"Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit" (Ecclesiastes 4:6).

Somewhere during my teaching career as a homeschooling parent, I came up with the "brilliant" idea of cramming all our schoolwork into half days. By eliminating our mid-morning playtime, we could school for four to five hours straight and finish the day early. My reasoning for this decision was to provide more free time and field trips for my children, but later, I was forced to admit that my idea was really meant to make life more convenient for me. Every time we attempted this cramped schedule, my children became stressed. Praise God, they were smarter than me on this issue and said the trade off was simply not worth the strain. Time for recess was just as important as school time.

God made us, and He knows that the human body is frail (Psalm 103:14). I think He also knew that mankind would overextend itself, so He gave us the commandment for a Sabbath day to worship Him and rest from our labors (Exodus 20:8-11). This rest not only focuses our attention on our Creator God, but it also replenishes our body physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Like everyone else, homeschooling families are tempted to rob time from play and relaxation to keep up with the world's hurried pace.

Is your homeschooling schedule allowing time for breaks? Even homeschooling parents need time to walk away from the work for a few minutes. Don't just send your children outside to play — go with them! Let the Lord refresh you and take away the pressures of your homeschooling day. God is in control, and He will help you accomplish all that needs to be done. "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his" (Hebrews 4:9-10).

Lord, show me again how to discipline myself with the right amounts of work and relaxation. Forgive me for making my day bigger than You've planned. Help me to pray and seek Your will each morning. In Jesus' name, Amen.