354 | How Family Meetings Can Bless Your Homeschool and Your Home! (Sean Allen)
Does it feel like each member of your family is pulling in his or her own direction? Is there a sense of disconnectedness to your homeschool? Would you like your children to feel more involved in the pursuit of your family goals? If you answered "Yes" to any one of these questions, you should be having regular family meetings. In this episode we'll explore the many ways that routine family meetings can bless your homeschool day, express love and appreciation to your children, and get your entire family pulling in the same direction. We'll also offer some practical suggestions on how to make your family meetings as engaging, memorable, and productive as possible.
Sean Allen is the founder of The Well Ordered Homeschool, husband to his beautiful bride Caroline and a proud father of eight. He has a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design and is passionate about creating materials to assist parents in the incredibly challenging, yet surpassingly beautiful, work of schooling and training their children at home.
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Sean Allen Hello. Welcome to the Homeschool Solutions Show. My name is Sean Allen and I am one of the many hosts here on the podcast. Since you're listening to this, I'm guessing you already know that homeschooling is both incredibly challenging and incredibly beautiful. Every week we're here doing a little guidance, some helpful counsel, and a whole lot of encouragement your way as you navigate this busy yet blessed journey of educating your children at home. Now, even though the show is called Homeschool Solutions, it should come as no surprise to you that we do not have the answer to every homeschool-related question. But if you come away with nothing else, our hope is that today's episode will point you to Jesus Christ, that you will seek His counsel as you train your children in the way they should go.
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Hello, everyone. How are you doing today? I know that you cannot answer me, but I am going to ask you anyway. My hope is, is that you're doing well-- Appreciate you taking time out of your day to listen to us. I know that there's many other things that you could be listening to, but you've chosen to listen to this podcast, and we very much appreciate that. Hope that you find something valuable and worth your while today. So again, my name is Sean Allen and I will be talking to you today about the beauty of the family meeting. And it is really such a simple activity that brings with it a rich reward. If you are consistent with it, the blessings that come from it are really-- You'll be surprised. You'll be very surprised. This is something that you may have done in the past, or maybe you've fallen out of the practice of it. We've been so blessed by this in our home. And full disclosure, we've started and stopped and started and stopped. And it really is a shame because every time that we do it and we're consistent with it, it's blessed our home. And I'm going to give you a few ideas to help you to be more consistent with it. This is something that we started quite a while ago. Boy, our two oldest sons were probably-- Goodness, they were probably eight or nine years old! I want to say the oldest was nine maybe when we started this. My wife might correct me on that. But they were young. They were much younger than what they are now. And we find ourselves in a season of life wherein our oldest son is not really around for family meetings much anymore. And that kind of saddens me a little bit, but we have seven others that we can gather together with and have discussions. And we're so blessed. It helps us. It helps us in the sense that it grounds our homeschool day. It grounds our day period. But certainly our homeschool has a much better-- We're on a much surer footing after we have a family meeting. And so I want to give you a few thoughts and a few ideas--a few practical suggestions, if you will--that can help you conduct your own family meeting. And also advocate for the inclusion of this practice in your home for you just to try it out. Try it out for a week. First, try it out for a short period of time and see what comes of it. Now, there's various ways that you can build value into this and make it really work for you. And every family is going to be a little different and you're probably going to use this differently from home to home. But that's not really all that important. It's just that you do it and you do it consistently.
And so the first thing that I want to point out for conducting successful family meetings, is that they don't have to be long. And I think that's probably one of the things that families come up against is, you hear the word "meeting" and you're thinking like hour-long session. They can be an hour long! Some of ours have been an hour long. But obviously, if you're going to do it consistently, having hour-long family meetings every day is not conducive to everyday family meetings. And so you want to make them a little shorter, maybe considerably shorter. Actually, if you want to start out, you know, your family-- Maybe you have some older children, maybe like in teen years perhaps, who aren't going to be all that interested in family meetings. And that's understandable. That's fine. It's something that you've never done before. They've got other things that they would rather be doing. Start out with five minutes, five to ten minutes, and see where it goes. And you can really cram a lot of things into ten minutes. So start there.
But the first family meeting that I would suggest having is a family meeting about your family meeting. And that is, you introduce it to your home. And this is, you know, "Children, this is what we're hoping to do. We're going to start doing this at this time every day." And that's another tip that I would give you is, set a time and stick to the time, like any other meeting that you would generally have. Notify those who will be attending the meeting ahead of time as to when it will take place. And so in our home, mornings are best for us. Other homes will be evening. You may have them in the middle of the day. You may have them multiple times a day. It doesn't really much matter. But when you start out, go easy. Make it easy on yourself and set a time. Like I said, the first part of the day is usually when we find is the best for us and that's how we start our day. As a family that is. Perhaps you would have started your day, or ideally, started your own day with your own personal devotions or your own personal time in the morning. (That's a topic for a totally different session.) But as a family, we start there. We find that it kind of grounds us, kind of gets us organized and ready and with our heads up and eyes wide open, you know, for the day that is ahead. And what we've discovered is that you can set routines, and you can schedule chores, and line out responsibilities, and blah, blah, blah, and expect that people are going to carry those tasks out on a daily basis. But unless you are constantly and consistently reminding your little clan of their responsibilities, it's not going to happen. It's just going to fall by the wayside. Not that we're treating this like a business, because it's absolutely not a business, but I imagine that all businesses are this way as well. It's like you have to have that constant reminder. We have to gather together. We have to go back over what we're doing, how we're doing it, when we're doing it, and what the expectations are. We have to be constantly reminded of that. Frankly, it's a little bit like going to church because, you know, the same principles apply. You would think that, "Oh, well, these things are true. And so, therefore, we're just going to keep the commandments day in and day out." It's absolutely not true. We're human beings. We're flesh and blood. And there's a gravity to our workaday lives. And it's constantly pulling on us and it's pulling us away from our duty. And so, not to make this too serious, but that's precisely how things are, how things work in our homes as well. And so that constant daily reminder, this is who we are, this is where we are, this is what we're to be about is such a valuable thing. And you'll find that the machinery of your home will run so much more smoothly when you have that consistent reminder.
Now, you may miss a day or two. You may miss a week. But if there's any of you out there who are runners, or who are into exercising or anything like that-- That's a horse that I've certainly fallen off of, but I used to run very, very consistently. And if you miss a day, it's all right. You miss a couple of days--three days--you start to notice it the next time that you go out or the next time that you exercise. It's not that everything is over and you've lost all those gains, but you notice something that's a little different. That you're just not quite as efficient. You're not quite as capable. You're not quite as fit, I guess you'd say. And three days out, it's easy to get back with it. But you miss a month and, you know, you've got some ground to regain. And so family meetings are like that, too. This is not-- I'm not going to sit here and say this is an absolute must. I don't want you to feel like this is the eleventh Commandment or anything like that. It is awfully important, though. And the degree of their importance are determined by the value that you can extract from them. And so I think that you will find, as you engage in these family meetings on a consistent basis, that they become awfully important in your life. And so just try it. Try it for yourself and see.
But actually, a little funny story that I like to tell at conventions regarding when we started family meetings at our home is Caroline and I had had a discussion about this, what we saw it-- And even, at that time, our children were young, very young. I think our oldest was nine or ten. And so we, even at that young age, we noticed that we were kind of pulling in opposite directions. Maybe not opposite directions, but we were going different directions. And we were all kind of doing our own little thing. And obviously, you've got plenty to do. And, you know, the father of the household, the mother of the household, you have plenty to do. You've got plenty to occupy your time. And you're kind of doing your thing and your husband's doing his thing. And I realized that our children aren't really engaged in this family economy. They're not aware of what's going on and we don't include them. And that's easy to do. And you can conduct your life that way. But wouldn't it be so much better if they felt as if they were part of something? They were part of this family unit. They were part of carrying out your family mission statement--if you have something like that. (Which that's another terribly valuable thing, if I could put it that way, for you to construct. But I don't want to get sidetracked here.) So that's what I recognized about our home, is that we're going in opposite directions, and we weren't working as one man. And that's what I really wanted for a home. So I discussed this with Caroline, she said, "You know, let's go for it. Let's give it a try." And I had learned by sad experience, in times past that-- I'm a-- I have a friend that he kind of coined this phrase in my life. He says, "I'm a deep ender." And I'm kind of like that, too. So when I find something that I want to do, I go real deep with it. And that could be really great and that could be really bad because you can find something that's bad and you go too deep, you go too far with it, it's a waste of time or what have you. And so, again, by sad experience, I'd learned from our past that I would try to start things at our home, but I was doing too much. Or it was too complicated or there were too many moving parts to it. And so it was just destined to fail. And it would fail because you couldn't keep it up. And so, looking at that, and realizing that character attribute or character flaw (or however you want to describe it) in my life, I said to myself, "We're going to keep this simple. So we're going keep this to ten minutes. No more than ten minutes. We're going to start there."
And I want to reiterate that to you. Do whatever it takes to make it easy on yourself, especially starting out, and start to discover the value. And then you can stretch it out from there if you need to. But you could always fall back to the ten-minute rule. Or even if it's five minutes, for goodness sakes. Just do something because the consistency is the key. The consistent reminder is the key. It's not the length of time and it's not all the stuff that you cram into the time, it's the consistency. And so we started with ten minutes. Our first family meeting was "Introduction to Family Meetings", and my home had never had a family meeting before. Can you believe that? You know, again, my son was ten years old and we had never sat down as a family and had a discussion, which is just incredible. And so we gathered everybody in the living room, we sat down, and my two oldest sons were just a huffing and a puffing and the eyes were a rolling. And they did not want to have this-- They kept saying things like, "Why do we have to do this? And what is this all about? What are we doing?" You know, it seemed, I think, maybe a little too formal for them. It seemed, yeah, too rigid and too stuffy. And so, you know, they would much rather be building blocks or running around outside and chasing each other. And so that's understandable. So you will probably come up against that if you've never done this or it's been quite a while since you've done this, and your children are acclimated to it, you're probably going to get some eye rolling and that's okay. It's perfectly okay. You're going to have to prove it to them. And you will, because let me tell you something, your children, they have this inherent desire for family togetherness. They don't recognize it. They probably couldn't articulate it. But it's there. It's there with every child. They want to be with you. They want to spend time with you. They want to feel included. They want to know that you love them. Every child! I don't care. My personal belief is that that's something that the Lord instills in every little child. It's something that can be marred. It's something that can be lost, sadly. But frankly, I know children who've never had that kind of sustenance provided for them in their households, ever. They never heard that their parents loved them. They never had family meetings. They didn't spend a whole lot of time with their parents. And yet, to this day, even as adults, they still crave that acceptance and that love and that belongedness--if I could put it that way--that comes from being engaged in a family unit and having a parent or a couple of parents who are consistently reaching out to them. They never had that, but they still want it. And I'm telling you, your children want it. And they might make it difficult on you at first, but they're going to come around like my children did.
So we had all the eye-rolling, and we had the huffing and puffing, and we had the crossing of the arms, like "when-is-this-going-to-be-over" look. And we pushed through that. It didn't take very long. And the younger your children are, the shorter that duration of time will be. But we were probably a week or two in-- And again, just to show you the kind of person that I am, I think I already missed a day-- Because we had set a time, we had set our time, I think it was, I want to say it was 9 o'clock. Our times are a little varied right now, but at the time it was 9:00 in the morning and it was sharp. I told them, "We're going to be on time. And when 9:00 rolls around I want everybody sitting on the couch, and we'll gather together and we'll have a discussion." And so this one morning--like I said, it was probably two weeks in--9 o'clock had rolled around and I was busy off-- I intended on having a family meeting, but I just wasn't able to get to it right then. And my son--the son that was giving me the most grief over the family meetings--comes and finds me and he says, "Uh dad, are we going to have a family meeting this morning?" And it was just wonderful. It was just something so wonderful because it had clicked with him...like it will click with your children. Now, obviously, there are things that you can do in the meeting that can really mar the visage or mar the potential that is to be found in this time together. You could use it as a time of lecturing. You could use it as a time of berating and making everybody feel terrible for the poor job that they're doing. And yeah, your children probably aren't going to be getting on board with that too quickly. But aside from that, I'm trusting that you're not doing that with the time. It is a good time, frankly, for some correction if it's necessary. But you don't want your family really to solely consist of that. That would be a shame. And so he had caught on to it. He was like, "Hey, Dad, are we going to have a family meeting?" And we definitely had a family meeting that morning.
Now, like I said, we have, through various circumstances and seasons of life-- I don't want to make excuses because I want to say that there's probably few excuses. You know, there's times when things just hit in your life that were totally unforeseen. You get thrown a curveball and it's very, very difficult to meet that time. And as you all know, as with exercise, as with scripture reading, as with church attendance, as with anything else, you know, when you get knocked off that course, sometimes it's hard to find your way back to it. And so we've had those moments, too, but we keep coming back to it because we've found that it is so valuable for us. I'm actually recording this podcast at the time that we should be having a family meeting, and so as soon as I get done with this, we're going to have one because we need to get our day started off right.
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Sean Allen So on to maybe what you could do with this time. Like I said, five to ten minutes starting out with. I think what you will find is that they'll get longer and longer, but at some point they need to stop because you've got to get on with the business of the day. And if they get too lengthy and too-- it becomes a bit of a burden. And that's another thing that could knock you off course. You're like, "Wow, I don't I don't have time for this family meeting." So, again, start with the ten minutes. And in the ten minutes, you know, it's a perfect time to have a prayer at some point, have it in the beginning, have it at the end. Have it in the beginning and the end! These don't have to be long prayers, but that's a perfect time for family prayer. It's an excellent time to read a scripture. And, you know, when you add the devotion component to it, yeah, your meetings probably will go a little longer. Maybe you want ten minutes of devotion and ten minutes of a meeting. I'm just giving you ideas here. Every family's different. You do what works for you. So again, the purpose is to ground everyone in the responsibilities of the day, and looking ahead to "What are we doing today?" And that particular day is just a component of the carrying out of your family mission. So today we do these certain subsets of responsibilities, we have these tasks, but all of these tasks ultimately play into the accomplishment of our mission because this is who we are. That's another wonderful thing about the family meeting is, because suddenly you all are discovering who you are as a family unit. This is our family identity. This is why we're here. This is why we're together, and this is what we're going to do about it. Because God has placed us in such a place, in such a time with this particular group of people for a very specific reason. We're going to discover that together, and then we're going to carry it out together. And everyone is unique and everyone has--they're at a particular age and they have particular skills and gifts and abilities and perspectives on life and capabilities and so on and so forth--and so we're going to subdivide this very important task into much smaller tasks that need to be carried out.
And, you know, you could have your little three-year-old, you know, "I'm looking to you. And this is what I'm asking of you. All I'm asking of you is that when you get that toy out, I'd like for you to put it back." You know, and you could talk about that. You could make that so exciting. And you can-- Even your three-year-old can begin to understand this. That's what we're asking. This is why this is so important to us. And they begin to learn how they are being a blessing to the family by, when they play with a toy, and they're done with it, they pick it up and they put it away. That's a blessing to your home! And when your three-year-old is picking up on the fact that you value their contribution to the family-- They're not going to understand the family mission statement. They're not going to understand this subdivision of labor and all that stuff. They're not going to, and they don't have to! All they have to understand is that you love them and you appreciate their contribution to the family and that they're being a help to you and that everybody appreciates it. That's going to work wonders in the life of your child. And as they get older, you know, your six-year-old has responsibilities and your eleven-year-old and your sixteen-year-old and, you know, all through the ages and you dole out these responsibilities. Now obviously a huge part of the work of every day is going to be your homeschool, and that's fine. That is part of your family mission, is to educate and rear your children. And so you're lining out those responsibilities as well. "This is where you are in your school and this is where you are in your school. And today I'm going to do this with you and tomorrow we'll prepare to do this with you" and so on and so forth. And you go through lesson plans and all those things-- You could touch base. And your older children kind of know where they are and they can touch base with you. And your younger children might need a little more assistance, and that's fine, and you're going to line out the day for them. You can line out your morning chores. Maybe your morning chores took place before the family meeting or maybe they're going to take place after it. But it's just that consistent reminder, "Okay, you have the bathroom. You have the living room. You have the dishes. Let's make sure that we're doing this. I noticed that yesterday this didn't get done. So let's work on that a little bit." And in all these various things that you can do. And you need to do it in such a way that inspires them because when they-- When the bigger picture gets a hold of them, I guess I should say. And when they realize that this little subset of labor is actually part of a greater whole, and it is actually a necessary part of that greater whole. That what we're asking of you and what you contribute to the family is an indispensable part of the carrying out of our family mission, that works wonders in their heart. And you're not fooling them. You're not lying about this. You're not making this stuff up. It's actually true. When your little three-year-old gets out a toy and puts the toy back after they're done, that's less work that you have to do. That's a little bit more time and a little bit more energy that you have to tend to your personal responsibilities. And that's-- You look at that. That's just a beautiful thing! And so you need to get everybody pulling together. So very important. So very, very important.
But when you're living the life and everybody's pulling in their own direction, and they're rolling their eyes over having to do laundry, they're rolling their eyes over having to do math, they're rolling their eye about whatever it is that you've given them to do, because they don't see the value of it. They don't see how this is important. How does this help them? How does this further their aims and their goals and their objectives? And you're trying to help them to understand, "Well, you're a member of this home and this home has a job to do, given to us by God. And by God, we're going to do it and we're going to do it together, and we're going to reap the blessings that come from engaging in this wonderful, privileged work that we have to do together." And when you begin to see the accomplishment of these goals, when you begin to see that work come to fruition, and your children apprehend the fact that you have become a blessing where you're planted... Oh, my goodness! You just cannot imagine what that can do for them. And that's the importance of the family meeting. And you see how out of small things, such great and wonderful and fruitful things can come. It's such a small thing. It's such a very simple thing. But that consistent act, every day in your life, can reap such dividends, such blessings. Try it out and see. Just try it out and see it. And if you've done it before and it's fallen, this practice has fallen by the wayside, pick it up again. Set a time.
So, on to more practical suggestions: Again, I'm just going to reiterate this. Set a time. Make your meetings short. They can go longer if they need to. But revert back to short, as short as you need them to be, something that you can actually pull off. Start them off right. Start them with a prayer. I would really advocate for that--encourage you to do that. And then your meeting needs someone that's in charge, probably your husband, or maybe your husband's not there or can't be there for whatever reason, and you're in charge. If you want to allow a child to be in charge of a particular family meeting, that's perfectly fine. I wouldn't do that all of the time because there's--as with any organization or with any business or with any kind of endeavor--there needs to be somebody in charge. And that's most likely going to be you because no one has a clearer understanding of what the goals are, or what your family goals are, or what your family mission is. And so you're the one that gets to determine how we're going to conduct that work and who gets what responsibilities. But it might be fun, you know, every now and then to allow a child to kind of set the itinerary and talk about this and talk about that. We try to include our children as much as possible. And we have lots of little discussions about, you know, what we're going to do and where we're going to go and when we're going to do it. Because, you know, come springtime, we travel to a lot of homeschool conventions and we try to include them in that in that work as much as possible. We say, you know, “Carrianna, we need this from you. And Israel, we need that from you. And Olivia, we'd really appreciate it if you could do this." And there's a lot of things to be done because that's a huge family endeavor. And so we divide that labor. They get excited about that. They get really excited about it because they know I couldn't do this without them. I mean, I could. But I'll tell you what that would look like. It would look like me going to conventions--traveling to conventions alone, speaking at conventions alone, vending at conventions alone behind a lonely booth--and they're at home doing what they're doing. And I try to bring them to as many converges as I possibly can, because I don't like being lonely, number one. And number two, it's just a wonderful experience for them and they love it.
There is a point in time in which--as an aside--at the end of convention season, we get tired. You know, we do. We're like, "Okay, I think it's time for convention season to be over and we'd like to spend more time at home." But, you know, we're late in the year now and convention season is going to be fast upon us and we're already kind of gearing up, getting excited for conventions, and I'm happy for that. And so, you know, you set that itinerary and include them in an inspirational way. Don't drag them down-- Now again, there's time for correction. There's time for lecturing, and so on and so forth. But always try to get back to where you're inspiring them and helping them to understand why cleaning the bathroom is so important. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it's not, is it? You know, it's not. You absolutely know it's not. And it's out of these small things: You know, your children consistently carrying out chores on a daily basis, is a fertile field of development in their life, and will work such wonders in their life as they get older. I know it sounds silly and the world would laugh at us when we say that, but we know better. We know that that's a character-building exercise, and if you don't have character, you've got hardly nothing. And that wasn't very proper English there. But you know what I'm saying. That we want to build character in our children's lives. And I feel sorry for children who live in homes who aren't working together like this because they're missing out on so much beauty, and they're missing out on so much love. You know, I think that is the key to a successful family meeting is that it is the exchange of love from parent to child and from child to parent, from child to child. And it should be a time where you love each other. And I tell you, some of our family meetings, they go off the rails. I'll tell you what. And I want to say it's because we love each other. It is because we love each other, but sometimes we've got to rein it in because we get so goofy. But I'll tell you, we just love being with each other. And sometimes we're angry at each other. You know, sometimes we're disappointed in each other. But we almost always get back to loving each other. And, you know, if you're harboring ill feelings towards someone or you've got hardness between siblings, this is the perfect time to deal with that, too. And say, "I noticed that there's been a little bit of an issue here between you two. And let's not be like that. Let's talk this out and let's really examine what's going on here and work that out." Family meeting is a perfect time to ask for forgiveness. It's the perfect time to confess wrongs. It's a perfect time to reset, to repent, to restart, and, you know, do it all over again. Because we recognize that we're all sinners, that we all fail. And so that's another benefit that could come from that.
And again, the more you do this, you have an opportunity-- If you do this daily, you have a daily opportunity to set things right as opposed to waiting, you know, days or weeks or months or, God forbid, years before you sit down and address this stuff. Your children don't know what's going on. They don't have a clue. It's like, you know, you're the wizard in the Wizard of Oz hiding behind the curtain. They know something's going on back there. They know that you're pulling levers and pushing buttons, but they don't know how or what or why. You know, you're always hidden behind that, that veil. And so pull the veil-- But they don't have to see everything. You and I know that. They're not going to be aware of everything. They don't need to be aware of everything, but pull that veil back a little bit and let them see what's going on. You can talk about your savings goals, your financial goals. Now, obviously, you know, you're not going to divulge all the information regarding that. But maybe you all want to get out of debt, your family wants to get out of debt together. You could talk about that in your family meetings. You could set a goal, "This is how we're going to do it. We're going to clip coupons." (If that's still a thing. I think actually it is kind of coming back into vogue, clipping coupons, I've heard.) But we're going to clip coupons or we're going to save on this and we're going to stop buying that. And we're going to-- I mean, goodness, the possibilities are limitless. And we're doing this because as a family, our goal is to get out of debt. And we need your help. Now you're going to be the one pulling most of that weight. But your children can do some things. They could be praying for you. It's an excellent opportunity for them to learn about saving and about being a wise steward over their funds. They've got $100 in the bank? They're already starting to think about this and they're doing it through the lens of your family mission.
You could talk about vacations that you want to take. You can plan out that itinerary. Maybe you want to, you know, you've got a small vacation coming up or maybe you got a great big vacation that you want to take one day. Like, "We would love to go here as a family." And, you know it's expensive, and you know it's going to be like a two/three-week thing. And it's going to take maybe two, three, four, five years to plan it out, and to save, and to get ready for it. That's okay. That's exciting. That's a goal. Set a goal out there. That's maybe one of the last things that I'll share with you is, is that successful family meetings always have a goal. And you're always setting small goals, medium-sized goals, and great big, giant goals out there for you to work towards it. Oh, your children just love that! That's very, very exciting. And include them in that process and help them to know that they're indispensable towards the accomplishment of that goal. And then when they actually see the goal come to fruition. Goodness, goodness, goodness! It's just such a wonderful thing. That's so exciting to them. And it will do wonders for the health of the life of your home.
So there's other things that I could say, but I don't want to get it too complicated. What you're going to have to do is discover the beauty of the family meeting for yourself and what it could mean for you and for your home. And I think what you will find is that it becomes an indispensable tool in the life of your home. And sure, you can miss a day, you can miss a week, you can miss a month, perhaps. But I hope that, if you consistently do this, that you'll always come back-- You'll always come back to this routine because the value that it will divulge to you as you engage in this activity is constantly calling you back to this practice. It will bless your homeschool day. It will bless the various mundane routines that are constantly ongoing in your home. It will bless the overall, overarching family mission that you all have. And if you don't feel as if you have one or if you're just kind of blindly, you know, floating through life, that's something else that, you know, we could talk about at some point is discovering your family mission and getting everybody pulling in that direction. It could also help in that regard too. So start tomorrow. I don't know when this episode is going to air. Sometimes on weekends we find that family meetings are a little bit more difficult, but it doesn't really matter. Whatever day it is, start tomorrow and set that time. Go to your children and say, "Guess what? I was thinking that we're going to do this and we're going to do it at this time"--say 8:30, say 9:00, say 7:00 at night, whatever it is--"And I'd like to call you all to this meeting, and we're going to talk about some things." And you might get some pushback. You might get some resistance. It's all right. Push through it. Push through it. Have a wonderful family meeting, and then do it again the next day. Have a wonderful family meeting the next day and the next day and the next day. And eventually your children are going to be like, "Wow, I love this! When's our next family meeting? Or I can't wait for family meeting." And see what it does for your home. See what it does for your homeschool day. So thank you for being with me today and listening to what I had to say. I hope that it's something that you find valuable. I hope that it's something that blesses you, as always. And my prayer is that the Lord continues to bless you in your homeschool and in your daily sacrifice on behalf of your children. I don't know each and every one of you, but I can tell you that, knowing that you're there and knowing that you're doing what you're doing, it blesses me. And I hope that you're blessed by knowing that our little home is here doing the selfsame thing for the glory of God, for the benefit of our children, and just for the fulfillment of the charge that we feel that God has placed in each one of our hearts. So God bless you, each and every one of you. And I will look forward to talking to you again soon. Bye for now.
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