Teachable Moments: Interruptions or Appointments?
June 21, 2023
Any Moment Can Be a Teachable Moment
“God is too wise to be mistaken. God is too wise to be unkind. When you can’t trace His hand, that’s when you must learn to trust His heart.”
—Charles H. Spurgeon
See that, Mama? That’s where faith and belief meet.
So, you can‘t really “see” Him lately, you say. It‘s OK; He is right beside you, and His heart is trustworthy; you know this. Keep walking with Him and know that He will never leave your side. If our God is greater, who can come against us? What can stand in the way between us and the God of the universe, the King of kings? Nothing.
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38–39).
Hide this passage in your heart. It will strengthen you when you‘re called to sacrifice selflessly for your family. Are you perfect? You‘re not claiming to be. Does everything get done perfectly all of the time? Probably not. But it‘s in the struggle that these teachable moments often arise. They can happen spontaneously while you are reviewing Bible lessons or reading a book together as a family. You can also deliberately pepper teachable moments into your day. Pull out the calendar and make plans to do it. Take a walk with your kids and discuss things like God‘s faithfulness, the importance of obedience, and how confessing your sins leads to forgiveness. You can also see what some very wise people wrote in The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine on the subject.
Teachable Moments and the Study of Literature, by Adam Andrews
Living History Museums—Your Secret Community Resource, by Kathleen Birmingham
Learning Made Easier Through Effective Teaching Strategies, by Dana Stahl
Keep going, Mama, even when you feel like you can‘t “see” Him; He is definitely there. You are going to make it through, and so are those kids of yours. Trust His heart. His Word does not return void, so read it to your children. And His hand is on your head through it all. May your children rise up and call you blessed.
“But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me” (Micah 7:7, ESV).
The Best Lessons
You know, just because you take a summer vacation from school (and you should) doesn’t mean that you get a break from teaching. In fact, the best learning often takes place when you’re not doing school. It comes in the form of everyday lessons learned from teachable moments.
Just so there is no misunderstanding, I am NOT talking about contrived teachable moments that look and smell like school in disguise, “Let’s go out into the backyard and play . . . and while we’re there we’ll draw pictures of what we see and then discuss it.” Yuck.
What I’m talking about is the argument over who gets to pour the lemonade at the lemonade stand, the messes that need to be cleaned up, and the moments when someone is crying, stung, or afraid of the thunder and lightning. It is in those moments that we get unplanned opportunities for teaching.
By the way, you’re teaching all the time as your children watch how you love your spouse, your children, and your neighbors. Those are especially life-impacting lessons.
Don’t miss these because you’re too busy getting your stuff done, thinking about the next school year, or keeping things clean. Enjoy the break, your children, and all those wonderful teachable moments.
Be Real (what a great lesson),
P.S. Have trouble with interruptions? Check out the book How to Choose Relationship When There’s So Much to Do!
About the author
Todd Wilson is a husband, dad, grandpa, writer, homeschool conference speaker, and former pastor. Todd’s humor and down to earth realness have made him a favorite speaker all across the country and a guest on Focus on the Family. As founder of The Familyman and The Smiling Homeschooler, his passion and mission are to remind moms and dads of what’s most important through weekly emails, podcasts, seminars, and books that encourage parents. Todd, and his wife, Debbie, homeschool four of their eight children (the other four are homeschool graduates) in northern Indiana and travel America in the Familyman Mobile. You can read more at www.familymanweb.com.
The Real Question Is, Do You Love Your Kids?
I need to ask you to think about something. Why did you have children? Some will answer in ways that positively curl your toes in agony. For some, children are mere constellations to be generally tolerated. You are reading this issue of The Homeschool Minute, though, so you love your children. If you home educate it is certain that your children are at the center of your world, not some far-flung celestial body.
Do you ever actually consider a moment to teach to be an interruption? Well, perhaps now and then when sitting down for a quiet moment with a cup of coffee as your child shows up clearly begging for a teachable moment, the concept of “interruption” might well-up in the back of your consciousness. But I suspect you welcome every chance to spend time with your children.
You made the decision to homeschool, which means you willingly gave up a lot of “me time.” You can be found at the park teaching lessons that combine physical education credits with the practical applications of projectile physics, while all the other moms are meeting up for coffee after parking their children at the local school. I really don’t think you consider teachable moments to be interruptions, beyond the desire to finish a cup of coffee while still at a drinkable temperature.
The great thing about homeschooling is everyone’s experience is different. There are no two families who do it the same way. It might look like it when you watch them online or listen to other moms talk, but truthfully every one is unique. If you are the kind of person who needs appointments with your kids to teach, then that is exactly what you should do. If you have a life that requires no interruptions, then your children will adapt. It really is all about you and them together.
Focus on your children. Love them and teach them to love the Lord. Don’t worry about interruptions or appointments and focus on what works for you and your family. That is all that matters.
About the author
Kirsten West and her husband homeschooled their twins from third grade through high school graduation using a Classical/Charlotte Mason literature-based approach. She founded WTRS, a market research company focused on early technology market forecasting and spent twenty years in marketing and sales in various start-up and research companies. Kirsten has spent over thirty years teaching and tutoring children and young adults in the areas of math and sciences and is the author of the Doodles Do Algebra™ curriculum, at TeachMeBetter.org. She holds a PhD in biophysics, an MS in experimental physics, and also serves as the Marketing Director at The Old Schoolhouse®.
Pillar of Hope
Teachable Moments: Interruptions or Appointments?
We have all heard “Children are not a distraction from the important work; they are the important work” (John Trainer), and most of us would be quick to share a quote like that on our social media, but do our lives reflect that we believe this statement? In the mundane moments of motherhood, are we considering the inevitable interruptions to be distractions or teachable moments?
As homeschool parents, we are privileged to spend day in and day out with our children. If you’ve been homeschooling for any length of time, you know that important learning happens outside of designated school time—in those teachable moments. Sometimes these moments are pleasant, and sometimes they are in the form of sibling arguments or refusal to do chores. Regardless, how we view these teachable moments goes a long way toward setting the tone for our day. Say a prayer in the moment, and ask God to help you see these moments as a chance to disciple His children and teach them, instead of as an interruption to what you were doing. It’s often in these moments that relationships are strengthened.
Have hope, Mama. You are doing a good work!
About the author
Kristin is a former teacher who now homeschools her two daughters, ages 11 and 9. She has lived many places in Canada due to being an RCMP wife. She is a writer and content manager with The Canadian Schoolhouse. She blogs at From Kristin and is passionate about helping mothers feel equipped to educate their children. She does homeschool consulting to help those starting out. She loves reading and travelling and actively posts on her Instagram.
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Keep grounded in the Word with Schoolhouse Bible at SchoolhouseTeachers.com. Studying the Bible is a lifelong Christian discipline. Making it a daily routine from the earliest grades creates a lifetime habit. Use reading guides to help students of all ages learn to read and study God’s Word. Each day includes Bible reading, memory verses, and age-appropriate activities.
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Here is an episode of the Hey, Mama! Homeschool Show that will shift your perspective when plans are interrupted. Join Christine Weller for Episode 21, “Teachable Moments: Interruptions or Appointments?” It’s an interesting question, and your homeschool will be blessed by Christine’s thought-provoking answer. Find the show notes on HomeschoolShow.com.
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Congratulations to our April winner, Rochelle Burgess of Covina, California!
for the month of June
Growing the Fruit of the Spirit
Homeschooling with Confidence, LLC
This is a 326-page spiral-bound book. There are ten chapters in the book, and each chapter has five lessons. The first chapter of the book is an introduction to the fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law” (Galatians 5:22–23). The remaining nine chapters cover each of the fruits listed in the Bible verse.
I used this book as our Bible study time during our homeschool day. This book could be used in homeschool, as a family devotional, in a church group, or by anyone wanting to learn more about the fruits of the Spirit. Each lesson has a devotional or study to read and discuss. At the end of each lesson, there are activities to choose from to further understand and remember the Bible verse. These activities include options for all ages.
We usually read through the lesson and work on the memory verse during lunch then complete the activity after lunch. I have found an activity with each lesson that is great for my kids’ ages and abilities. Some examples of the activities are making an “I am thankful” jar, making a gratitude collage, making thank you notes, playing the gratitude game, or coloring the following picture. These examples are from chapter three, lesson two, about the fruit of the Spirit that is Joy. My sons especially enjoyed the Gratitude Game, which involved sharing something they were thankful for based on the color of M&M they picked from a jar.
Go to the contest page of our site where you can ENTER TO WIN the book Growing the Fruit of the Spirit.
4th of July: A Nation Built on Freedom
Discover patriotic quotations from great men and women in this 160-page eBook. As your child reads and copies these quotations, his grammar, handwriting, and punctuation skills will improve, and he will be exposed to important thoughts about liberty.
Presidential Word Search
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