teach them how than it would to do it herself, but let her remember that she is to lay for their character building the foundation of helpfulness. Let her remember that the home is a school in which she is the head teacher. It is hers to teach her children how to perform the duties of the household quickly and skillfully. As early in life as possible they should be trained to share the burdens of the home. From childhood boys and girls should be taught to bear heavier and still heavier burdens, intelligently helping in the work of the family firm.“
“Begin early to teach the little ones to take care of their clothing. Let them have a place to lay their things away and be taught to fold every article neatly and put it in its place. If you cannot afford even a cheap bureau, use a dry-goods box, fitting it with shelves and covering it with some bright, pretty-figured cloth. This work of teaching neatness and order will take a little time each day, but it will pay in the future of your children, and in the end will save you much time and care.”
“God has given to parents and teachers the work of educating the children and youth in these lines, and from every act of their lives they may be taught spiritual lessons. While training them in habits of physical cleanliness we should teach them that God desires them to be clean in heart as well as in body. While sweeping a room they may learn how the Lord purifies the heart. They would not close the doors and windows and leave in the room some purifying substance, but would open the doors and throw wide the windows, and with diligent effort expel all the dust. So the windows of impulse and feeling must be opened toward heaven, and the dust of selfishness and earthliness must be expelled. The grace of God must sweep through the chambers of the mind, and every element of the nature must be purified and vitalized by the Spirit of God. Disorder and untidiness in daily duties will lead to forgetfulness of God and to keeping the form of godliness in a profession of faith, having lost the reality. We are to watch and pray, else we shall grasp the shadow and lose the substance.”
It can be overwhelming; a home to care for, meals to prepare, laundry, errands. Then there are the children that you feel convicted to educate at home. How do you get it all done?
You don’t. Meaning, YOU- the mother, should not bear the burden of “getting it all done” alone. Children are the junior partners in the home, and as such, must learn to take on a portion of the responsibility of keeping the family firm running smoothly.
“God wants the children of all believers to be trained from their earliest years to share the burdens that their parents must bear in caring for them.” AH, 238
We as parents take great care in planning an excellent curriculum for our children, but often forget an important detail: True Education involves not only the head, but also the hands. Teaching our children to participate in the running of the household is just as much a part of True Education as is scripture memory, or nature study or mathematics.
“Children and youth should take pleasure in making lighter the cares of father and mother, showing an unselfish interest in the home. As they cheerfully lift the burdens that fall to their share, they are receiving a training which will fit them for positions of trust and usefulness. Each year they are to make steady advancement, gradually but surely laying aside the inexperience of boyhood and girlhood for the experience of manhood and womanhood. In the faithful performance of the simple duties of the home boys and girls lay the foundation for mental, moral, and spiritual excellence” AH 288
Is there a simple task that your younger child could do with a little training? Sweeping, folding laundry, collecting the trash? What simple meal that your older child could learn to prepare independently? Do your children rinse their own plates and stack them in the dishwasher after each meal? Have you taught ironing so that your child can prepare everyone’s clothes for Sabbath? As you consider your lessons for the coming weeks, remember to include lessons on appropriate homemaking skills for your children. True Education is educating the whole child.
“The Saviour’s early years were useful years. He was His mother’s helper in the home; and He was just as verily fulfilling His commission when performing the duties of the home and working at the carpenter’s bench as when He engaged in His public work of ministry. In His earth life Christ was an example to all the human family, and He was obedient and helpful in the home. He learned the carpenter’s trade and worked with His own hands in the little shop at Nazareth…. As He worked in childhood and youth, mind and body were developed. He did not use His physical powers recklessly, but in such a way as to keep them in health, that He might do the best work in every line.” AH, 290