I have three children – they are 6, 4 and 2 years old. Quiet times have not happened in our house since JJ (now 4 1/2) was 2 and a bit and quit napping. His older brother, Big Boy (then just 4) was still sometimes needing a nap. So instead, the two of them had a quiet time together.
Since we’ve been homeschooling (Grade 1 and JK), quiet times have gone the way of the dodo. Keeker (2) is now almost at the point of not needing naps most days – which is fine sometimes, since we often have lessons or running around to do a few times a week in the afternoons.
But not fine for this mommy who needs some down time in the afternoons, especially at the end of a school year where schedules have changed weekly, sometimes daily, to figure out how things work. On top of that, we’ve had about 5 full days of sunshine (that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it feels like it!) since the beginning of May. So I am slowly going C-R-A-Z-Y!
I never EVER thought about getting the boys to have a quiet time. Our school schedule, preparing and planning meals, chores, trying to keep things somewhat together, along with running around, etc. kept us pretty busy throughout most of the day.
Until I read this post from Granola Mom4God about her sons’ quiet time. She has 3 small boys AND a daughter, and she never ceases to amaze me how she keeps it all together (I know it’s not all a bed of roses, but she is inspiring!).
After reading the post, I felt convicted about providing our children with an opportunity to model what we, as their parents, hold so dear. A quiet time. Not just the kind where you close your eyes and rest or read. But the kind where you spend time reading the most important book of all – God’s word.
If I’m doing it, then why shouldn’t my children be doing something similar? Jodi’s idea is that EVERYONE gets a quiet time, with scripture either being read or played through music CDs, even for the youngest (when they start giving up their morning naps is a good time to start with them!). We don’t have morning breaks around here anymore, but I still think it is a great idea for Keeker’s afternoon naptime. We may switch it to morning, but for now we are trying this:
Afternoon (1:30-2:00 pm)
1) Big Boy on our bed with his ESV Childrens’ Bible, reading until we come and get him. I will ask him to tell me about what he read, and likely in the fall I will get him to start journaling. I would like to encourage him to spend time praying also, but for now I will pray with him when I come to get him.
2) JJ on his bed with one of our Bible verse song CDs playing (we ALL love Seeds Family Worship) and his bible picture story books. I would really like to get the ESV Seek and Find bible for his birthday). Going over a memory verse prior to and praying after.
3) Keeker – right now, nap. But on the days she doesn’t nap, she’ll be in her crib with a couple of toys and some bible story picture books (of the board variety, they do a NUMBER on those pages!) and music playing.
We had a dry run on Thursday, and praise the Lord, all went well! I hadn’t gotten to my quiet time that morning, so I desperately needed it. Big Boy was thrilled to be able to spend some time reading his bible, JJ we will have to work on a bit (he is a tough one to slow down!). And today, Big Boy decided he needed to have his quiet time, so he headed up to our room and read his bible, all on his own!
I hope you are encouraged by this to start setting an example for your children – not just in having your own quiet time, but also to start the habit of teaching them to set aside time to spend with the Lord as well. I am excited for us, and for you, to see how the Lord works through this – in their lives and yours also.