However, we also live in a time that has something else they didn’t have to cope with: the information explosion with all the fast-paced expectations and opportunities that time does not permit us to explore completely. That boils down to choices. Lots of ‘em! That, my friends, is one of the biggest challenges of home schooling your child. Are you willing to take a quick inventory and honestly look at how you are doing with your choices and the overall pace you are maintaining in your home?

The best question to ask ourselves is: "Do we as a family keep a pace of activity that is challenging but not frantic or hectic?" If you are not sure of your daily pace, try this experiment for a week. Put an "H" for hectic on the calendar, (and the time of day), every time you feel stressed by too many things to do. Then go back and look where the stresses seem to appear in your school week. Here’s another good barometer of the "too much going on" syndrome: ask yourself or your partner "Are we starting projects with enthusiasm and finishing them in a timely manner?" If your answer is "no" , then perhaps you need to cut some of the "good" things to make that cushion of leisure time that your children definitely need.

The Impact On Home School Families

Just as we are tempted to overeat when presented with lots of good choices at the holiday buffet, so we are drawn to over do it when stimulated by the opportunities brought on by the "information explosion." Paul warned the Roman believers:

"Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God remold your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all His demands and moves toward the goal of true maturity." Romans 12:2 (Phillips Modern Eng. Translation)

Think of it this way: You are the one God has called to love and nurture the children He has put in your care. Trust Him to guide you in the task. He has promised to equip you for it. Kneel before Him and search out His plan for your family’s schedule. More than activities, children need relationships. Good relationships take time to be quiet and listen to each other. How will they know how to listen to their heavenly Father if a hectic pace is the way they see their family life modeled?

Part II will explore strategies to avoid over scheduling our children and examples from Scripture to keep us on track.

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JoAnn Dorrepaal is a born-again Christian and a teacher who lives in Norfolk, Virginia with her husband, Mark. During her career, she has worked with students in public schools, Christian schools and has also enjoyed some time teaching her own three children at home. JoAnn is a speaker, writer and advocate for today's Christian women to live the abundant life. You can email JoAnn at Teacher1jd@aol.com

Footnotes:
1. Dr. David Elkind, The Hurried Child, (Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing, 3rd edition, March 2001)
2. Betsy Rubiner, Raising Kids, April 2004 edition of Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, Meredith Corp. Des Moines, IA
3. Patrick Kiger, Today’s Overscheduled Kids, June 2004 edition of Ladies Home Journal Magazine, Meredith Corp., Des Moines, IA
4. David Elkins, The Overbooked Child, Psychology Today Magazine, Sussex Publishers, New York, N.Y. Jan/Feb 2003