By Kimberly C. Miller
There are so many benefits to homeschooling. More time together, a chance to build strong family relationships, the ability to teach our kids as we think best, plenty of time for them to pursue interests, and daily discipleship moments are just a small handful of the myriad reasons why homeschooling is an indescribable blessing to the families who choose this path.
Have you ever thought, however, of the beautiful opportunity afforded to homeschooling families of serving and ministering to others on a regular and consistent basis? We have so much more time available to us than families with kids who are in a traditional school environment all day. Because of the wonderfully efficient nature of homeschooling, large portions of our days are freed up for other pursuits beyond academics. We have the freedom to pick up our schoolwork on bring it with us anywhere we choose to go. We're not tied down to a schedule set by the school system. What an amazing blessing this can be, not only to our families, but to others in need.
We have time and energy beyond school time to devote to helping those who are in need. There are so many people all around us who could use a helping hand, and homeschooling families are in a unique position to lend that hand. This is not only beneficial to those we help, but also to our children as they learn to love and serve as Jesus does, often with no possibility of receiving anything in return. We can teach them, by actually living it out, that it is better to give than to receive. We can show them the blessings of generously giving of our time and resources to serve others. They can experience, while they are young, the beauty of giving sacrificially and having the blessing of God as we serve Him by serving others.
Opportunities for ministry and service abound. We do not have to look far to find someone who can use our help. There are so many who need love and help, many of whom feel forgotten. Let's teach our kids to love the "least of these."
Some ideas for service opportunities are:
Visiting the sick or elderly--a short visit to an older person or someone who is homebound due to illness can be such an encouragement to them
Bringing meals to families with a new baby or to someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one
Organizing and serving church fellowship meals--get the whole family involved--even younger children can help fold napkins or set the tables
Opening your home in hospitality to other families, college students, single people or widows (or widowers) who may be lonely for companionship and the comfort of a family meal
Prolife ministry--peacefully standing outside the doors of an abortion clinic,offering hope and compassionately encouraging the women entering to choose life for their babies can be a very powerful way to be a voice for the unborn children whose lives are at stake
Helping an older person with their yard work or cleaning
Stacking firewood for a widow
Short-term missions trips--this can be a life-changing opportunity for a young person to see first-hand the needs of people in other places in the world, as long as they are going with the intent to serve and be a blessing
These are just a small sampling of areas where we as homeschooling families can serve and be a blessing to those around us. What a privilege to have this opportunity, and to teach our children to look for a need and meet it, even if it seems small or insignificant. Time spent serving others is never wasted.
Ask the Lord to give your family opportunities to reach out and help another. Be creative, and look for ways to be a blessing to others. You will be blessed, as well.
Kimberly Miller is the
homeschooling mother of seven children (and one more in heaven). She and her husband Gilbert live on a small hobby farm in rural Maine. As a homeschool graduate herself, Kimberly is passionate
about encouraging fellow homeschool moms to embrace their calling and raise their children for God's glory.