Enhanced – read by the author
Real Life Homeschooling typography with collage of pictures
Ashley Wiggers
Finding Contentment in Your Season of Life

otice how I said “finding” contentment in the title? Sometimes I have to go on a search for it. Because of the ages of my kids (six, three, and one), there are widely varying needs to be met and with every season comes needed adjustments.

At times, I start going down the mental path, “Am I doing enough?” There are so many pieces to be tied together in this real homeschooling life.

How do we fit it all in?
I guess the short answer is, we don’t. At least, we can’t do it all, all the time.

It’s really about being sensitive to the One who orders our steps and following His lead. Every season of life will include more of one thing over another, and if we tune into the Father’s voice, we’ll find we’re meeting the right needs at the right time.

Since this column is all about real life, I thought it might help to see a general outline of our weekday rhythm. Keep in mind, the time-outs, tantrums, and squabbles are not included but implied throughout the schedule. Winking Emoji During the week, we do our best to keep things simple and focus on building routines, making progress in our work, and helping little minds grow and little hearts feel loved.

Our very simple weekday rhythm with a house full of young kids looks something like this:

  • Wake up slowly—chatting and snuggling. (I try to be up a good couple of hours before them so that I have space to drink coffee and spend time with Jesus before being “mom.”)
  • Eat breakfast.
  • Play with Ruby, my youngest, and maybe go on a walk if the weather permits.
  • Put Ruby down for her nap.
  • Read together and do a short devotional. There’s a great one for active boys that has good character reminders called God Loves Me Every Day: 365 Daily Devos for Boys (VeggieTales).
  • Do constructive playtime or some kind of activity—like going to story time at the library or to a park to get out some energy.
  • Prepare and eat lunch.
  • Get Ruby up from her nap.
  • Play, build, enjoy games, do puzzles, or color.
  • Watch Wild Kratts and eat snacks. The Kratt brothers on PBS Kids have created an awesome show about animals that my kids love. (I usually do the dishes and read over the lesson Linc, my oldest, and I are about to do while they watch.)
  • Put Jack, the three-year-old, and Ruby down for a nap.
  • Do lessons with Lincoln for about thirty minutes—which is all a six-year-old active little boy needs!
  • Have a quiet time for Lincoln (while I catch up on work/have meetings). His quiet time includes listening to an episode of Adventures in Odyssey while building with Lego. Then he gets to create on Minecraft.
  • Get Jack and Ruby up from their naps.
  • Play outside for a bit or go for a walk while Alex cooks dinner—I’m so thankful for his ability and willingness to do this!
  • Eat dinner and enjoy evening time and relaxation.

Simple, right? Too simple? I don’t think so. Here’s why: playing is learning. Family life is learning. Being outside is learning. Enjoying life together is learning. It’s all part of the big picture. Curating this rhythm and helping my kids have a safe place to grow and develop is what matters.

One of the tasks I tackled this summer was teaching my oldest how to swim. You know the funny part? He got better and learned more, simply by taking him to a pool and letting him play. (Thank you, Lord, for sweet neighbors who let us use their pool each week!) I instructed him on a few things but that was often met with frustration, so I backed off from making it such a “lesson” and just let him play in the water. I watched as he kept getting more and more comfortable, testing himself each time, gaining skill. Amazing. Sometimes I think we are to be here more for support and as a companion than an instructor. Of course, we do need to provide instruction, but I think we also need to recognize how much our kids learn on their own simply by being part of our families. Stress less, trust more I say to myself. They’re learning all the time!

So how can you find contentment in your season of life?
Plan in Breaks
On Fridays, I try to keep things a little lighter and include some educational games instead of Linc’s usual lessons. We prioritize family togetherness and fun on the weekends—usually going to a park as a family or something similar on Saturday after spending time in the morning tending to some household tasks. On Sundays we try to rest as much as possible following church and often have a movie night with Grampy and do a non-cooking meal such as frozen pizza and popcorn.
Keep Away Worry with One Tip
With our routine, I try to cover the bases of this season while keeping my priorities intact. I find it’s really helpful to list the things I am doing in my calendar so I can see it. Sometimes I start thinking back and wonder, “What did we actually accomplish this week or yesterday?” By making a list, I know. We played together, read, learned, cleaned up together, took time to be a family, and more. If we can see all the pieces working hand-in-hand to produce growth, we’ll be able to recognize the important things and have a more long-term perspective about our days.
Remember God’s Bigger than Any Lack
There’s something so powerful about magnifying God to be bigger than _______. (You fill in the blank.)

He’s bigger than our to-do list or my “wish I had done” list. He cares about the things we care about, and He’s always ready and willing to help us walk out our days.

Personally, I couldn’t bear the weight of the responsibilities in my life if I didn’t remind myself regularly that I’m just one small part in this. I’m yoked with the God of the universe and He’s pulling the majority of the weight.

Determine the Season You’re In
Sit with the Father and talk through what’s on your plate. Is there a sick relative who needs care, and you’re feeling a tug to help? Then that might be part of this season for your family where other things become lower on the priority list.

Where are you aiming to grow right now? Maybe the Lord is speaking to you about putting your marriage a little higher on this season’s priority list.

Or perhaps you’re in a season of grace to make bigger strides in academic areas. Don’t forget, children have growth spurts educationally as well as physically. So if things are moving slowly, you might have a growth spurt around the corner. Or if you’re seeing a lot of growth right now, you might be heading for a lull. It’s all part of the process. If something doesn’t fit or causes extra frustration, evaluate making a change or eliminating what’s not working. Ask the Lord for wisdom and His point of view.

Walk Confidently in His Plan
Once you’ve decided what your routine looks like and what season of life you’re in—what the focus and direction for these days is—then it’s time to be at rest. Instead of constantly wondering and waffling, we need to come to a place where we let go of fear and trust that God has directed us and He’s the one who will make it all come together anyway. If a change is needed, He’ll let us know! It’s not on our shoulders. Repeat after me, it’s not on my shoulders.
“Faithful is He who calls you
who also will bring it to pass.”

–1 Thes. 5:24
You’ve got this! He’s got you!
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shley Wiggers grew up in the early days of the homeschooling movement. She was taught by her late mother, Debbie Strayer, who was an educator, speaker, and the author of numerous homeschooling materials. It was through Debbie’s encouragement and love that Ashley learned the value of being homeschooled. Currently, Ashley is the co-executive editor of Homeschooling Today magazine, public relations director for Geography Matters, and the author of the Profiles from History series. Ashley makes her home in Lutz, FL, with her supportive father, Greg, her loving husband, Alex, their precious sons, Lincoln and Jackson, along with their newest blessing, baby Ruby.