Being Intentional this school year

Alright everyone--it’s that time of year again--back to school! All of the summer fun and relaxation is coming to a screeching halt and out of nowhere we’re back to routines and early wake up calls and schedules and homework...yeah... you get it.

Of course it’s never easy for anyone to go from fun in the sun back to the daily grind, but there can be something soothing and energizing about routine. I think so anyways? So since you’ve already got to get back to it, today we’re bringing you some cool ways that you can be intentional with your kids and your family (and yourself) this school year. We’ve got some cool resources to help you do it too!

1. Choose friends and school leaders to pray for at breakfast or on your ride to school. 
Here’s a fun list that you can print and cut up to use! Start teaching your kids that it’s so important to pray on behalf of their leaders for wisdom and also to pray for those that God has placed around them.

List Ideas:




Lunch Lady


Gym/Recess Teacher

Include list of blanks for kids to add teachers

Include list of blanks for kids to add names of friends 

2. Practice Rest
It’s important to teach your kids (at every age) how to actively rest. Not just nap and sleep, but actually take dedicated time for resting and refreshing. It’s seriously crazy how much work kids get at such a young age and how involved they are at every age! It seems like the activities just pile on as the years pass. I’ve heard so many moms refer to themselves as a taxi driver for their kids. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with kids working hard and being active, but often times in all of the running around we miss out on some really important stuff. Busyness is a real thing and goodness can it get in the way of SO much. Family time and quiet time and time to reflect and just be still and think. This one is going to be tough, because you’re going to have to lead by example. Your kids are going to have to learn from you what it means to stop and rest. Be intentional about living honestly and showing them that you know your limits. Build in time to rest and recharge as a family and individually. This is something so valuable for them as they grow up in a world that is constantly trying to crowd out simplicity and stillness.

3. Time Management
Another tricky one to teach because it’s something you might have to get a handle on yourself. This is one that we’re all constantly learning and relearning. Can I get an Amen? It goes hand and hand with practicing rest. In order to make space for rest, we have to learn to manage our time well. This year, show your kids how to be intentional with their time. This can happen in all sorts of ways--find the system that works best for yourself, your kids, and your family. Here are a few fun ideas: It may seem like hard work getting everything set up, but I can almost guarantee that in the long run it will make so much space for the important stuff in your family!

*Make a fun trip to the Target dollar bins or the dollar store to pick up some fun planning/time management supplies. You might grab some large calendars, planners, stickers and bright colored markers. You can spend an afternoon figuring out what works best for everyone and maybe working collaboratively to make a family system that you can all use together!

*Spend a Saturday creating a fun planning center that everyone can use and love--something with your family’s personality! Here are some fun ideas from Pinterest to give you some ideas and get you started:

4. Teach Tithing
Many parents are amazing at teaching their kids at a young age the a healthy view on money. Seriously, there are so many great voices on this topic, giving parents practical methods to implement. Be it allowances, chores, or some form of responsibility, the hope is to teach kids that hard work and follow through equals pay off. I have even heard of the idea of letting your (older) kids sit down and pay bills with you on occasion to give them the understanding of what a budget and plan looks like, and to help them understand the cost of living. But one very important element we could overlook, teaching them to tithe.

To be honest, I don't really remember a big sit down lesson from my parents laying out scripture, teachings and calculations for tithing. All I remember is I have always done it. Birthday money, earned money, any kind of money, I was excited to give my 10% to the Lord. It was something that was modeled before me and done with gladness. Because of that it was instilled in me from a young age, not just the practice of tithing, but that attitude of giving.

5. Give Back Together
Decide monthly or quarterly maybe to serve as a family. Take some time and talk about the things you are passionate about--everyone in spite of age--and then do some research. Figure out some places in your community where you can live out those passions and then do it! We live in a world with so many needs and hurting people just waiting to be loved. It might be fun to volunteer as a family on rotation. Maybe you’ll find something that fits everyone’s passions, or perhaps you find a few and then volunteer or serve at each of them together. This is a cool way to show your kids what matters most and also to share in the things that God has put in each of your hearts!

6. Establish the Practice of Bible Reading 
So it seems like there is a pattern of monkey see monkey do here. Bottom line, kids will learn more by our actions rather than by our words. When they see you digging into the Word everyday they will hear your message loud and clear: God's Word is a priority. Your kids' practice of Bible reading will look different based on their age, but the reality is, they can all get in the Bible.

Tonight I was talking with a friend on the phone right around her little girl's bedtime. I could hear her walking Abbie through her nightly bedtime routine. I couldn't help but grin when I heard my friend sweetly say, "Okay, time to read your Bible." Abbie enthusiastically complied. It doesn't matter that Abbie is only 3 years old and unable to read. She already is in the practice of opening her Bible, looking at the pictures, and developing a love for God's Word. Heart melted. And I know it melts the Father's heart as well.

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

What are you wanting to intentionally do with your kids this school year?

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