All posts by Teri Maxwell

Teri Maxwell is wife to Steve for over 40 years, mom to eight children (three married), and grandma to eight. She loves keeping her home running smoothly and sharing with women in the vein of Titus 2:4&5. Teri homeschooled for thirty years, and she's graduated all her children. In between her other responsibilities, she manages to squeeze in writing time. She is co-author of the popular Managers of Their Homes and Managers of Their Chores. In addition, Teri's written three books just for ladies Homeschooling with a Meek & Quiet Spirit, Sweet Journey, and Sweet Relationships. She has been writing monthly encouragement articles for homeschool moms for 25 years. Find more information on Teri Maxwell and her books.

Soul Nutrition

The Word

How would you fare if you were taken hostage or in prison without a Bible? The recent Christian Aid Ministries hostages in Haiti, held for two months, had no Bible. Darlene Deibler Rose, American missionary POW in New Guinea during WW2, had no Bible during the 6 weeks she was being interrogated while imprisoned on death row. To draw comfort and strength from the Word, these all had to rely on Scripture they had memorized. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16).

What about when you lie awake in the night and can’t sleep? Do you have Scripture in your mind that you recite mentally and think about? “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalms 1:2).

Do you have verses you can immediately pull up when you face a tough situation, are fearful, or want to respond in anger? At those moments, it isn’t always possible to run and get a Bible. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalms 119:11). 

The Excuses

Perhaps we relegate Scripture memory to our children, while we make excuses concerning it for ourselves. We might say, “I can’t memorize!” I remember hearing Jim Berg address the “I can’t memorize Scripture” excuse in one of his Quieting a Noisy Soul sessions. He said to his audience, “What is your phone number? What about your address? You all can memorize!” Our other excuse goes like this, “I am too busy. I just don’t have time.” We make time, however, for what is a priority in our lives and important to us.

The Plan

There is a simple way to begin memorizing Scripture. Pick a verse to memorize. Write it on a notecard or two (to keep different places) so that you can reference it easily. Take just five minutes a day to work on it. It takes me seven minutes a day to blow dry my hair. That is a good time for me to memorize Scripture.

Read the verse out loud several times. Then close your eyes and try to say it without looking. When you get stuck, look at your card. The next day, try to say your verse without looking at the card first. Usually, I can not do that the second day because I can’t remember the first word. So I check the card, get the first couple of words, and see if I can say any more of the verse. If not, I do what I did the day before. Usually it takes me several days before I can start the verse myself, but it does come. Practice it anytime you can through out the day. Even better use it when applicable in your daily life.

Once you have one verse down, keep reviewing it, and start on another one. It might be the next verse in a chapter or passage or from a completely different place. If it is a continuation verse, work on it like you did the first verse, while reviewing the first verse. When you have the second verse down, say them together when you work on them.

If you need an idea of verses to start your memorizing plan, consider these:

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice evermore. 
17 Pray without ceasing. 
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

The first two verses are extremely short, and the combination is a joyful, peaceful, and powerful way to walk through each day.

Start Now

Could I encourage you to set excuses aside and start memorizing Scripture? Think of the potential value in your life. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). This is the beginning of a new year. Make it the beginning of a new habit as well. Start with just one verse – one that will be helpful to you on a daily basis. Work on it until you know it and then use, use, use it so that you don’t forget it. Move on from there.

Joy in Christ-Centered Christmas Traditions

With Christmas on the horizon, our thoughts usually shift toward what that season means to us personally and then how to draw our children toward Christ. Perhaps a glimpse into our personal Christ-centered, family Christmas traditions might spur you to pray about what the Lord wants your family to do during these weeks. 

Decorating

Many years ago, we realized when one entered our home at Christmas time, the Christmas tree was the center of attention. However, we had a desire for the decorating in our house to reflect our worship of the Lord Jesus Christ and draw our hearts and our children’s hearts more closely to Him. So we replaced the Christmas tree with a beautiful, fireplace mantel arrangement with lights, a nativity, garland, and the names of God displayed. We also culled out Christmas decorations that were not Christ centered and only purchased new ones that were.

After our salvation, we eliminated Santa Claus. We didn’t want our children believing in Santa Claus only to find out later he was a lie. “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds” (Colossians 3:9).  Plus we desired to have Christmas be all Christ!

Christmas Caroling

Our family used Christmas caroling as a special way to share Christ. We carol in our neighborhood as a family, growing from Steve, me, and our eight children the first year (plus my dad and mom) to our current thirty (on a good weather caroling night) now that we have married children and grandchildren with us. 

We bake a delicious poppy seed loaf (recipe at the end of the blog post) to take to each home and include a card with note and a salvation Scripture. It is our heart’s desire that all of our neighbors would come to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Gifts and Lights

Our children love to give gifts. Growing up, they grouped into teams of two or three and invested time, thought, and prayer into each gift. As adults, married with families, they figured out a name drawing system for a gift exchange between siblings, cousins, and aunt/uncles to nieces/nephews. We observed our children’s greatest joy through the years was what they gave rather than what they received.

We made a tradition of an evening near Christmas to take the family out to eat and then to listen to a powerful, dramatic presentation from Back to the Bible called the Twelve Voices of Christmas. As we listened, we drove around looking at Christmas lights. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). 

The Word

During Christmas week, Steve would divert from wherever we were reading in Scripture at that time, to passages from the Old Testament that are prophetic of Jesus’ birth and to the chapters in the New Testament that tell the story of God becoming a man. 

On Christmas Eve, we follow a Christmas program my dad and mom put together for their grandchildren and now their great grandchildren enjoy it. If you are interested in this original, homemade Christmas program, here is a link.

The Celebration

We had our immediate family Christmas on Christmas Eve day. This began when our children were little, and we spent Christmas Day with my parents, who were our next-door-neighbors. Now Christmas Eve day is when everyone one – my mom, adult children, and grandchildren – gather at our house from breakfast until bedtime for a day of fellowship, eating, gift exchange, and time in the Word. 

May I suggest that you and your husband evaluate what is important for your family during the Christmas season and make sure that your time is invested in those priorities? Be sure Christmas is purposefully utilized to draw your children’s hearts to Jesus Christ and serving Him.

CHOOSE TO DE-STRESS

Christmas is the last time of year when you want to be a stressed woman. This Christmas season would you choose to set aside Christmas stress and pick up the joy, peace, and rest of the Savior?

Here are four resources that I recommend to help you with holiday de-stressing or any-time-of-the-year de-stressing:

Managers of Their Homes
Managers of Their Chores
Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit
Sweet Journey

Simple but Strategic Ways to TAKE THE STRESS OUT OF CHRISTMAS

While most of us love the Christmas season, sometimes all the busyness, activities, and things that must be done put us into overload mode. Stress levels rise, and instead of a joyful season of worshipping Christ our Savior, we become crazy women running to and fro, impatient and frustrated. That sure isn’t my picture of a godly, Christian woman, and I don’t want it to characterize my life during the weeks that are so precious in my year. So how can we take the stress out of the Christmas season?

1. REST IN THE LORD

Perhaps the greatest stress reliever is to remember the words of Christ Himself. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). During the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, are we truly coming to Him? Are we continuing in our daily time to worship Him through reading His Word and praying? 

2. WRITE IT DOWN

Write down what you want to do during the Christmas season. Often stress overwhelms us when our minds are trying to track, manage, remember, and juggle all that needs to be done. Our memory becomes so full of all the “stuff,” that we can’t handle it. When you write it down, relief descends. It is in a safe place to be retrieved and referred to. 

3. PARE DOWN

The third thing you can do to help relieve holiday stress is to pare down. Once you have that list, determine activities or duties that are no longer a priority. Just because you have always done it, doesn’t mean that you have to keep doing it.
What Christmas activities draw your heart to Jesus? Which ones share Him with others? Which ones teach your children to love, that it is better to give than to receive, or to worship Christ? I would rather have a peaceful heart and do half as many Christ-related traditions and activities than to do the full measure of them stressed. 

4. PLAN

Next, you take the pared-down, prioritized list of Christmas activities and write out steps needed to accomplish each one. Perhaps there are supplies to be purchased and gathered. Maybe a date should be put on the calendar to reserve the time. It could be that others are to be invited.

5. DEDICATE TIME

Even with the best-prioritized, planned list of Christmas activities, if you don’t have any time to do them, you feel stressed. How does a busy mom find time for doing more than she currently does in her normal daily life?

Start with just one hour per day in the month of December for Christmas preparations—a specific hour that you know you can consistently be committed to keeping. If you are a homeschool mom, shorten your school day by one hour for the month of December to accommodate. You will be pleasantly surprised with the progress you can make on things like Christmas cards or letters, online gift shopping, gift wrapping, meal planning, and make-ahead baking in just one hour.

With available time, look at your lists and steps, and choose what you will tackle during that time frame.

CHOOSE TO DESTRESS

Christmas is the last time of year when you want to be a stressed woman. This Christmas season would you choose to set aside Christmas stress and pick up the joy, peace, and rest of the Savior?

Here are four resources that I recommend to help you with holiday de-stressing or any-time-of-the-year de-stressing:

Managers of Their Homes
Managers of Their Chores
Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit
Sweet Journey

Posted in: Mom's Corner

What to Do When Siblings Squabble?

Is there anything more common or more annoying than siblings squabbling? We have only come across one family, with two children, whose children say they never fought with each other. For most of us, that bickering between our children was a daily battle. We moms then ended up involved, refereeing the battle, giving admonishment and instruction, and often handing out consequences. 

Don’t moms love this verse? “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalms 133:1). That was the desire of my heart for my children, but it was not the natural reality of their lives. So we worked toward that goal. 

A Consequence for Sibling Squabbles

One consequence we instituted as our children grew beyond preschool age was to assign the fighting children extra chore work that they were to do together. This removed them from the context of playing, which was when many of the squabbles developed as each tried to get what they wanted. Extra team chores took them into another realm where in order to complete the task they had to work together. 

Benefits of the Consequence

We found this consequence helpful for many reasons. First it gave me a set consequence that was easy to implement. That was a huge benefit since when I didn’t know what consequence to use, I did one of 3 things. I either ignored it, gave a consequence too big or too small, or lectured. Those were all frustrations and disappointments to me because they weren’t effective, and then I was more likely to react negatively to the children. When I knew exactly how to deal with a problem, I was able to maintain that meek and quiet spirit that my heart yearned for in those child raising years. 

Extra work together as a consequence for bickering benefitted the family because necessary chores was accomplished. The children who were troublemakers, because of their consequence, then freed up others from needing to do that work. 

We often assigned dinner clean up to children who weren’t getting along. Generally dinner cleanup jobs were given to anyone who was not on the meal preparation team. When clean up was used as a consequence for the bickering children, then the children who got along well were released from their normal meal clean up chores. That seemed to make the consequence doubly effective since we ended up rewarding good behavior in the process of disciplining the bad. 

This consequence forced the children receiving it to be a team. The more they continued to oppose each other, the longer the task took to accomplish. It really didn’t matter to me how long it took them to do the chore, but it did matter to them. Through experience they soon learned how much more efficient it was to work together rather than against each other.  We liked the natural consequences built into this discipline.

Our Go-To Consequence for Sibling Bickering

I am not saying that you don’t share Scripture with your children, help them learn how loving sibling relationships look and work, and teach them to see their wrong and ask forgiveness. That is all an important part of it, too. But for the practical aspect of a consequence for sibling bickering, this one was a go-to for Steve and me. 

Now our children are grown, and two brothers in particular share memories of all the numerous dinner clean ups they did together. It was certainly a work in progress for them that wasn’t accomplished with the first, second, or even tenth consequence. I love to see them now as not just loving siblings, but brothers in Christ who love and serve their wives and children. And you know what? They are really good in the kitchen!

Try Harder?

I expect all of us have reactions of impatience, frustration, or even anger at times that we would rather not have. Here’s what likely happens after the reaction. We are unhappy with ourselves because it isn’t a reaction that is godly and loving. So, we determine that next time we will be more aware, more careful, and avoid that negative reaction. Try, try, try again. The reality is that such a plan simply doesn’t succeed because we are doing it in our own strength.

This scenario might even be upmost on the minds of the homeschooling moms who began their new school year recently and are in the midst of all the time pressure, child craziness, and stress that brings. 

If trying harder isn’t the solution, what might be? 

Really See It As Sin

For me, my wrong reactions had to become more than just something I wished I didn’t do. In my struggle with anger, I minimized it as sin and excused it as normal based on stress, lack of sleep, or perhaps being the other person’s fault. I had to view my sin as an offense against a holy God and another person and stop making excuses. 

“Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest” (Psalms 51:4).

The remedy was to ask the Lord’s forgiveness, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). And then also ask forgiveness of the person I offended.

“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift” (Matthew 5:23-24).

I remember those years when my children were younger, and the Lord was teaching me this path. I asked their forgiveness when my response to them wasn’t right, and every time, the child said, “Yes, Mommy, I forgive you.”

Pray 

Next pray, yielding to Him, acknowledging need and inability, and asking for His help. God tells us His strength is sufficient and that His grace is made perfect in weakness. 

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

He wants to aid us, but if, in our pride, we tackle it on our own, He leaves us to that muddle, “ . . . and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble” (Peter 5:5b).

Find Scripture

Finally, use your daily time in the Word to find Scripture that applies to the areas you most often find yourself frustrated or angry in. Then write the verses out on a notecard that you can carry around with you. Review them regularly and pray when you do. When you hit one of THE situations, pull it out, read it OUT LOUD, and pray right away. This can become your new, good habit. As you practice, with the Lord’s grace and strength, it will replace your bad habit of the negative reactions. If you do this, you will be amazed at how quickly you memorize the verses you are using. Soon you no longer need to read the card. Instead the verses are there in your mind.

Simple but Powerful

You might tell me that this is simplistic. Perhaps it is, but that’s the beauty of our walk with Christ. In addition, simple isn’t always easy. I personally found these truths from God’s Word to be powerful in my life. They grew me away from those negative reactions. Could I encourage you to try them? 

If you benefited from this month’s Mom’s Corner, we have a couple of resources that will be of additional help.
Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit
Sweet Journey

If you would like to read about baby Maddy coming home from the hospital and our recent family news, go to our blog.

Blessings in Christ,

Teri

Schedules and Chores

August heralds the start of a new school year for most homeschooling moms. While your focus has necessarily been researching and choosing school books, there are two other practical foundations that play a major role in how successful your school year turns out to be. 

Those stabilizing pillars are a solid schedule and chore system. Without these, you both fritter and waste time that is critical to keeping up with school. You bog yourself down in daily household upkeep rather than having big chunks of time for education. 

The homeschool mom doesn’t have the luxury of starting through her day one task at a time, hoping it all gets done. She needs to hit the floor, knowing what should happen and when, not only for herself but for her children as well. With a plan, she can be as efficient as possible – with time and chores. She is no longer simply cook, housekeeper, and laundress, but also school teacher. That is a full-time job added on to another full-time job.

Some try to muddle through without a schedule and chore system, but they are usually the first to say that it is truly a muddle. I believe that the schedule and chore system is the undergirding to a powerful and satisfying homeschool year and well worth the investment in them on the front end.

The Schedule

“Schedule” may be an intimidating word and thought to you. It might bring back memories of your experience in public school with bells ringing and tardiness noted. Be assured that the homeschool schedule isn’t as rigid as that, but a written plan that is followed setting aside time for the vital parts of your day. 

If you don’t write your plan down but try to keep it in your head, it easily gets lost in all the other things you store in your mind. Paper and pencil or a computer – either works for documenting a schedule. 

You could be surprised at how quickly making a schedule goes. Just sit down to the task and begin putting the various pieces in place. You are probably living a schedule already for bedtime, wake-up time, and mealtime. Write that down on your schedule. Next fill in personal Bible time, chores, and the details of school. Then see what time is available to plug in extras. Simple!

The Chore Plan

As a homeschool mom, you won’t have time for as many housekeeping chores as the stay-at-home mom whose children are in school. Plus it is critical that you have as much help as possible from your children. That means being purposeful, efficient, and delegating. A chore plan is your tool toward those goals.

To simplify your chore planning start by documenting what is already happening in your home as far as chore assignments. After that, figure out what other chores your children are capable of doing and assign them. Write it all down so that everyone knows what is expected of them and give chores particular spots in your schedule. Set standards for the chore work. Figure out consequences for not doing the work or not doing it to the standard. Don’t forget to inspect the chores. 

Starting with the End in Mind

Finishing a homeschool year having accomplished what you set out to do is extremely satisfying. Reaching summer with books unfinished is disappointing and discouraging. A schedule and chore plan will facilitate your homeschooling success. The effort you put into a schedule and chore system before you begin your school year pays off. You are likely to reach the end of the school year having achieved your academic goals. Make it your priority now!

If you need more help with a schedule or chore systemManagers of Their Homes and Managers of Their Chores is designed to walk you through those processes step by step. 

Schedules and Chores

August heralds the start of a new school year for most homeschooling moms. While your focus has necessarily been researching and choosing school books, there are two other practical foundations that play a major role in how successful your school year turns out to be. 

Those stabilizing pillars are a solid schedule and chore system. Without these, you both fritter and waste time that is critical to keeping up with school. You bog yourself down in daily household up keep rather than having big chunks of time for education. 

The homeschool mom doesn’t have the luxury of starting through her day one task at a time, hoping it all gets done. She needs to hit the floor, knowing what should happen and when, not only for herself but for her children as well. With a plan, she can be as efficient as possible – with time and chores. She is no longer simply cook, housekeeper, and laundress, but also school teacher. That is a full time job added on to another full time job.

Some try to muddle through without a schedule and chore system, but they are usually the first to say that it is truly a muddle. I believe that the schedule and chore system is the undergirding to a powerful and satisfying homeschool year and well worth the investment in them on the front end.

The Schedule

“Schedule” may be an intimidating word and thought to you. It might bring back memories of your experience in public school with bells ringing and tardiness noted. Be assured that the homeschool schedule isn’t as rigid as that, but a written plan that is followed setting aside time for the vital parts of your day. 

If you don’t write your plan down but try to keep it in your head, it easily gets lost in all the other things you store in your mind. Paper and pencil or a computer – either works for documenting a schedule. 

You could be surprised at how quickly making a schedule goes. Just sit down to the task and begin putting the various pieces in place. You are probably living a schedule already for bedtime, wake up time, and meal time. Write that down on your schedule. Next fill in personal Bible time, chores, and the details of school. Then see what time is available to plug in extras. Simple!

The Chore Plan

As a homeschool mom, you won’t have time for as many housekeeping chores as the stay-at-home mom whose children are in school. Plus it is critical that you have as much help as possible from your children. That means being purposeful, efficient, and delegating. A chore plan is your tool toward those goals.

To simplify your chore planning start by documenting what is already happening in your home as far as chore assignments. After that, figure out what other chores your children are capable of doing and assign them. Write it all down so that everyone knows what is expected of them and give chores particular spots in your schedule. Set standards for the chore work. Figure out consequences for not doing the work or not doing it to the standard. Don’t forget to inspect the chores. 

Starting with the End in Mind

Finishing a homeschool year having accomplished what you set out to do is extremely satisfying. Reaching summer with books unfinished is disappointing and discouraging. A schedule and chore plan will facilitate your homeschooling success. The effort you put into a schedule and chore system before you begin your school year pays off. You are likely to reach the end of the school year having achieved your academic goals. Make it your priority now!

If you need more help with a schedule or chore system, Managers of Their Homes and Managers of Their Chores is designed to walk you through those processes step by step. 

Posted in: General

Learn of God

Do you ever struggle with fear, worry, or anxiety? When that is a part of our lives, then we lack rest and peace in our souls. We might want to have a quiet heart, but the worry ends up consuming our thoughts. Because worry seems to be something we regularly, or even often, deal with, I address it from time to time in Mom’s Corners. Usually, the theme of those articles is taking our thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) by using Scripture to help us think truth.

Did you know that God has given us another solution to this problem? Actually, this is a solution to anything that causes unrest in our hearts such as anger, discouragement, or self-pity.

The Biblical Basis

Look at these passages:

Matthew 11:28-29: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

2 Peter 1:2-3: “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”

Here we see two amazing things about quietness for our souls. First Matthew 11 tells us that when we learn of Christ, we find rest for our souls. Secondly, in 2 Peter, it says that grace and peace are not just given to us, but it is multiplied through the knowledge of God and of Jesus.

Not About Me!

Overcoming worry, or anything claiming our peace, isn’t about me, but it is about God, the One Who is peace and gives us peace. We are to know Him more and better if we want rest for our souls. Have you ever embarked on a path of learning more of Christ?

For most of my life in my personal Bible time, I focused on trying to get something from the Word, something that was for me to help me. If I was discouraged, I looked for verses in what I read that day that would encourage my heart. If I was dealing with frustration or anger, I tried to find something that addressed that. If I didn’t have anything specific, I would read the chapters where I was and ask God to show me verses that were needful in my life.

How Does It Work?

In Jim Berg’s book, God Is More Than Enough, he teaches this biblical path to quieting a noisy soul that focuses on learning about God. Reading that book, I got excited to begin asking the question in my Bible reading time: What does this teach about God?

How does learning about God quiet our souls? There is always a truth about God and Who He is that relates to what is creating unrest in our hearts. It might be His sovereignty, His mercy, His love, His faithfulness, His grace, or another of the multitude of His wonderful qualities. We take what we know of God, through His Word, and we choose to believe that what we have learned of Him is true. Our souls can rest, as Jim Berg says, because of those stabilizing truths.

Of course, we learn about God in our Sunday School classes, preaching services in church and other preaching we listen to, and Bible studies we attend. There are two great Christian classics on this topic: Attributes of God by J. I. Packer and The Knowledge of the Holy by A. W. Tozer.

May I encourage you to learn more about God in your personal Bible time? And if you aren’t in the Word each day, may I encourage you of the necessity of that in your life?

Teri Maxwell 

Posted in: Mom's Corner

The Productive Summer Schedule for Homeschoolers

A productive summer schedule can help homeschoolers (or anyone) toward desires or goals you have for your summer months. Perhaps those would include doing some homeschooling, accomplishing activities that don’t fit into a homeschool year, or simply relationship building. Whatever the desire, purposefulness in making a schedule should give time to work on various aspects that lead to its achievement. Often moms get to the end of their summer dismayed with their lack of productivity and disappointed that they didn’t accomplish what they had envisioned. Your schedule is a tool that will let you look back on summer with satisfaction rather than regret.

If you haven’t scheduled before, summer is a perfect time to learn scheduling because usually summer has a more relaxed pace than the school months do.

List and Pray

To begin, write your desires for summer accomplishments onto a list. Having these desires in writing means you can visualize the ideas all together. You have a limited amount of time and energy so what you want to accomplish will be mitigated by that. The list and then the schedule is a reality check for what is reasonable to try to do.

Before you work on the actual schedule, you want to pray and seek the Lord’s direction for what He would have you and your children accomplish this summer. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). You may grow or shrink the list as you spend praying over it and also evaluating your available time.

Then pray about the actual planning and working out of the schedule since you want God’s help through that process. He is the One Who gives you direction and creativity for how to put the pieces of your schedule together.

Add a Few Notes

Now look at your list of desires for the summer. What needs to be scheduled to accomplish those goals? Start by making notes on your list since a particular goal might mean multiple spots on the schedule.

For example, your list says: summer school. But your note would be more specific – keep math and reading going during the summer by doing it daily. Your list could have: relationship building. Your note with it might say: weekly outing with one child rotating every week through the summer, assign a kitchen helper for each meal, have a daily game time. 

Assign Times

The next step is to put times with what you have on your list. It simplifies the schedule and schedule production if you use the same schedule for summer that you do for the school year when it comes to your normal daily needs. Then you don’t have to relearn that routine for the summer. School time is freed up to assign for your summer accomplishments, but the rest of the schedule remains the same.

If, however, you want to change the whole thing up, your schedule can accommodate! Just be sure to write it down. Trying to keep it in your mind is a setup for failure!

Then you use your notes to help you put what is on your list into time slots on the schedule. What is on it that you will do every day? Plug those into your schedule first. That allows you to evaluate the time blocks you have available for activities that don’t happen every day. If you want to have larger chunks of time for outings, try to group your daily activities together, so that you have several hours that can be scheduled for outings and the activities that don’t happen every day.

Finally what is on the list that you can do a couple of times a week or once a week? Put those into the blocks that are still open after the daily pieces have been entered into the schedule.

Make the Summer Schedule a Reality

Sometimes putting together a schedule seems daunting. That’s usually the case when it is all floating around in your head. Committing the details to paper or the computer, generally flows nicely once you take that first step to begin.

The productive summer schedule for homeschoolers will help you end your summer with a smile as you look back over all that you achieved through those months. 

If you need more scheduling help, I recommend our book called Managers of Their Homes. That book is full of scheduling information plus it walks you step by step through putting a schedule together utilizing the included scheduling kit. 

Here are some other articles on summer scheduling.

Children’s Summer Chores

When is the best time to work on chores? I believe summer is the time to put together a chore plan, assign children chores, teach them how to do their chores, and practice. Especially for homeschooling moms, the slower pace of summer affords valuable time for a chore emphasis that isn’t available during the school year. Plus with diligence and purpose for chores in the summer, your home maintenance should be as efficient as possible freeing time for other pursuits.

Put Together a Children’s Summer Chore Plan

I have heard about online plans and things you can sign up for to receive emails to tell you what to do and when to do it concerning chores. If you think about it, though, you are the only one who knows what needs to be done in your home, who makes up the chore team, who has time available, and who knows how to do particular jobs. I am convinced that you are the best one to design a summer chore plan for your children.

Commit the plan to paper. It has to be something you can look at and refer to, not something stored in your head! Think through the chores that need to be accomplished in your home and make a list of what comes to mind. You can add to it and refine it as you go. Start basic. Just get the critical chores written down. 

Be sure your children are accomplishing tasks that involve their self care such as making their beds, picking up their toys and clothes and putting them away, and helping in the kitchen. You will not only have chore help now, but you are preparing your children to handle responsibility throughout their lives.

Assign Children Chores

Next decide who can do the chore. If you have children helping with chores, plan for the youngest child who is capable to do the chore. Is it time for an older child to hand a chore over to a younger sibling? Perhaps the older child is ready to move into a higher skilled chore. When putting together your children’s summer chore plan, this information is necessary.

Teach Children Their Chores

Then work with your children to teach them to do their chores this summer. If you spend a few days teaching and then supervising bed making, your children will soon be proficient at it. The same goes for folding laundry or any other chore. First demonstrate, then work with the child, finally observe them doing it on their own. 

It is easier and quicker to do it ourselves when our children are just maturing to a capable age for a chore. In the long run, however, you are wise to invest in teaching your children to do chores. Remember you need help now, and they need to be able to function efficiently with chore work as adults. 

Schedule Chores

Finally remember that a great chore plan and children who know what to do doesn’t gain anticipated benefits unless you have a schedule in place. You want a summer schedule that allows time at the appropriate spot in the day for your children to do those chores. Usually chores fit naturally around meal times and before bed. On your written list be sure to put down the scheduled time for each chore. 

You will have to choose to be diligent to enforce that chore block on the schedule. Don’t expect your children to be enthusiastic about their work and rush to do it on their own. I think you can affect their attitudes by your own attitude toward your household chores. The more positive you are about your work, the more they will be about theirs. Dealing with their failures in a pleasant but firm manner, more quickly marches you forward with chore success. 

Redeeming Time this Summer

“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16). I can’t help but wonder if one way we can redeem time to invest in what is of eternal value to the kingdom of God is to have a home that functions efficiently and children who are being trained to be adults. The more chaos in a home, the more time it sucks from all the family members. We want to spend as little time as possible on household tasks so we have more time to serve the Lord in other ministry. Invest this summer in a children’s chore system and redeem the time.

If you need help with a chore plan, I recommend our book Managers of Their Chores. In that book, I take you step by step through putting together a chore system. 

Other Titus2 chore articles:

Children’s Chores

Summer Schedules and Chores

Benefiting from Summer Chores