One of the blessings of homeschooling our children is the freedom to schedule our days as we see fit. We have the freedom to come and go as we choose, pick what books we want to use and plan our children’s activities and events at times that are convenient for us. The flexibility homeschooling has offered our family is invaluable. We wouldn’t trade it for anything! Sometimes this “freedom” in scheduling, if not managed carefully, can put our family on a path to laziness. Take the past month, for example:
We slowed the pace down a lot this summer. With two children in tennis, summer programs at the library, family celebrations, wedding anniversary and a slew of other things, we needed the break. The mornings of letting the children sleep in a little later than normal were a nice change of pace. Letting the children stay up later than normal was fun...at least most days it was! A few more video games, a little more t.v. watching; what could the harm be? Well for us, it was an attitude of laziness that spread throughout our entire home. No person was left unscathed :-) Even we as the parents began to get up and move very, very, slowly in the mornings, which of course set the tone for the entire day. Oh how quickly laziness can set in!
There is a scripture in the book of Proverbs that always leads to a humorous discussion with our children. Proverbs 26:15 states, “The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.” Any time we come across this scripture in our family devotional time, our children usually say something like, “Now THAT’S lazy!” “How could someone be THAT lazy?” Get the image in your mind: someone goes to reach in a bowl to get some food and it feels like work to actually bring the food back up to his mouth. That person really does epitomize laziness! It’s easy to say, “Oh, that’s ridiculous!” But are we at times, just as sluggardly as the person depicted in the text?
How many times in our homes do our children walk over the same toy or book from sunrise to sunset and no one makes an effort to pick it up? Can your children play video games for hours but then respond as if they’re being tortured when they have to sit to do 30 minutes of math? I’ve been personally convicted that some of my midday “lunch runs” with the children are a result of pure laziness. Sometimes in the moment, going out (i.e., loading up the kids, pushing through traffic, driving back home, unpacking food and setting the table) seems like less work than simply making lunch at home!
Laziness, gone unchecked, can cause major disruptions to any home. As homeschoolers, we should be cautious not to allow our freedom and flexibility to breed slothfulness in us or our children. Overscheduling and being inundated with activities is equally as dangerous. The goal is not to find oneself on either end of that spectrum: lazy on one end vs busybody on the other. Times of rest and refreshing are a good thing and very much needed for homeschool families. Consider the patterns and attitudes in your home. Has laziness crept in unnoticed? Make the extra effort today to shake it off and become dutiful and diligent with the work the Lord has given you and your family. He is faithful to help you, even until the very end.
May your family be blessed this week! We are praying for you.