Sadly, there is one aspect of homeschooling often overlooked by parents—spiritual self-care. We are overachievers when it comes to making and checking off homeschool planning checklists:
- Math program? ✔Check
- Spelling curriculum? ✔Check
- 36-Week Instructor's Guide? ✔Check
- Field trip list? ✔Check
- More art projects than can be fit into the year? ✔Check
But taking care of yourself as a parent is just as vital as taking care of your children's lesson plans! Taking care of your spiritual needs by focusing on God throughout your day will replenish your soul like no other self-care activity can!
Waking up a few minutes before your children or spending a bit of time in the Word at night can help to refresh your soul and renew your energy. Those are great! But if you seem to be going nonstop all day long, here are seven low-key ways to sneak in extra time with God while still going about your day-to-day homeschool routine.
1. Listen to the Bible on Audio
Play your favorite audio Bible out loud while you clean or over headphones while the baby naps. There are many free sites that will read the Bible for you as well as others that provide dramatic representations. By hearing the Word, you allow yourself a chance to stop thinking about all the problems of the day and instead focus on the One for whom all problems are solvable.
2. Play a Bible Movie
It’s okay if you don’t have time to watch the whole movie. Catching just 10-15 minutes of the life of Jesus or Paul via video can encourage your soul and re-center you. Play a movie as background noise in whatever room you are working. It can provide a little lift of spiritual self-care.
3. Listen to Bible Studies on Audio
There is a great assortment of Christian podcasts to keep you on track spiritually. Choose from sermons, Bible studies, or discussions about Christian topics. Listening to other adults talk about God and the Bible is mentally stimulating and can deepen your understanding of the Bible. I have found that audio Bible studies fill part of my need for adult interaction while simultaneously providing spiritual self-care.
3. Watch or Listen to Bible Programming for Kids
Bible adventures such as Keys for Kids, Adventures in Odyssey, or What’s in the Bible with Buck Denver are probably favorites for your kids. You, too, can listen in and learn along. Or you can spend that time focusing on your own Bible study while the kids are occupied.
4. Stick with a Daily Family Prayer Time
In a daily family prayer time, you teach your children to pray while reviving your own soul. Choose a time when there are fewer distractions. Prayers before meals and at bedtime are often shorter by necessity. But having a mid-afternoon prayer or after-dinner prayer allows more time for you to connect with God. You can allow the children to go play after a while if you’d rather linger in prayer alone.
5. Choose a Prayer Activity
Choose one activity per day—such as doing the dishes or vacuuming—when you make an effort to pray and think about God. I like to thank God for my blessings one by one while folding laundry. I've trained myself to mentally connect laundry with prayers of gratitude. So while I'm getting household work done, I'm also tending to my spiritual needs.
6. Listen to Classical Bible Music
Slow, lovely Bible music can make a good background for studying and quiet play. I love to play our Sing the Word CDs or old-fashioned hymns to lift my mood and place a focus on God in our homeschool. We do other types of classical music at other times, but I do try to set aside a couple of times a week for hymns playing in the background because I like the way they make me feel.
7. Listen to Upbeat, Inspiring Bible Songs
Put on fun Christian music while cleaning and sing together with your children! Listen to fun songs while driving along in the car, while doing exercise, or scrubbing the bathroom. Music makes a great antidepressant. And even if the songs are for kids, the Gospel truths in the lyrics can sometimes strike you in a fresh way be just the encouragement you need!