Part of planning our school year with purpose is planning ministry projects into our homeschool year. Although the holiday season is a time of obvious ministry opportunities for families, the rest of the year affords chances for serving others if you are deliberate about seeking out projects.
We are often asked how we make time for ministry in our large family with all of our other obligations. The simple answer is that we incorporate ministry into our homeschooling days as often as we can.
Here are some easy ways any homeschooling family can help others during the year.
It is easy to incorporate phonics and reading practice into a ministry project to older people or children. Reach out to elderly neighbors or inquire about visiting a nursing home or daycare. Beginning readers can help elderly people pass the time by reading aloud to them. Another idea is to read or record favorite Bible passages for those who can no longer read their Bible on their own due to poor eyesight.
There are numerous opportunities for ministering to others while practicing handwriting. Copywork can be decorated with colored illustrations and mailed to a friend or grandparent. Writing letters to missionaries or soldiers in the military is a great way to practice handwriting while encouraging others. And there are entire organizations set up for sending postcards to sick children in hospitals.
We all need to eat, so cooking is a natural way to serve others. A kitchen project can become a valuable gift to someone recovering from an illness. A new mom might enjoy a helping hand with cleaning her home, watching little ones, or cooking a meal after a long day. How about a trip to a soup kitchen to help with a community meal?
A nature study can become a quick science project when children pick flowers from their own yard and identify the types and parts of each plant before they offer the bouquet to someone who has been ill or in the hospital.
How about writing a play based on a history lesson you have been reading? Nursing homes, the elderly, homebound veterans might enjoy watching the children acting out a specific time in history.
Physical education can be accomplished with yard work done for an ailing neighbor or by pitching in to help with garden work for someone who might appreciate a helping hand.
Math can be incorporated with a simple random act of kindness project. Leave a little bag of money hidden in the toy section of a dollar store. Before you leave it, have your child compute exactly what the total with tax would be on one (or more items), so whoever finds the bag can use it to buy a toy. Be sure to leave a note of explanation on the bag of money so that the recipient is clear he’s not stealing someone else’s money but finding a gift.
Music theory and application can be used to perform a special song or musical show for folks at a local community or nursing center. It could also be volunteering to share your music skills by teaching a beginning musician. What a great blessing to a parent who can’t afford music lessons for their little ones!
Homeschooling opportunities are all around us if we only look. It’s a perfect opportunity to incorporate ministry into your homeschool days, while reinforcing your child’s growing skills.
How does your family incorporate ministry into your homeschooling year?