Killing Four Birds with One Stone

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One of my favorite homeschool memories was the year we studied different regions of America. Television and people moving from region to region have watered down the variations between them, but I am thankful that regional distinctions continue to exist. Sightseers still travel to New England to visit small towns with their tall white church steeples nestled below wooded hillsides aglow with fall colors. Visitors to the sea islands of the southern Atlantic coast still shop for baskets made by the Gullah people. Midwesterners still visit local Amish farms to see how some people live today and how their own ancestors lived in generations past. Tourists still shop for cowboy boots and western art when they venture west. America is the richer for it.

Working together to create regional meals was a highlight. As busy homeschooling mothers, it’s hard sometimes to include something like a meal that takes so much time in shopping and preparation. What a great time to take care of more than one goal with just one activity. We enjoyed inviting people over to share these meals. That way our children could experience a region while practicing hospitality and learning to serve others. As an added bonus, we even got to experience that thing non-homeschoolers always worry that we will miss — socialization! This isn’t killing two birds with one stone, but killing four! (What a gruesome metaphor!)

By the way, I don’t believe in tacking an activity like this onto a full day of homeschooling. Count the preparation time as part of school, by all means! If a meal like this concludes some study you have completed, you can also display art or other projects the children have completed. An event like this can provide your children opportunities to share with others what they are learning, which can improve their conversation skills, too. If I keep going, who knows how many birds we will kill!

It seems to me that hospitality is a dying art. It is a wonderful traditional and historical activity to share with our children and one that teaches several important things simultaneously.

I believe that, for the most part, Jesus walked calmly through His life. Even so, He still multi-tasked at times, often at mealtimes. Think about what He did when He and His apostles gathered together for His Last Supper. He washed the apostles’ feet, participated in Passover, prayed for His disciples and for us, talked to Judas Iscariot (knowing what Judas was about to do), taught the apostles eternal truths, gave them promises about their future home with Him, and gave instructions about the Lord’s Supper. Meals and learning go well together.

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands,
and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God,
got up from supper, and laid aside His garments;
and taking a towel, He girded Himself.
John 13:3-4, NASB


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