Playing Hooky

Does staying under the warm sheets sound appealing to you this morning? Would you like to sleep in and take the day off to get caught up with all the housework? After all, chores would get done a lot faster with four pairs of little hands to help.

1 Corinthians 15:58 says, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." As a homeschool mom, some days you just don't feel like having school. Being super mom lost its novelty a long time ago, and you would just like to have your house be cleaned, organized, and feel like a home again instead of a cluttered schoolroom.

God calls us to obedience in all areas of our life, including homeschooling. As much as you want to check homeschooling off your list today, don't. Your children's future depends on your daily discipline of placing homeschooling as a priority. Dirt and clutter will always return, but not the opportunities to teach your children. God is waiting for you to get up and get going. Be steadfast and throw off those covers. "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men" (Colossians 3:23).

Lord, forgive me for not staying focused on what I should do today. Strengthen me to resist Satan's temptation of doing other tasks before our homeschooling. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Comments(30 comments)


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DENISE K 09/30/2008 08:54:53

I don't think of it as playing hooky but just another way to teach your children. Teaching them to do chores, to help in housekeeping, menu planning, food buying & preparation; all of these (and more!) are practical applications of traditional "classroom" lessons. As stated in this devotional, God has called us to obedience in all areas of our life: being organized and capturing different ways of teaching lessons is a part of this obedience. Besides, if you can plan it, you might catch an afternoon "snooze" when your children do!

BRIDGET H 09/30/2008 10:46:43

thanks for your comment! i was going to say the same thing! i actually got up this morning and said how can we study when the house is in such a clutter! we have been moving our church, having people over and i have been sick to top it all off! we still will homeschool of course! but learning flexibility is important as well. that is the main reason we homeschool because we dont have traditional jobs! my husband is a pastor and a truck driver. but the important priorities like studying His word must be first and foremost and then all else will fall in place as you pray "God what should we do today and what should be next!" blessings and thanks for your devotionals.

WENDY S 09/30/2009 09:32:59

One true blessing of homeschooling is TO have the option to take a day off here or there to refresh and renew in our relationships with our children.....to teach them other values and principles outside the actual 'classroom' subjects. What better way to show our kids other areas God has called us to be either obedient, or to teach them what the Lord has in store for us! We relish in those surprise hooky days to renew our relationships with Jesus and our children!

KIMBERLY G 10/01/2009 20:57:54

I think the main struggle that this devotional is pointing to is merely getting out of bed in the morning. If you are "not that into" homeschooling with your kids, or have just started and feel lost, just the thought of it each morning, as you open your eyes, can be pure dread and can make it impossible to face. I struggled with getting out of bed in the morning for this reason, (feeling lost), and also because I was cleaning well into the night after I had struggled all day through homeschooling and my family was fast asleep. Then I thought, wait a minute. Something has to give and I will not allow myself to become sleep deprived and miserable. I won't be any good that way anyhow. And the reality is that most women cannot feel good about themselves or their marriage or anything in a dirty home, so therfore it must be clean. NOT spotless, just clean. The kids each have a chore list now and they get an allowance at the end of each week. I took on another child whose mother works and needed 1 hour before and 1 hour after school care for her son. So I HAVE to be up for him in the morning and I am getting paid for it. While he is in my home in the morning, my kids are doing their chores and the house is getting clean. When he gets on the bus, I start my homeschooling with my own children. I have waited 12 years to get to this point however. Find something that makes it work for you. We also homeschool through the summer, but we take a few vacation weeks throughout the year. It keeps my kids sharp and my schedule more flexible. I cannot thank The Lord enough for homeschooling.

JENNIFER H 09/30/2010 05:03:58

Bless you for this post. I woke up this morning to a dim room and the rain outside. Our learning objectives are outside of the home today. I considered postponment of these activities until next week and clean today. How divinly things work sometimes...I went through my morning inspiration routine and here this was! Thank you! I'm getting back on task right now.

KARLA W 09/30/2010 07:09:01

We homeschool year-round 3 weeks on and 1 week off. That gives me the encouragement to stick in there until our week off. I do however make sure the house is cleaned daily with my little helpers! Thank God for the blessing of homeschooling and the flexibility it gives you to teach your children and enjoy life!

DONALD M 09/30/2010 07:19:56

I feel let off the hook Being a home school dad, instead of the mom referred too, I will sleep in all day! Taking a day off the routine is a bad thing? Not so sure. I am self employed dad, taking my 11 year old with me on business trips all the time. He was the youngest frequent flyer at the age of two United ever had. He has been all over the world, and as I am writing this, he is playing (recess) on the swings next to my MH in a campground up here in Michigan, before I'm off to the next job. Fortunately, he is self motivated, and easy to teach, so when I am actually at my appointments, he can be out here in the MH on his laptop, doing his homework. I guess, if you have to set up a school, play school and be as rigid as a school, put them back in school. Switched on Schoolhouse, allows me to work with him, but still have time to get the other things done too as he is working through his lesson on the PC. Keeps us organized and focused even when we do miss a day or two. What works for me, is EVERY day is a school day, then the work load is not too much for each day. Don't stress yourself out if you need a day to re-group. You may find that your teaching will be even better after that load is off your mind. Oh, there he goes, back to his PC. (I love SOS)

REGINA A 09/30/2010 08:56:43

My Mom died 8 months ago and my Dad died last Friday. I was very close to my Mom and she was in the hospital during Christmas and two weeks after our Christmas vacation. After her death, I took a week or more off from home school because I couldn't stop crying. We ended up having to home school during our spring break time and part of the summer. It was very hard to play catch up. My Dad became suddenly seriously ill last Monday. I went to the hospital in another town each evening. I continued to home school each day last week until Friday when Dad was so sick. My sister called me and said that he wasn't going to make it. I was so numb. The home school day fell apart. It was a very short illness, and quite unexpected, although my Dad was in his mid 90's. The funeral was Sunday. Monday I wasn't in the mood to teach, and we did absolutely nothing. The rest of this week we've started to home school, completing a few subjects and stopped early. I just couldn't stay focused. The temptation to do the same today kept me in bed. I was up late last night reading about grief and children. What I read suggested that we should keep their schedules and maintain a normal routine. I realized how I was failing them by not keeping a routine. How do I do that when my life is broken and in pieces? I've been praying all morning that God would direct me and guide me and I can attest that I feel the power of the Holy Spirit comforting me and giving me the desire to be true to my calling. My children are all adopted from abroad, and we have one child waiting to come home, as we are currently in an adoption process. I'm praying that somehow I can manage today to get most of our subjects in. Only one of my kids uses SOS and he uses it for only a couple of subjects. I hope I can encourage others by sharing this. You can get up and get going even when your world seems to be falling all around you. It's not easy on your own to do this, but with God's help, "all things are possible." I pray that all of you will be able to stay true to your calling and yet find a place of rest and solitude in your day.

GAY T 09/30/2010 10:55:18

This devotional was what I needed today!! Thanks!! I enjoyed the comments and believe that there are teachable moments daily wether during 'school' time or not. As someone stated earlier...this devotional spoke to my spirit to get out of bed (physically and mentally) daily and give all I do that day to the Lord...and for the Lord. He calls me to actively parent/teach my daughter and not 'check out' on the PC or with life's 'busyness'. She will be in the home for such a short time that each moment is precious. Blessings to all...and a huge hug of comfort to Regina A

stacey s 09/30/2010 15:00:39

I just wanted to share how I am able to keep a clean home and home school. I joined a FREE christian on line organizational website flylady.net., she is amazing! Without her I would not be able to do it!

CHRISTINA L 10/02/2010 04:57:24

Without a clean home and workspace, my home isn't condusive to learning. The people who mess it up are the ones to clean it up. Sometimes its done during school hours. I kind of think of chores as another part to homeschool. Without organization, my homeschool would crumble! But, yes, I agree with the idea that I shouldn't play hookie on the academic side of homeschool. My kids should be clean and put together while having knowledge at their grade level.

LAURA G 09/30/2011 04:24:40

Unfortunately, the throwing aside of a clean, orderly home and a healthy hearty home cooked meal daily, has become the demise of many a homeschool family. Too often heavy academic emphasis has been the very thing that has thrown our homes, and often marriages, into a tailspin. One of the most important lessons we can teach our children is that women are the managers of their home and shouldn't abandon this responsibility in order to give their energies to any other work full time, weather it be full time work outside our homes, or full time homeschooling. 2 Thes. 3:10 says, "If you don't work, you don't eat", and that work is not all academic, there are so many forms of work that are required of women on the homefront. Our daughters need to see us in action in order to model us some day. And our sons must fully appreciate the roles of their future wives someday. Establishing that balance and routine daily of both order in our home and academics is crucial. Take heart ladies, for God has given you all you need to do this. Through prayer, practice, and Godly examples we can all grow in this regard.

JULIE B 09/30/2011 04:52:49

This is true, LAURA G! There is more, much more, than just the "academic" side of discipline....so much character is built into our children by learning how to keep and watching us keep an orderly home in the midst of daily life. It will never be "perfect", but that should not be what we strive for. And yes, as STACY S. said, FLYLADY.NET is a wonderful guide to use. And THANK YOU for your SOS curriculum! It is wonderful and has really helped me "jump" into our 1st year of homeschooling headfirst, without the fear, all through the wisdom of God and his guidance as He led me to your encouraging site. THANK YOU, also, to all of the other homeschool Mom's out there who are like distant "friends" in the midst of it all(-:

TIA G 09/30/2011 05:53:26

Thank you for all your comments as they show God's direction and encouragement for each of you. To Regina A., God wants to hold you and your children as you grieve the passing on this earth of your mother and your father. He knows your heart is heavy but also full of compassion showing God's love for children. That compassion is evident by the fact you have adopted multiple times. He is holding you in His Arms. Let Him pour out His waves of liquid love and let it flow over you like waters of life. You will make it through and He will fill you up. Three of my son's last six years of homeschooling have started with the death of a grandparent. One of the years two grandparents died within 5 days of each other. It made it hard to stay focused on anything. We chose to take a full week off and then take a second week to slowly start a few subjects. The third and fourth weeks we added one extra lesson for a subject each day so that by the end of that month we were mostly caught up. Death isn't easy but with Christ we know that there is an eternity with Him far greater than anything we can imagine here on this earth. God Bless each and every one of you as you homeschool your children and raise them in the ways of the Lord.

SYBIL V 09/30/2011 06:39:58

Waking up early helps a lot with our schedule for the day. Im a very clean homeschooling mom, my day begins doing some chores and preparing breakfsat, cleaning and doing the beds, and we begin at 8:30 our devotional and then school, and as soon as i finish with school, more chores again, my husband arrives at 6:00 pm, and children and I are ready to recive him with a clean house supper and very well dresed and parfumed... you need discipline for being clean, having a clean house is up to you!!!

RENAE R 09/30/2011 08:05:23

We "played hookie" today to clean our house!;) Too funny! I agree with most of you....sometimes you just need the break, and your kids need to learn to help:)!

AMY W 09/30/2011 10:41:03

Well, we are a bit \"unconventional. We actually homeschool out of our semi. My son is almost 14. And we all still have chores that we must do in order to make this lifestyle livable. We also do homeschooling year around. He goes 6 weeks, and depending on his grades, gets a week off. Normally, he will spend that week out of the truck at his grandparents' house. This gives everyone a break. And by the end of the 6 weeks, it's a much needed break. He also has his normal spring break, Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, and a few weeks off in the summer. This schedule helps us to #1: not lose our luster for homeschooling, and #2: my son doesn't lose much needed information over a long summer break. His grades have improved for it. Like others have said many, many times, you just have to find what works for you. But I have found that as important as homeschooling our children is, it's not important enough to lose sight of God, or your family because you become overwhelmed. We are doing this in order to glorify God, to teach our children good, solid moral standards, and to not give up our God given rights to protect our children from what the world may be trying to teach them. When we get overwhelmed, we lose ability to see of all of these things. It lessens the impact that homeschooling is supposed to have on our children. I suggest when you get bogged down, when you feel like homeschooling is burying you, use the flexibility that homeschooling offers your family, and go on a surprise field trip. Every town has a museum, call and schedule a tour of the local bakery, get creative. You, your kids, and your homeschool future depend on you being REFRESHED. And when all else fails, get online and find a support group. No one said this would be easy, but no one said you'd have to go at it alone either!!

ANGELA B 09/30/2011 10:42:23

I love this devotional...it\'s so funny because it seems to \"catch my thoughts\"...Because of the author\'s encouragement, I will not entertain the thought of playing hooky today (but I can\'t make any promises for the future :) )...To sister Regina, I will be praying for you and your family today. May you feel the comfort and presence of our Heavenly Father as you grieve the passing of your parents. To Stacey S., thank you for the info...I will be looking her up :). Blessings to all the homeschool moms.

PATTY S 09/30/2011 12:46:04

I ask myself is God on the throne or not? No excuses b/c temptation is waiting like a prowling lion waiting to devour you! Will it take 5 minutes to tidy up or more? If it is more than that then I have to reevaluate the priorities.

AUDRA K 09/30/2011 17:59:40

I too love flylady.net! She has helped me keep routines up in the home, which are so important for Homeschool families and all families. Thanks for the encouragement. Regina- I\'m praying for u. God will get u through this time in your life. Sorry for your loss.

DEANNA B 10/04/2011 20:36:22

Regina ~ I\'m so very sorry about your double loss. :( Please DON\'T consider allowing yourself the necessary time to grieve as a \"temptation\", or as somehow failing your children. Grief is real life, and you are a hurting daughter. Take care of your parents\' daughter. My prayer is for your healing, and that the Lord will shower you with His perfect peace and direction. Routines have their place, but let them return slowly. I second...or third...the Flylady.net recommendation. She even writes about maintaining balance through grief. You may want to add journaling into the next few weeks, as an outlet and record for both you and your children. In time, those are the cherished entries.

AMYJEAN S 09/30/2012 05:05:33

Who says my kids are not learning, when cleaning? Or vegging out on a rainy day watching nature films, or the history channel? I chose to hs because I did not want my kids to learn by the public school method- of \"sit in your seat, don\'t talk and learn everything from a book.\" Oh, and no free time. Learning to care for a home is just as fulfilling, rewarding, and educational as Algebra 101 (probably more so!)

KATHY S 09/30/2012 06:53:55

My son has a form of Autism. I created a \"Life Skills\" class for him, which does include some things around the house. In our case, If I don\'t teach him these things, how will he survive later on in life? Lateley at the Library Cafe (do alot of homeschooling there) I have had him giving the cashier money and trying to figure if he has gotten the right change. The lady who owns the Cafe and does the Cashiering, also Homeschooled her son, so she is always happy to help! My son knows how to wash the bath and kitchen towels, and I have to teach him how to wash some of his clothes as well this year. I have taught him how to vaccuum, and that he does in his game room. He has learned how to price shop at the grocery store, he knows to look for the cheaper amount on an item. He still struggles with the whole \"rounding up or down\" with money issue. For some reason when I ask how much and item is he might say $3.00, when in actuality it is $3.97. He doesn\'t yet get that concept, yet he can find me the less expensive item that I am looking for. It makes no sense, but we will keep working on it. I need to teach him how to do dishes, pick up after himself, change a lightbulb. Simple daily functions that most children arre able to do, but they have to be taught. If I don\'t teach, who will? I understand the Authors point about playing hooky, and LOVE all her Devotionals. In our case here, I had to make a \"LIfe Skills\" class Most likely he will live with me as long as I am here. God forbid something happens to me one day, he needs to know these things or he will be completely lost. To Regina A. ; I am so sorry for your losses, and cannot imagine your grief, and how hard it is to keep going. You do whatever it is that you need to so that you and your children can heal from the loss. If you need time off, take it. The schoolwork will not go anywahere, you can always extend into summer if need be, or start school extra early next year. I had a heart attck and broke my foot and all kinds of things this last Spring. From March 5th until May 6th it was nothing but excruciating pain. After my heart surgery, there is Rehab, which I\'ll be doing into December. If anything I have learned in the last year it has been flexibility. Do what works for you Regina. God knows your sufferings and will help you as you go through. I will keep you in my prayers.

TRINITY M 09/30/2012 09:30:27

Kathy S,, I likely understand your \"flexibility\" more than most. I am also home schooling a now 11 year old autistic child. My son went to public school from kindergarten through 3rd grade, falling deeper into the cracks each year. I put my foot down at the end of third grade and made the decision to home school him so I could integrate life skills, academic training and hopefully some proper social behaviors as well as strengthening his relationship with God. We began with 2nd and 3rd grade Life Packs when he was chronologically to be in fourth grade. At the close of that first year of home schooling he had to take the 4 th grade SAT test. I was worried but he passed in the 97 percentile of all 4th grade students around the country. When his class of peers went to fifth grade he went into 4th maintaining an A/B average. That\'s when the issues began. I gave him the summer off---just like his peers. I started him back to school in late August. He was horribly non compliant. All he wanted to do was Bible and History. I think I am maybe hard on him--my excuse is I know what he is capable of academically. If he doesn\'t get an A or B we don\'t move on, we go back. Mid September he purposely defied me by going back to bed, taking too many bathroom trips and defying school and I every step of the way. I began to question my ability as a parent of an autistic child in doing the right thing for his best interest. He wasn\'t being socialized at all because each time he went to the play ground or public pool the children either beat on him, made hurtful remarks or destroyed his bike, one time throwing it in a swampy ravine. My son articulation of speech leaves him open for even more ridicule where the children tell him to \"shut Up moron\" we don\'t understand \"Devon Talk\". How many nights I comforted him and tried to tell him he was perfect in God\'s eyes---only to cry myself to sleep feeling his pain. At ten I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up---I wasn\'t ready for his answer: \" When I grow up I want to be a normal person! \" Meanwhile---back in the home school classroom---he was defiant--non compliant to \"our\" school rules and course of study. I threatened him with public school. He continually pushed my buttons so last Wednesday, September 26th I enrolled him in 5th grade. The school was excited and asked I get the papers in and start him immediately so they could get the special needs funding and staff. They told me I was making the right decision because my child needed to be socialized. I had to go shopping and spent nearly $200 buying a back pack, a gym bag, special gym shoes and shorts, and the special notebooks and folders and calculator they requested. I enrolled him in band for percussion and paid a $35 fee. I paid for a lunch ticket ( my son has extreme sensory issues with food). Thursday was the big day----he was going off to school like all the other \"normal\" kids. I picked him up after school--he didn\'t look happy so I asked \"how was school?\" He said he was in a tiny room under the stairs. He didn\'t share recess with other children --he stood outside with an aide for recess. I asked about lunch and gym---they brought a tray to his closet room---he didn\'t have gym. He had 15 minutes of band and was then told he would have to take piano and he would be taken from class for his \"private\" band lessons. He didn\'t want to go back on Friday--he wanted to be home schooled forever. As a mother I could not allow him to bully me either so he went on Friday and it was even worse. Unfortunately the school doesn\'t seem to think my child is smart enough to come home and tell me everything. I am going to allow this mis-treatment of social depravation of my child till mid October and then he will think long and hard about how lucky he is to be home schooled. We will be able to catch up 5th and 6th grade by the time his peers are going into 7th. You might say my child played Hooky but I doubt he will ever play hooky again. I as well teach my child life skills as well as some days we go out for day trips without academics to learn about nature and marvel at creation. Everything can be a learning tool--hooky is when they check out as my son did. He is so very sorry now but he has another two weeks to enjoy the solitude of closet life before he will earn the right to be home schooled. Signed--Tough Love

DAWN N 09/30/2012 18:39:03

So hard to know when it\'s GOOD to take a day off without guilt or pressure. Sometimes God has allowed an illness just when I really needed an excuse to stay home and just be with our children as a mother, not a task-master.

KIM O 10/01/2012 11:37:35

Sometimes, you just need to take a day off and refocus. My daughter has bucked me nearly every day so far this school year. Some days it takes all day to get school done. With my other two; if they were doing well on their work, we would take a day off once in a while and just go do something fun. With my youngest; I haven\'t done that yet this year, because most days have been nothing but a battle, leaving me exhausted. However; one of the wonderful things about homeschool is being able to be flexible. We may just do that today!

STEVE AND SUE B 10/01/2012 18:32:46

Sometimes the Daily Focus makes me feel more beat-up than encouraged... I need to stay connected and be accountable, but I don\'t need another voice in my head telling me I\'m inadequate. I\'m already filled with dread that my weaknesses will be visited on my boys. My husband and I are committed to doing what\'s in their best interest-- as flawed as we are-- we are giving them to God and moving forward.

SHEILA MOSLEY 09/30/2013 13:55:03

Thank you this was a great reminder to start off the day. I have had a tendency to simply pull the covers over my head on days when it all seemed too much. Thankfully, God has been showing me about balance in my life and discipline. Both are things I have desperately needed.

lanita wood 09/30/2013 13:56:06

I was going to call it home ec.

Cecily Robbins 09/30/2013 16:46:07

I was told that cleanliness is next to Godliness. So one should clean their home. However, when homeschooling it is hard to find the time. Fortunately, homeschooling is not like public or private school. One can set their own schedule. If cleaning needs to be done make the school day a little longer by adding chores in between subjects. One can also make days shorter by not doing the extra little fun things or by not taking really long breaks like my children do. I believe that, while a benefit of homescooling is to be able to set your own schedule and have to the option to "play hooky," the main benefit and most important one is so that my children can learn about God. You cannot do that at public school, even in the "Bible Belt" where I live. As a parent you should be teaching your child reaponsibility; that being that you cannot "play hooky" because there are other things that need to be done at home. If you have a problem getting out of bed in the morning like my children and I do then start your day a little later and make it go later in the day. My children go to school from 9-4 with a hour lunch break. We all get to sleep late and it gives me time to read this and another daily devotional and pray. These things almost aleays seem to hit the nail on the head with what I'm feeling that day. I didnt want to get out of bed today, because I'm suffering from a kidney stone, but I still need to get up and give my children an education. If I cant do that then I need to put them back in public school.

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