How to Create a Culture of Gratitude in Your Homeschool
Gratitude changes the atmosphere in our house. Here are some practical ways to create and keep a culture of gratitude in your home school.
Start the Day with Praise
Surrender your day to the Lord each morning. Ask Him to pour out his peace, joy, and love into every heart. When you give control of your day to God, it changes your heart. You can thank Him because He is in charge, and He is faithful.
When I wake up in the morning, I like to start by counting my blessings. As I thank the Lord for a myriad of things, I find my heart filling with joy!
Hymns or praise music is another great way to start the day. As the music plays, you are reminded of God’s love and goodness.
Get Filled Up
Read some Scripture as early in the day as possible. The Word inspires, instructs, and ignites our hearts. It reminds us who God is and how much He loves us. It reminds us of His very great and precious promises. God’s Word is supernatural!
Whether you read the Scripture privately or read aloud to the children with lots of animation, get into the Bible each day for your own sake and the benefit of your children. Reading His Word changes our perspective and satisfies our soul. God’s Word always energizes and encourages me no matter how tough life is!
Stop & Spontaneously Thank the Lord
Your daughter gets 100% on her spelling test. Your son memorizes his multiplication tables. Stop and the thank the Lord together—not a long prayer. Just a simple, “Thank you so much Lord for how hard my little lamb is working. Thank you for my children. You are so good. Amen.”
These spontaneous prayers with Mom or Dad in childhood cultivate a habit of thanking God when good things happen. What a beautiful habit to carry to adulthood.
Look at the Bright Side
There is always something positive happening even in the darkest moments. Sometimes, I even have to force myself to search for my blessings and pray: “Lord, thank you for my health, my children’s health, and this lovely home we live in (even though it’s really messy right now). Open my eyes to see all your blessings.”
It can actually be fun to wallow in self-pity so I have to intentionally look at the bright side. After all, complaining and negativity lead to health problems and sadness. Who wants to be around negativity?
Cultivating gratefulness changes everything. God is good! He sends sunshine and allows the rain in our lives, but there are always blessings!
We have to train ourselves to look for the good and focus on the things we can be thankful for. When we fail to see the good God is doing in our own and in our children’s lives, we become unhappy and sometimes bitter.
Gratitude leads to joy!
When you are happy, your kids catch it! When you are grateful, children imitate you!
See Work/Schoolwork as a Blessing
God gave Adam a job soon after He created Him. Adam was to name the animals. He was also put in the garden and commanded to take care of it. Eve was given the role of helping Adam care for the earth.
Work is a good thing. Hard work is a blessing from the Lord. The curse is not work itself, but obstacles like thorns and thistles.
It changes the atmosphere in our home and creates a culture of thankfulness when we see our work educating our children as a blessing. We can teach them to see schoolwork as a blessing.
It changes the heart from “We have to do school now” to “We get to learn together now.” Learning is fun! It is a privilege to teach our children at home. Sometimes, we forget that!
Thankful for Your Family
Every person that ever lived on earth, except Jesus, was flawed. Every person alive on earth today is far from perfect. You see, even in Christ who has set us free from the power of sin, we still believe Satan’s lies and fall into his traps sometimes.
You don’t have a perfect spouse. And neither does your spouse.
You don’t have perfect kids. And they don’t have perfect parents.
Yet God has blessed you so much in giving you the spouse (if you have one) and children you have. They are a good and perfect gift coming down from the Father of Lights.
You can focus on all the things you wish would change about your family members or you can focus on what a blessing they are! Thank God for your family every day. When you are thankful for them, they will sense that. It often allows them to grow and blossom in unexpected ways.
Count Your Blessings
Count your blessings and teach your children to count their blessings.
You can say something like this, “Today, I’m thankful for the beautiful fall leaves, the smell of cinnamon, and the most amazing children in the whole world. What three things are you thankful for today?”
They can share three things, too. Each child shares and then back to school or chores or playtime. You will be surprised at how this brings joy to the atmosphere of your home.
Play the Glad Game
Have you read Pollyanna by Eleanor Porter?
What a wonderful book! It would make a great read aloud for the whole family. Or watch the 1960s Disney movie.
Pollyanna is an orphan who is sent to live with her aunt. She teaches the entire household to play a game her father taught her. It’s called the “Glad Game,” and the idea is to always find something to be thankful for. When she got crutches in the missionary gift box instead of the doll she had been longing for, her dad told her to come up with something to be glad about. She did!
“I’m glad I don’t have to use them,” she told her father.
The Glad Game is fun to play, especially with little kids. Try it in your house. To learn more about the Glad Game, read The Glad Game.
I have purposely set out to create an atmosphere of thankfulness in my heart and home. Will you join me?
Until next time, Happy Homeschooling!
Meredith Curtis, homeschooling mom, writer, speaker, and publisher, loves to encourage families in their homeschooling adventure. She is the author of Celebrate Thanksgiving, Travel God’s World Geography, Travel God’s World Cookbook, and HIS Story of the 20th Century. You can check out her books, curricula, unit studies, and Bible studies at PowerlineProd.com. Read her blogs at PowerlineProd.com and listen to her at Finish Well Podcast.