When I was pregnant with my eldest daughter, we visited a couple in France. We sat in their sunny garden chatting for hours. My pregnant tummy was getting very hungry, but neither of them got up to go and make food. Just as I was getting a bit desperate, they took us indoors to a three-course meal cooked entirely by their ten-year-old!!! I was very impressed and decided that’s what I wanted for our child.
So I went home, researched all the different cooking skills and techniques, put them in an age-appropriate order and made a timetable to teach our baby as soon as she could hold a spoon.
No! Of course I didn’t! I just had a baby and fed her, involving her in our meal times and being open to her assistance in preparing food. I took her shopping and got her to help clear the table. I let her marinate in the juices of our slightly food-focused home life. And guess what? She LOVES cooking.
Marinating is the most powerful thing we can to do as parents to pass on our faith – making it part of the air we breathe in our homes, not in a forced way, but in an authentic ‘This is what we do’, ‘This is Who we are’ kind of way.
As home educators, we have lots more time with our children, so this is can be easier, although also more challenging, as we have to be authentic more of the time, LOL!
One of the joys of being home educators is being able to choose how we spend our time. In our home, we choose a fairly slow rhythm, with regular activities every day, week and month, but trying not to cram too much in. This gives us space to have lots of deep conversations, to read great books which challenge and inspire us, and to hang out with other families who share our values.
Of course, there are lots of activities we can do to engage in our faith at home:
- family devotions
- learning Bible verses
- reading Christian biographies
- listening to worship music
- learning about Christian artists, composers, scientists, authors etc
For us, we’ve found focusing on rituals and celebrations really helps us and it feels less like work. We love our weekly Shabbat meal as well as a bundle of annual festivals:
- Baptism Birthdays
- Saints Days
- Biblical Autumn feasts: Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Sukkot
Whichever way you choose to structure your home education, if your faith is important in your life, it will feature in your home education. If you’re wanting to be more intentional, maybe add an extra element for a term and see how it fits. Keep it simple, keep it authentic.