Friday, June 1, 2012

Early Grammar Stage Focus - Family Worship

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This is part five of my series based on the article 10 Things To Do With Your Child Before Age 10.  To learn more about what I am doing, read my first post on Reading and Writing.

You can get this "10 things..." article plus SO much more information in the book Teaching the Trivium from the good people at Trivium Pursuit.

This week's focus is on Family Worship.

In the above mentioned article, the section on Family Worship is the shortest in length, but probably the most important!  I can, by no means, do this great subject justice, but I will try to highlight why you (and I) should make family worship a priority in our homes.

First, let's define what we are talking about.  If this is an unfamiliar topic to you, it is simply gathering together with the people in your home to worship God through reading the Bible, praying, singing, etc.  Yes, we are to 'worship' God as a lifestyle, but this is talking about purposefully taking time out of your day to focus on these things.  Practically it shows your children that you prioritize what you say you believe and that you love to learn about and praise God.

The article suggests having family worship at least once a day, even twice if you can!  In my home, twice would be impossible as my husband leaves for work well before the children rise, but we try to do it each night after dinner or sometimes before bed.  The article says that this time should be led by the father, as he is the spiritual leader of the family and this is a very practical way to show that!  We moms have plenty of time all day long to instruct our children in practical and spiritual matters, so I agree that it is vital for children to see their Daddy speak about the Bible during this time.

To tie this in to Classical education, after the reading (or during the reading) the children should be asked questions about the passage.  As we are talking about the grammar stage, these questions would be mostly fact based, but as you children get older they would be able to think and respond more to questions about theory and practice.

I was reading through another article before writing this post and I wanted to share something they said that is very practical:

Parents, family worship is an excellent time to deal with family issues.  If there is a pattern of quarreling among the children, then take up the subject in devotions and apply it to each member of the family.  Or perhaps some current event is preoccupying the attention of the family.  Show them how the word of God teaches us to respond to such.  I've even used family devotions as a time to confess my own sin and struggles by taking a verse of Scripture then applying to my own behavior.

This whole topic has been of interest to me for a long time, probably even before I had children.  With that said, I cannot say that we do it well in our home.  We definitely try, but have much room for improvement.  Usually it ends up being Daddy and Trevor time, not so much family worship.  It would just take the extra effort on my time to engage Mackenzie since she is too little to really understand what is being read.  I really need to change that.  I think I am just looking for a break for a minute after dinner since daddy is home, but I shouldn't have that  attitude.  I'll make that a goal to work on =) My husband is fantastic, though, at making it engaging for our son.  He asks him question all throughout and often makes up little chants/songs to help Trevor remember things.

I don't know about you, but for our family, we do not choose to homeschool solely to give our kids a great education.  A huge part of it is because we want to bring up our children in the "...nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4) and to teach the scriptures to them "...when {we} sit in {our} house, and when {we} walk by the way, and when {we} lie down, and when {we} rise."  Deuteronomy 6:7.  What better way to implement this that with family worship!  Of course it takes much more than that, but it is a great way to show the importance of God and His word in your home.

Goals to work on:

  1. Be there!  Stop being lazy and go sit at the table with daddy and Trevor.
  2. Include Mackenzie (this requires that I do goal #1 first =)
  3. Include singing?
  4. Include responsive prayer.

Please check out both of the articles I sited above for much more great information on this subject! 10 Things To Do With Your Child Before Age 10 and Restoring Family Worship.

Do you do family worship? I'd love to hear your thoughts and learn from you too!

See how we did on these goals in the post Family Worship Re-Visited.

This post is a part of the following series:

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  1. We haven't done family worship "time", but we definitely worship the Lord throughout the day. We desperately want to implement some sort of worship time. I really like how our neighbors do it. They have a little plaque in their home that has the words Song, Lesson, Prayer, Game, Treat with little keys that hang below them. Each person is in charge of one of those things during the worship time. Usually one of the parents is in charge of the lesson, but as the children get older they can really learn a lot from planning a lesson from the bible for the family. The game is just a fun time for the family to do any type of game. We played freeze tag. I love what you said about why you choose to homeschool. That is exactly why we will homeschool all of our children. Thanks for sharing this challenge!

    1. Janine, thanks for sharing what your neighbors do! It sound like a great way to get everyone involved. I love that with little children, we still have time to figure out how we're going to do things like this in our families =)

  2. We were never able to get a family worship time going in our home...various reasons. But we are a family who talks scripture ALL THE TIME. Our children have just learned that talking about the Lord is as natural as breathing. We will spontaneously break out into prayer or song. So I guess our family worship is more of "as you go through life" rather than a specific time. Whatever works for your family to draw you closer to the Lord together is the absolute key!

    Thanks for linking this up today!

  3. What a wonderful way to pass on your family heritage and establish a tradition of your own.

    May God continue to bless you on this journey.

    Patty from

  4. Family worship is so important, and seems to be such a hard habit for us to get into. We so very much need to work on this, thank you for the reminder! I'm going to be speaking of this with my husband tonight.

    1. I'm glad to have encouraged you! I needed it too =) I hope your family is able to get into a good pattern soon!

  5. this is something our family is working on implementing. I really do think it's so important, we just need to commit to doing it.

    I would love it if you would share this post on the Back To School Monday Homeschooling Link-Up! I really think my readers will enjoy it!

    Susan Godfrey
    Finding Beauty -

    1. I'll put your blog on my list for next week's link-up! Thanks for the invite =)

  6. Great ideas and tips. Thanks for sharing with Kids in the Word at!

  7. Amy, I am so glad you have written about this, b/c there are so many of us who need to settle the matter for once and for all. We did that about three years ago, and it is a beautiful time of coming together with the Lord as our Head. It sweetens all of life and directs us in purpose as children of the Heavenly Father. I am always thankful when you share on "EOA" Wednesday.

    1. Thank you for the sweet comment, Jacqueline!


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