SummaryAs crazy as it gets, Amanda Evinger knows it’s possible to homeschool and keep a prayerful spirit alive. Hit the ground running with her 9 tested tips!
We all know how hectic a homeschool day can get.
For some reason, it seems like the same day that, mysteriously, the kids cannot seem to find their text books, is also the same day that everyone is coming down with chicken pox, the oven breaks down, and the laundry machine overflows.
Despite the “craziness” of homeschooling days however, there is always peace in the storm. This peace is prayer, the beating heart of the domestic church.
The good news is that when we homeschool, we are normally doing it within the walls of this domestic church, which is a sacred space, always ready to welcome the lifting up of our hearts to God the Father.
Although often noisy and bustling with various goings-on, our homes have been given to us by God so that we can carry out our motherly and educational duties with extraordinary devotion and love.
Our homes are meant to be places of profound prayer, and so are our home schools. All it takes is the willingness of heart to cry out to Jesus with trust, asking for the gift of a prayerful spirit.
As bestselling Catholic author Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle writes in The Heart of Motherhood,
“In our ‘hidden life,’ if we look carefully, we can find many occasions for prayer even though we are busy with our family…Throughout the difficulties in trying to find the time for prayer, we can persevere even if it is in bits and pieces. Our Lord knows our hearts. He will reward a mother’s efforts and will watch over our families. Our Lord wants the bits and pieces of our hearts.”
Finally, here are some creative ways to help keep a creative spirit as you homeschool your children, fitting that prayerful spirit into every nook and cranny of your day.
1. Nifty Rosary Bracelets
Wear one of those nifty rosary bracelets and encourage your children to do so as well.
That way, it will be easy for you to pray the Rosary wherever you are. You can even make some bracelets as a family project for the month of May or a Marian holy day. Keep a Rosary booklet or other prayer booklets in the car, so that prayer can be a regular thing on car trips.
2. ‘On the Spot Prayer
2. When times get tough or just plain dry, turn to prayer “on the spot.”
Kids love surprises – why not make prayer a fun family surprise? For example, the other day, my kids were pestering each other, and not much work was getting done.
I stopped right in the middle of our lesson and had us all pray a decade of the Rosary, using Rosary booklets for children with interesting illustrations. Peace came over us all. It worked!
3. Daily Offering in Daily Tasks
3. Make use of your daily offering throughout all of your daily tasks.
As St. Catherine of Siena once said,
“We must pray the prayer of action, which is a fragrant flower of the soul. A good man [woman] is a prayer.”
If you teach your children to continually offer up all of their actions and times of study to please Jesus, it will help you to keep a contemplative spirit as well.
4. Keep Several Devotionals
Keep mother’s devotionals and prayer books in several places around the house, not just one.
A room may be empty for a few moments, and we may get the chance to say just one prayer, consecrating our family to the Holy Family, before one of our children needs something.
Having prayer books stashed here and there will help us fit prayers in. You can also sign up for daily emails of inspiring meditations, such as Bishop Robert Barron’s daily YouTube video homily or Women of Grace’s daily post.
5. Visit the Blessed Sacrament
5. Fr. John A. Hardon once said that if you were in the neighborhood of your closest and best friend, wouldn’t you stop in for a little visit? Most of us would!
So what about making a point to fit in visits to the Blessed Sacrament whenever possible? Isn’t it even more necessary to refill our spiritual tanks than our gas tanks? Make a visit to church one of your pressing errands whenever you go out.
6. Keep Scripture on Hand
Keeping Scripture at hand is always a blessing.
Praying the Liturgy of the Hours with your children before school starts, or on the porch during recess on a pleasant day, or alone after they go to bed, will reap heavenly fruit for your family!
Memorizing a few psalms to pray as you fold laundry can be very helpful as well. Without the reading of Scripture, a mother can become weak and out of focus.
7. A Mother’s Journal
Creating a mother’s journal can be another wonderful way to keep your prayer life in order.
Purchase a beautiful blank journal and note one of your favorite spiritual quotes, along with a prayerful comment for the day to inspire you along your journey of homeschooling and motherhood.
For years to come, you can enjoy referring to your custom-made devotional!
8. Favorite Family Prayers
Encourage your children to make up a collection of the family’s favorite prayers and bind them together in a book that they have hand-decorated.
9. Mother’s Prayer Corner
Pick a meaningful, quiet place in your home and make it your “mother’s prayer corner.”
Fill it with holy images, books, and other items that inspire you to be the best wife, mother, and teacher you can be.
Above all things, remembering the love that God has for mothers.
The special concern with which He places His hand upon us is truly consoling. We mothers spend so much of our time tirelessly loving others that we often forget to just be loved by God ourselves.
Ultimately, the contemplation of divine love is the essence of a homeschooling mother’s prayer!