Many years ago, parental experts were advocating that quality time was all that was necessary for your children instead of quantity time. This belief possibly began to appease the consciences of some women who chose careers over their children and didn't want to deal with the feelings of abandoning their child to the day-care center.

However, my personal experience with organized quality time was quite different. I found that I could not experience quality unless there was also the dimension of quantity time involved with my children. After all, they were not little robots who turned on and off affections and responses when the convenience of the moment fit into my schedule. They came to me at inopportune times and opened their hearts when I least expected.

The favorite talk time for one of my teenage daughters was 11 p.m. Being a morning person, I could feel the lure of the pillow on my bed at 8:30 or 9 p.m. at the latest. Staying up later in the evening to spend time with her was always a challenge. Some nights we would just hang out together and play games or watch TV. Other nights we would have deep theological debates about God, life, and boyfriends. I never knew when those bonding moments would take place, but I knew that unless I made myself available, she would never share her heart.

I learned later that part of the reason for my daughter's responses was a result of her particular love language. She felt the most loved when someone wanted to be with her. Giving gifts, acts of service, words of endearment, and physical touch were important, but having someone who wanted to be with her communicated the most love.

Homeschoolers have a unique environment to provide both the quantity and quality time their children need. Deuteronomy 6:7 says, "And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." This verse is speaking in regard to instructing our children in God's Word. It also shows the importance of taking advantage of all times during the day to interact.

Are you spending real quality time with your children? Just because you are homeschooling doesn't mean you are connecting with your child's heart. Allow those quantity times to turn into quality times by being available and looking for opportunities to share meaningful experiences.

Lord, thank You for all the special moments of love You provide each day. Help me to see the real needs of my children and continually reach out with a heart of love. In Jesus' name, Amen.