I’ve always wondered what my kids were missing out on by not being homeschooled. I watch dear friends who teach their children at home with great awe and a tinge of jealousy of the family dynamics and wonderful lessons they get to share with their kids day after day.
How might my kids be different . . . stronger if they were in my care every day?
We are a family called to public school (at least until the Lord shows us otherwise) and although the COVID-19 pandemic has been a bit of an interruption to life as we knew it, I am thankful that my children have been home with me for the past several months (despite my lack when it comes to teaching them at home).
This is not how we thought my daughter would finish up her first year of middle school but it’s been a welcomed twist to our plans. Although she cruised through this major adolescent transition like a champ, I was beginning to feel the tension; of friendships and independence pulling her away from her home base.
These past few months I’ve had her all to myself, without the distraction of friends and activities and busyness. I’ve tried to lean in and listen; to give her space while inviting her into deeper relationship and important conversations. Although discipleship has been a challenge without the rhythm of church and youth group, we’ve enjoyed having church at home and the conversations that have come with it.
There’s no doubt about it, this pandemic has thrown us all for a loop. But as long as life keeps this slower, more intimate pace, we can use the time well to invest in our kids—our girls especially—before “normal” pulls them back into the world.
Whether we homeschool or not, this season has given us the gift of time with our girls. Even if it doesn’t feel quite like a gift in the midst of the craziness, it can become one with a whole lot of grace and a little intention. I invite you to join me in using this time to share these life lessons that lay a foundation of truth for our girls, no matter their age.
. . . . . . . . . .
Be You | God made you beautifully unique according to His purpose for you.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
For Younger Girls Say: God made YOU special and He loves you. There’s no one else just like you, and that’s exactly how God planned it. What are some of your favorite things about the way God made YOU?
For Older Girls Say: Confidence is a girl’s most beautiful quality and it comes from knowing who and whose you are. The earlier you start exploring who you are according to God’s design, the more you’ll understand your unique gifts and purpose. Spend your energy discovering your beautiful uniqueness instead of comparing yourself to others. Embrace every bit of yourself, both inside and out, and stay true to the YOU God made! How can I help you grow in confidence right now?
Grow, Grow, Grow | Growth is more important than perfection.
Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. Colossians 1:10 (NLT)
For Younger Girls Say: God helps us to grow, a little bit every day. Just like the flowers and grass grow over time to make the world more beautiful, God wants YOU to grow too. You don’t have to do everything right the first time. Give yourself time to grow! What is something you want to grow to do better?
For Older Girls Say: You may never get straight A’s or get the lead in the play or score the most soccer goals. But as long as you are growing; learning and doing more than you did the day (or year or season) before, you’re winning. What are some ways you want to grow in this season?
Do Hard Things | Don’t be afraid to do the work, with God’s help.
In all the work you are doing, work the best you can. Work as if you were working for the Lord, not for men. Colossians 3:23 (ICB)
For Younger Girls Say: Remember, God helps us grow. That means when something we try is really hard, He will give us what we need to get better when we faithfully work for Him! What is something that you feel is too hard but you’d like to learn?
For Older Girls Say: The older you get, the more you’re likely going to have God-sized dreams. These dreams may seem way too big to accomplish. Even when something seems too hard or overwhelming, don’t give up. When God connects your heart to something . . . a sport, art, science . . . anything, He does it for a reason. So do whatever it takes to get better, one step at a time as God guides you. What big dream or goal do you have right now?
Look Up | Turn your focus to the One who is always there.
Let us look only to Jesus. He is the one who began our faith, and he makes our faith perfect. Hebrews 12:2 (ICB)
For Younger Girls Say: No matter where you are, God is with you. All you have to do is look up. Of course, you won’t be able to actually see God, but by looking up you take your focus off of things like toys and devices and put it onto Him. What prayer can you pray when you need to look up and remember God is with you?
For Older Girls Say: When life and friendships get hard, remember that God is always there, ready for you to look up and talk to Him. Make it a habit to look up and take your focus off of the many distractions that are always right in front of you. Write a prayer that you can say whenever you need to remember God is with you. Something like, “God, I need You right now. Speak to me as I look up and listen . . . “ What else can you say to God as you look up to Him?
Look Around | The world needs noticers. Pay attention.
Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others. Philippians 2:4 (ICB)
For Younger Girls Say: There will always be kids that need a friend. God wants us to pay attention and notice when others need our kindness and love. Always be looking for someone you can reach out to . . . in the classroom, on the playground, in the neighborhood, and at church. Can you think of someone who needs a friend right now?
For Older Girls Say: Always be on the lookout for those who need kindness and love. The more confident you become, the less time you’ll spend thinking about yourself and the more energy you’ll have to bless others. Try to never miss an opportunity to love on and cheer for those around you. Can you think of one or two people that need you to notice them right now?
Lean In | Find Your People
For Younger Girls Say: You never know when one of the new friends you noticed and invited to play will become a special friend. Of course you can’t always play with everyone. Although you should be kind to and include others, there may be a few friends that feel special because you like the same things and play well together. It’s okay to have a few special friends as long as you don’t leave others out. Who do you feel are your special friends right now?
For Older Girls Say: There will be many opportunities to meet new people in your life. Though you should always be kind and inviting by noticing others, you don’t have to (and you simply can’t) build deep relationships with everyone. The friends you can be yourself around (without fear or hesitation) are YOUR people. Invest in these relationships. With the right care, they can last a lifetime. Which of your friends do you feel most comfortable with?
. . . . . . . . . .
Want to teach your girls life-changing truth through stories that share the wow and wonder of God? Minno is a safe, streaming video on demand platform where kids meet God in stories they love and parents find expert help and everyday encouragement for their journey. Sign up for your free trial and check out these shows (plus many more!) we know your girls will love:
For the Family
For Age 3-6
For Age 6+
Jess Wolstenholm is the Editorial Director for Minno and the Minno Laugh and Grow Bible for Kids. An author and experienced writer, Jess has contributed articles, essays, and resources for kids and families to the Huffington Post, Motherly, Scary Mommy, Tommy Nelson, FaithGateway, What To Expect, and more. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading coming of age middle-grade novels (her favorite!) or leading kids ministry at her local church. A wife and mother of two—12 and 9—she lives outside Nashville, Tennessee.