It should be known that my husband turns into a bit of a squirrel after extended periods of time in our home. Additionally, it should also be known that we live near the Michigan lakeshore: [read] our winters are akin to the Pilgrim’s first winter at Jamestown, leaving us cloistered in our house like moles underground, scratching at the walls for want of sunlight and blue sky.
One such evening, years ago, he clapped his hands in freakish excitement and exclaimed to the family, “Kids!–get your shoes on! We’re having a Family Challenge!” I stared back with equal parts concern and attraction. What has happened to my husband? I thought. He is either totally brilliant…or has completely lost it.
Thankfully, as it turns out, he’s brilliant. But he could have told you that.
This blog is intended to expand on this concept of a “Family Challenge”, which we define as any sort of planned, intentional activity with your kids that creates a teachable moment. Or at least a fun one. Hopefully, a Family Challenge will also truly challenge your kids to learn something new or strive for something once thought to be beyond reach.
This blog is also intended to offer ideas that encourage parents to return to the basic calling to be their child’s first, best teacher–spiritually, emotionally, socially, and beyond. Because that’s our goal, I’ve tongue-in-cheek dubbed myself an “unofficial homeschooler.” We don’t homeschool in the way that you think of when you hear that word, but I do believe that teaching your children…in your home…is a way of life. And we’re trying to do just that.
I think God got it right when he offered this flash of genius:
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” ~ Deut. 6:6-7
Apparently, God’s expecting this “parenting thing” to be a full time job–and one that we give thought to purposefully and often–because we all know that doing anything well won’t happen on accident. [If exceptional things did happen on accident, my abs would be ripped and I'd be writing books with Shauna Niequist..."on accident."]
So parents, if you find anything pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy here, I hope you’ll first give God the glory. Then tell all your friends to find me!