Time for Recess

"Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit" (Ecclesiastes 4:6).

Somewhere during my teaching career as a homeschooling parent, I came up with the "brilliant" idea of cramming all our schoolwork into half days. By eliminating our mid-morning playtime, we could school for four to five hours straight and finish the day early. My reasoning for this decision was to provide more free time and field trips for my children, but later, I was forced to admit that my idea was really meant to make life more convenient for me. Every time we attempted this cramped schedule, my children became stressed. Praise God, they were smarter than me on this issue and said the trade off was simply not worth the strain. Time for recess was just as important as school time.

God made us, and He knows that the human body is frail (Psalm 103:14). I think He also knew that mankind would overextend itself, so He gave us the commandment for a Sabbath day to worship Him and rest from our labors (Exodus 20:8-11). This rest not only focuses our attention on our Creator God, but it also replenishes our body physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Like everyone else, homeschooling families are tempted to rob time from play and relaxation to keep up with the world's hurried pace.

Is your homeschooling schedule allowing time for breaks? Even homeschooling parents need time to walk away from the work for a few minutes. Don't just send your children outside to play — go with them! Let the Lord refresh you and take away the pressures of your homeschooling day. God is in control, and He will help you accomplish all that needs to be done. "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his" (Hebrews 4:9-10).

Lord, show me again how to discipline myself with the right amounts of work and relaxation. Forgive me for making my day bigger than You've planned. Help me to pray and seek Your will each morning. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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Comments(11 comments)

ELISHA H 12/13/2009 06:19:02

Very good and very true. Thank you for your obedience to the Lord and walking this homeschool path befor me and others. Thank you for the godly example.


SANDY M 12/13/2010 06:32:53

Considering playing in the snow today :)

DAYNA B 12/13/2010 07:35:26

Sometimes I get so caught up in getting things done that I forget to relax and allow my children some outside playtime. And before I know it, It is too dark to play outside.

AMY K 12/13/2010 07:54:31

very good and true!

LAURA P 12/13/2011 07:25:12

So thankful to God for that day of rest.

LETITIA H 12/13/2011 09:44:02

I love this devotional. It applies to me even though I\'ve no children. But, I don\'t have time to read it. I do daily Bible reading & study, and prayer.

REBECCA E 12/13/2011 20:26:11

Considering that it is right about 10pm and I just now have time to sit down and read this, I may really have needed this advice, Great devotional! Thanks so much for the time you take to write them.

PAMELA R 12/13/2012 07:02:03

Thank you. I needed this reminder. I have been trying to come up with a system to our school days. I too wanted to cram the bookwork so we\'d have the afternoons free to do other things. I need to make sure those breaks are included. I homeschool only one, so when we are not doing bookwork, often she acts bored trying to find something to do by herself because I\'m trying to get housework done. I know I need to take time out to \'play\'. My dd loves that. Your devotionals have been very encouraging.

TRINA C 12/13/2012 10:03:26

I love this advice. I think the force that drives me is to see daily success, achievement and accomplishment with the children\'s studies. But I am learning that God wants me to feel peace and success from his rightousness, not my accomplishments. This we we have started a schedule that allows for 2 -10min breaks and an hour lunch break, and this gives us outside time. I noticed that the children are much more relaxed and get just as much done as they do with the crammed schedule, but without the pressure. I think the pressure slows them down, really. They have nothing to look forward to except hours of more work, where as with the breaks, they can look forward to legos, or going outside, writing letters, whatever they want to do on their breaks.

SARAH C 12/14/2012 19:00:09

Thanks so much for the reminder. God\'s timing was definitely perfect with this one.

Maria Ordaz 12/13/2013 12:01:41

Praise the Lord for giving us the Sabbath, the Seventh day! as Exodus 20:8-11 says is a day of rest, my family and I, always look forward to it! No school work, but a day for rest and worship.

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