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A Chapter a Day


Our children are watching and listening. It is from us that they will learn about the hope that we have in Christ. How we celebrate our faith and confidence in Christ becomes the template for our children as they make their relationship with Christ personal and learn how to celebrate for themselves.

But before we can exemplify a contagious hope before our children, we have to be full of it ourselves!

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Living Books for Mom

There are so many ways to find spiritual, emotional, and mental nourishment. By immersing ourselves daily in Scripture and sitting under biblically sound teaching, we go a long way toward filling our lives with a hope that will reveal itself naturally to our children. Another way to accomplish this, though, is to take a principle we apply in homeschooling every day and work it into our own routine of health and personal growth.

For many of us, our homeschool curriculum foundation is built on the beauty of living books. We provide a delightful flow of learning for our children with each and every page. But, absorbing the depth of living books should not stop just because we finish school. By building a healthy reading schedule into our own lives, we not only continue growing ourselves, but we also exemplify to our children that learning never stops – and that spiritual, mental, and emotional health is nourished when we continue to learn and grow.

Making Reading a Priority

Regular reading isn’t easy for the busy mom, but here are some ways to make it a priority.

Just a Chapter a Day

Don’t overwhelm yourself with high and lofty reading goals. Just keep it simple with small, achievable, daily goals like one chapter a day. If the book you have chosen has long chapters or if you are not a particularly fast reader, set a time goal of ten to thirty minutes a day.

Hand in Hand

Coordinate your reading time with something else that is already in your routine. Do you have a regular morning devotional time? Work your chapter in with your Bible reading. Perhaps you take (or need to take!) a few minutes in the evening to unwind before bed. Turn that into reading time. If you use a stationary bike or treadmill for exercise, read while you work out. Be creative!

Be a Listener

Maybe reading is not your thing, or perhaps it’s much easier to plug in the headphones than to pull out a book. Or maybe it’s simply that you learn better through hearing than seeing. Find an audio version of your book and listen. You might sit and listen with a journal in hand, taking notes as you process. Or, it might be easier to listen as you exercise, run errands, or fold laundry.

Stay Challenged

If you’re just starting to develop the reading habit, start with something that piques your interest and stirs your imagination. But, don’t stop there. Pick up a book now and then that stretches you beyond your comfort zone. Choose a contemporary author this month, then train your mind to process the different writing style of G.K. Chesterton or C.S. Lewis next month.

Perhaps you love novels and can easily dash through a story, yet you stumble around nonfiction. Pick a novel that stretches and challenges you spiritually, such as Elisabeth Elliot’s No Graven Image. Dive into a biography by an author such as Eric Metaxas that combines story with thought-provoking insight. Alternate between story and non-narrative nonfiction to help stretch your mind.

Finally, don’t limit yourself to authors you know you will agree with. While you want to be careful about what you allow to fill your mind, occasionally choose an author who looks at things from a different perspective, challenging you to return to Scripture and re-evaluate what you believe.

Don't Forget Technology

Most of us carry a reading resource around with us all the time! Thanks to technology, we can easily download reading apps to our phones and can often access a wide variety of free or low-cost e-books. Make sure to always have a book available on your phone or let your purse be the storage spot for your e-reader. When you find yourself unexpectedly waiting somewhere away from home, pull out your phone or reader and squeeze in a few pages.

Always Something

The easiest way to get out of the reading habit is by neglecting to start something new. So, keep a list handy, and always have a new book ready to go. Seek recommendations from friends or church leaders. Ask for books for Christmas and your birthday, or set aside a portion of your homeschool budget to cover Mom’s learning and growing needs. Just be sure to have something going at all times.

When you take the time to grow yourself through reading, your excitement to share what you are learning will be contagious, building excitement in your children and others around you!

A Few Titles

Need some help starting your booklist? Here are a few titles to check out!

  • The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan
  • Fierce Convictions by Karen Swallow Prior
  • God in My Everything by Ken Shigematsu
  • Knowing the Heart of God by George MacDonald
  • Everyday Grace by Jessica Thompson
  • Made for More by Hannah Anderson
  • The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
  • Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot
  • Theological Fitness by Aimee Byrd
  • 7 Women and the Secret of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas

With five kids in their teen and early adult years, Rebecca shares the many ups and downs of parenting, homeschooling, and keeping it all together. As the Well Planned Gal she mentors women towards the goal of discovering the uniqueness Christ has created in them and their family and how to best organize and plan for the journey they will travel.

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