Four-legged Classmates

"A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast" (Proverbs 12:10a).

Is there anything sadder than watching a dog say goodbye to his favorite boy or girl as he or she goes off to school? Every day, countless pets are separated from their young masters as they leave for school, but not with homeschoolers. We are the fortunate ones who enjoy the privilege of having four-legged classmates to comfort us and make us laugh.

Since pets have always been a part of our family, making them a part of our homeschool was only natural. Morning and evening chores that involved our pets were incorporated into our children's daily schedule. To make up for any work involved with their care, they experienced the advantages of sharing a good book with a warm kitty or playing together with an effervescent puppy. Only during the winter did our children complain as they faced the cold weather to care for their furry friends.

Animals are not only special to us, but they are important to God as well. The pleasure of naming each of God's creatures was given to Adam (Genesis 2:19-20). After the flood, God made the covenant of the rainbow as a sign to both man and His creatures (Genesis 9:9-13). God also used His creatures to accomplish His specific will — a donkey talked to Balaam, ravens fed Elijah, and a great fish rerouted the rebellious prophet, Jonah.

Do you set a good example for your children in taking care of your family's pets? They need more than food and water. Daily grooming, exercise, and love are essential to their well-being. God values all of His creation, including animals. He requires good stewardship of these creatures and has entrusted their care to you. Keep your four-legged students attending class with your children. Remember, "a righteous man regardeth the life of his beast" (Proverbs 12:10)!

Lord, thank You for the animals You bring into our lives that give so much entertainment and joy. You are such a creative and loving God to think of so many different creatures! Challenge us today to be responsible and not neglect the care of our pets. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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Comments(13 comments)

BABBET H 10/15/2009 07:06:33

This article was just wonderful!

DEBORAH B 10/16/2009 07:43:38

This article is so true. We have actually included our dogs with many of our school activities.

Debbie B

RAND W 10/15/2010 21:10:44

I love this. We have a special responsibility and privilege taking care of our animals. We have been able to adopt more difficult animals who need love because we are home more often.

Laura M 10/18/2010 07:56:53

I remember in a homeschool conference a speaker talked of the need for some kids to have something helping them to concentrate. She said some children need to either have something in their hands or maybe chew gum. But they needed a sensory distraction.

For my one son it was our dog Buddy. My son would work on one problem with his right hand, and when done with an individual problem he then used his left hand to either pet our Golden who sat beside him, or he wielded his \'sword\' in the air.

The dog was happy and my son could concentrate. In a real school setting my son would have floundered. Today in college he has a 4.0!

Pets and homeschooling go together! (the sword helped too!).

great devotional!

KATHY L 10/15/2011 04:14:55

I have more pictures than I can count of our boys reading and snuggling with our dogs, or using them as lap desks. Those wonderful times - definitely another perk of homeschooling!

AMY S 10/15/2011 07:05:09

This is great! Many times I have said that one of the countless blessings of homeschooling is having our sweet dog with us during school every day. He loves to curl up on the futon in our school room while we work and snuggles with us during reading time. All of our lives are richer because we are home!

Jody F 10/15/2011 15:34:36

A truly great devotion today! My daughter often has her cat laying on her desk while she works. Sometimes I allow that if she doesn\'t have lots of neat work to do. Sometimes he\'ll curl up on my lap as I sit next to her for this or that class. When we take our breaks to toss a bean bag or a ball, he definitely has to be in on that too. What memories we are creating for them - instead of bullies on the playground to remember - there will be cat naps on papers and frolicking pets at recess!

MELISSA S 10/15/2011 17:14:21

This was very inspiring because I have three dogs and I often lose sight ofvjust how special they really are to me and my life. Thank-you for the reminder.

KRISTINE B 10/16/2011 02:47:46

I love my dog! His love, devotion, and protection to my children and I are priceless!

CARLA R 10/16/2011 07:04:01

Many days we let our bunny hop around the floor of our basement school room. It makes for such a happy and relaxing environment!

SHARON W 10/15/2012 06:51:15

Nice article; however, ummmmmmm . . . . yes, there are things in life sadder than \"watching a dog say goodbye to his favorite boy or girl as he or she goes off to school\"

TAMMY M 10/15/2012 08:26:03

We lived on our farm for 4 years. Every morning, 7am the girls would go feed. Noon, check waters and 5 or 6 pm, feed again. Babies were born that needed to be bottle fed, pens needed to be cleaned, eggs collected, 50 pound sacks of feed and 70 pound bales of hay needed to be unloaded. My girls never complained. It was part of their life that they truly enjoyed. Now we live in the city to be closer to dad\'s work. They don\'t miss the farm life, but they would not have traded that experience for anything.

BRENDA WEISENBERGER 12/20/2014 02:16:53

We live on a small 10 acre farm with horses, goat, dogs, cats, bunny, and chickens. My girls have to go feed horses, clean stalls/lean-tos, collect eggs, make sure all animals have water, etc daily before breakfast and before school starts. Sometimes when the weather is warm, my daughter will go outside in the horse pasture and do her reading or go sit on the swing on the deck with a cat or chicken in her lap doing her schoolwork. Of course, the dog is always nearby - on the couch, swing, etc - to give her some "emotional support". :) Our pets are a very important part of our life and the kids couldn't imagine their "school day" not having them a part of it. Great article! Thanks for writing this. :)

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