Being a homeschool family, we get to participate more in our children’s education. This year, I read through Where the Red Fern Grows with our youngest son. This has been a quality experience of spending time together and enjoying a great story. For those few minutes each night, we get to wander off into the woods and go ‘coon huntin’.

For those of you that haven’t read it, this book tells a wonderful story about a boy’s journey in acqshedule-timeuiring hunting dogs and teaching them how to hunt for raccoons. It’s filled with exciting adventures sure to engage and enthrall the minds of young boys.

My wife would get teary-eyed reading it to our 10-year old so I got assigned the task of the reading. This turned out to be an enjoyable time that both my son and I could look forward to.

As a Dad, it forced me to take time out of my day and spend it with one of the kids. This is important anyway, and having this “forced intentionality” was a helpful reminder to me to schedule in time with each of my kids.

About a year ago, I had the kids on a rotation where I would take one out for an early morning breakfast on Fridays. This worked okay but I typically leave for work at 6 so, to get them up early, take them out, bring them home and then leave for work, really wasn’t the most ideal situation for any of us. But the one-on-one time was good so perhaps I should do it on Saturday.

Lately, I’ve been playing games in the evenings, usually with my daughter, before bedtime.

Homeschool has huge benefits in that our kids aren’t involved in a bunch of school activities that takes them away in the evenings. We are not tied down to weeknights planned for us by the school schedule. Certainly there are benefits to allowing our children to participate in a variety of activities but there are also boundaries we can set as parents. How much family time are you willing to sacrifice so your child can be involved in another activity?

A schedule too busy takes you away from the benefits and blessings of reading a good book to your child. And it denies your child the blessing of spending the time with mom or dad.