Best of Life as a Lifeschooler: The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling with Karen Campbell

Karen CampbellWe hope you are enjoying your summer break!  Here’s one of our best episodes to brighten your summer day:  On this episode, I talk to one of my new favorite pioneer homeschoolers, Karen Campbell, about relationship homeschooling! Interestingly, I went to college with Karen’s daughter, Mollie, but didn’t know her very well and had no idea she had even been homeschooled. After connecting with Mollie on Instagram recently, I saw a few of her mother’s posts and was delighted to discover that she had homeschooled back in the early days, and that we were kindred spirits in our philosophies.

This interview did not disappoint! I enjoyed listening to it again myself, and I know it is going to bless you to hear Karen’s wisdom as she shares some of her experiences from the “pioneer days.” Here are some of the questions and topics we discussed:

  • Tell us more about your homeschooling journey back in the early days of the movement.
  • Many homeschoolers bring the school model home because we all tend to just do what we know. I know you put a lot of emphasis on what you refer to as “relationship homeschooling.” Is there anything in particular that helped shape your perspective and educational philosophy?
  • The definition of lifeschooling is “the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents primarily through real life experiences that happen within the context of your family’s unique situations and missions.” Is there a part of that definition that particularly speaks to you and can you share with us a bit more about how your family “lifeschooled”?
  • What are some of the gifts that you saw early on in your children and how were you able to tailor their education around the development of those gifts?
  • You focus a lot on the relationship aspect of homeschooling. What were some practical ways that you focused on relationships and what were the results?
  • How did you fit homeschooling with your blogging ministry and how did your ministry impact your homeschooling?
  • You talk in your book about grace-filled parenting and I love some of the stories you share. Tell us a bit about how that applies specifically to the high school years?
  • We just did an episode on co-ops. I think many of the current co-ops end up putting the same strain on relationships that school does. What are your thoughts?
  • What do you see as one of the biggest problems in the homeschooling movement today?

Be sure to check out Karen’s excellent book, “The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling: When the One Anothers Come Home.” And also take some time to visit her site, ThatMom.com, where you will find many insightful blog posts and podcast episodes.

Peaceful Family Vacations

Help! My Daughter is Getting Married

Finish Well Radio Show, Podcast #088, Help! My Daughter’s Getting Married, with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network

Help! My Daughter’s Getting Married

In “Help! My Daughter’s Getting Married,” episode #088, Meredith Curtis talks to Moms of newly engaged couples who wonder what on earth they need to do next and over the next
few months to help their daughter pull off a wedding, since most wedding coordinators are
mothers of the bride. From the practical to the relational, you will receive wisdom from a
Mom whose coordinated two weddings so far.

 

 

 


Powerline Productions Bible Studies

 

Powerline Productions, Inc.

Being World Changers, Raising World Changers!

We offer books and ebooks to help you homeschool to the Glory of God!

 

 

 

 


Show Notes

You just found out!

Celebrate, invest emotionally, make a plan with the couple

Money

Make a Budget

Avoid Debt

Priorities (What matters most? What do you want to remember?)

Venue

Choose, Reserve, Downpayment for

Venues/Choose Date

Ceremony—Church, Garden, Other?

Reception—Fellowship Hall,

More Things to Line Up

Pastor/Premarital Counseling

Caterer or Do Food Self

Photographer

Clothing: Wedding Gown, Girl’s Dresses, Guys Tuxes

Bride & Groom Choose Support Team (wedding party)

Mom, you choose your support team because usually the wedding coordinator is you!

Decorations

What “feel” do you want?

Start a Pinterest

Details

Plan Ceremony/Itinerary

Plan Reception/Itinerary

Emcee

Music

Invitations

Photographer

Bridal Registry

Shower

Bridesmaid Luncheon

Resources

Ultimate Christian Wedding Planner by Meredith CurtisBefore the Vows are Made - Premarital Counseling Workbook for Engaged Couples by Pastor Mike and Meredith CurtisReal Men 102: Freedom, Courtship, Marriage, & FamilyGod's Girls 103: Courship, Marriage, and the Christian Family High School Class

The Importance of Fun – MBFLP 224

Who said school can’t be fun? This episode, we sit down with our friends Roger and Jan Smith, long-time homeschool parents and leaders in Louisiana. The topic is simply, “Fun” – what it can do to create memories, bond family members, and make learning a lot more enjoyable for parents and students alike!

Recently we visited with Roger and Jan Smith, leaders in the Louisiana homeschool community and dear friends of ours. One evening our family and our friends were playing a fast-paced game together, laughing hysterically, and thinking about what an important, bonding thing that is.

We were noticing how well our teenagers interacted with the adults in the room, and the obvious respect going in both directions, and we were talking later about how the shared experiences build that sort of relationship. They’re more and more important as we all become more individualized and isolated, focusing on our work and entertainment through private screens—even when we’re in the same room, we’re not interacting.

That’s one reason we love audiobooks when we’re driving or working together, because the whole family can share that experience and have a basis for conversations later. It’s a good reason for reading aloud together, even when the children are reading well on their own. We try and make intentional choices to do things together so in later years, our adult children will have memories that draw them back to their family home.

Another thing we do is make a big deal over family holidays. Birthdays are an example. In our home, the one we’re celebrating gets to choose the family menu for the day. At supper, we center the conversation on memories of the birthday person. Afterward, we take turns sharing things we love or admire about them. It’s really touching – everyone loves being appreciated, and it’s very easy to overlook the chances to communicate that respect.

A Sense of Humor

Shared humor is another thing we look for. A study of newlywed couples noticed how they interacted, especially the moments of humor in the midst of a problem. It defuses situations and reduces tension if we can refer to a shared joke or inside story. It’s a sign of a healthy relationship if you can still smile, if you can still laugh, if you can lighten up in the midst of your stress. That applies to your kids as well as your mate!

In fact, that study really pointed out that our relationships are formed from the moments we share. Little things count. It’s not like you have to learn a new language to really score points with your kids. Instead, you just need to  hear when they speak, make eye contact, and come back with a positive response.

And that’s something you get a dozen times a day to do. If you miss one, just determine to catch the next. It’s something you can build up without feeling like you have to make a huge investment before you see any benefit.

(Listen in for more great ideas about building memories and relationships with your family!)

How to Care for Aging Parents

Finish Well Radio Show, Podcast #086, How to Care for Aging Parents with Meredith Curtis on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio NetworkHow to Care for Aging Parents

In “How to Care for Aging Parents,” episode #086, Meredith Curtis encourages homeschooling parents whose parents are aging and needing their help and care. Sharing her own story, Meredith explains how to make wise choices, deal with the emotional turmoil, and make the most of a challenging time in your homeschool adventure. God has a plan! He also has enough grace to meet every need!

 

 

 

 


High School Curriculum by Powerline Productions

Powerline Productions, Inc.

Being World Changers, Raising World Changers!

We offer books and ebooks to help you homeschool to the Glory of God!

 

 


Show Notes

The arm of the Lord to protect Mom

Long years of sickness/Arriving at Hospital to see Dad, Grandmother in ER

Vacation at Ron Jon

Caught Between Two Worlds

Older woman caring for parents vs. young mom homeschooling children

Needing Momma & Daddy

Our Experience

What are the majors? Bare bones homeschooling, Seven R’s

Read, math, write, then add rest

Teachable moments at hospital

Greatest lesson—honoring parents

Unable to do it on own, learning to rely on the Lord

Grace, Always need Him, but can be self-sufficient

Receive forgiveness

Example of God’s Protection: Windshield I-95

Encouragement

Youcan’t do everything

Find God’s Priorities

Stay Cheerful—Glad Game

Perfusely Thank Children

Receive Help

Have Folks Pray for You

Major on Majors/Minor on Minors

 

Resources

Seven R's of Homeschooling by Meredith CurtisLovely to BeholdJesus Fill My Heart and Home by Meredith CurtisA Wise Woman Builds by Meredith Curtis

 

Don’t Waste Your Life

Finish Well Radio Show, Podcast #085, Don't Waste Your Life with Meredith Curtis, on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network

Don’t Waste Your Life

 

In “Don’t Waste Your Life,” episode #085, Meredith Curtis challenges teens to drop out the dull and routine to live a life worth living. She addresses lies that keep us from living joy-filled lives and how to exchange half-hearted hanging on for abundant zeal and passion. A life worth living is possible at 15 and at 50 if the desire is in your heart. So, shake off the dust, and let’s move on to the adventure God has for us!

 

 

 

 


PLP Ad - Galatians 5:22-23

Powerline Productions, Inc.

Being World Changers, Raising World Changers!

We offer books and ebooks to help you homeschool to the Glory of God!

 

 


Show Notes

Dull, Drudgery, Naps, & Video Games vs. A Life Worth Living!

My Story

Rebellion

Repentance

Rebirth

Real Living

Drawing Close to God

Pressing In

Pressing On

With All Your Heart

Overcoming Obstacles

Internet

The Opposite Sex

Gossip, Negative Talk

Self-Pity

Wrong Friends

Battle Ready

Spiritual Weapons

The Battle in the Mind

Standing Firm in Who You are in Christ

You are LOVED!

A Life Worth Living

Tell People about Jesus

Challenge Friends to Grow in the Lord

Serve

Healthy Relationships

Zeal/Passion/Energy

Outlets for Emotion: Music/Art/Poetry

HARD WORK:  Projects/Chores/Home Business

Family Ministry

J.O.Y.

 

Resources

Real Men 101: Godly ManhoodGod's Girls Brand New Life Bible StudyJoyful and Successful Homeschooling by Meredith CurtisReal Men 103: Leadership

 

The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling – Karen Campbell

Karen CampbellOn this episode, I talk to one of my new favorite pioneer homeschoolers, Karen Campbell, about relationship homeschooling! Interestingly, I went to college with Karen’s daughter, Mollie, but didn’t know her very well and had no idea she had even been homeschooled. After connecting with Mollie on Instagram recently, I saw a few of her mother’s posts and was delighted to discover that she had homeschooled back in the early days, and that we were kindred spirits in our philosophies.

This interview did not disappoint! I enjoyed listening to it again myself, and I know it is going to bless you to hear Karen’s wisdom as she shares some of her experiences from the “pioneer days.” Here are some of the questions and topics we discussed:

  • Tell us more about your homeschooling journey back in the early days of the movement.
  • Many homeschoolers bring the school model home because we all tend to just do what we know. I know you put a lot of emphasis on what you refer to as “relationship homeschooling.” Is there anything in particular that helped shape your perspective and educational philosophy?
  • The definition of lifeschooling is “the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents primarily through real life experiences that happen within the context of your family’s unique situations and missions.” Is there a part of that definition that particularly speaks to you and can you share with us a bit more about how your family “lifeschooled”?
  • What are some of the gifts that you saw early on in your children and how were you able to tailor their education around the development of those gifts?
  • You focus a lot on the relationship aspect of homeschooling. What were some practical ways that you focused on relationships and what were the results?
  • How did you fit homeschooling with your blogging ministry and how did your ministry impact your homeschooling?
  • You talk in your book about grace-filled parenting and I love some of the stories you share. Tell us a bit about how that applies specifically to the high school years?
  • We just did an episode on co-ops. I think many of the current co-ops end up putting the same strain on relationships that school does. What are your thoughts?
  • What do you see as one of the biggest problems in the homeschooling movement today?

Be sure to check out Karen’s excellent book, “The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling: When the One Anothers Come Home.” And also take some time to visit her site, ThatMom.com, where you will find many insightful blog posts and podcast episodes.

25 Movies Families Can Watch Together

Finish Well Radio, Podcast #084, 25 Movies Families Can Watch Together, with Meredith Curtis, on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network

25 Movies Families Can Watch Together

In “25 Movies that Families Can Watch Together,” episode #084, Meredith Curtis shares some of her family’s favorite movies and how they have impacted their lives and hearts. From faith builders to tear-jerkers, these movies have made us laugh and cry. Each of these movies also lead to great family discussions right after or days later. Some of them (like Cars) bring an historical time to life. Others impart a life lesson or just make us laugh.

 

 

 

 


Powerline Productions, Inc. Families Learning Together American History Books

 

Powerline Productions, Inc.

Being World Changers, Raising World Changers!

We offer books and ebooks to help you homeschool to the Glory of God!

 

 


Show Notes

Our Family Movie Nights

Movies often lead to discussions afterward or even weeks/months later.

Chariots of Fire

This is the story of Eric Liddell, a gold medal winner in the 1924 Olympics. His devotion to the Lord is exempliary and inspiring! The movie also follows another runner who must overcome anti-Semetic prejudice in his quest for winning.

This awarding winning movie (Academy Award for Best Picture) was released in 1981.

Return to the Hiding Place

One of my favorite movies, Return to the  Hiding Place is set in the Netherlands during Nazi occupation of World War II. Here is the rest of the story of Corrie ten Boom and her band of teenage resisters. This does have some scary scenes so will not be appropriate for  young children.

***** Teens and Adults/Might be too scary for youngers kids

The Ultimate Gift

Billionaire Grandpa Red dies and dispenses some of his money to his children, but leaves a series of “gifts” for his wild living grandson. I love this movie! In fact, I require watching it for my Economics, Finances, and Business course in high school.

Facing the Giants

In Facing the Giants, we meet Coach Grant Taylor whose life is full of problems and pain. When Grant makes a decision to fully surrender to Jesus, things happen! The Kendrick brothers and Sherwood pictures have produced an awesome sports movie! This is one of my all-time favorite movies.

Anne of Green Gables & Anne of Avonlea (PBS 1980s)

Set on Prince Edward Island, Anne is a little orphan girl with bright red hair adopted by an older brother (Matthew) and sister (Marilla) who run the family farm. She brings life to her new family and the entire village of Avonlea. You will love these movies!

The Princess Bride

This movie is just for fun because it is a totally silly fairy tale released in the 1980s. We repeat so many funny lines from this romantic comedy that you almost have to see this movie to understand our family. A farm boy falls in love with a beautiful maiden and goes off to seek his fortune, but he is kidnapped by the dreaded Pirate Roberts. Really fun movie!

Cars

Yes, this is a cartoon, but it’s about Route 66, completed in 1926, which was dotted with prosperous towns and it was America’s route west traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles. Construction began on I-40 in 1957 and was completed in 1975, causing the little towns along Route 66 to dry up. Can you tell I’m a history buff? Okay, the movie is adorable with a life lesson about friendship.

Snowball Express

I saw this Disney movie in the theatre when it was released in 1972. A big city accountant named Johnny Baxter moves his family to Colorado when they inherit a hotel from his uncle “Crazy Jake.” This is a fun adventure set in beautiful snowy Colorado following the family hilarious attempts to open a ski resort. Wholesome.

Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story

Growing up in poverty with a single-mom and a learning disability did not stop Ben from growing up to be a ground-breaking nuerosurgeon. His life is a beautiful testimony to the grace of God and love of a good mother.

It’s A Wonderful Life

The classic Christmas feel good story about a young man with dreams who becomes a middle-aged man facing a terrible financial crisis. This movie promotes love, family, and friendship inside a touching story.

Sound of Music

A quirky nun is called to be a governess for a widower’s seven children. She brings life, joy, and music back into the family. With romance, singing, and light comedy, this is a family favorite in our house. I saw it for the first time with Mom and 45 years later, my daughter took me to see in the movie theater for a reshowing. I love this movie!

42

In 1946, history was made when Jackie Robinson crossed the color barrier to play for the Brooklynn Dodgers. In the midst of prejudice and thoughtlessness, Jackie remains kind and loving. A very inspiring movie!

Parent Trap (Disney)

Both versions of the Disney classic are wonderful to watch together as a family. The earlier version stars Hayley Mills in two roles as twins separated at birth when their parents divorced. They meet up at summer camp and discover they are sisters. Then they hatch a plan to get Mom and Dad back together. The hilarious fun of the first movie was wonderfully remade in 1998 with Lindsay Lohan playing the twins. I was surprised and delighted that the original and remake could both be so entertaining and enjoyable. Usually one is better than the other. This is a great movie to watch if you want to relax and laugh.

Risen

Risen takes us back in time to the time of Jesus Resurrection. Career military tribune Clavius investigates the mystery surrounding Jesus’ empty tomb. As Clavius attempts to find a rational explanation, he is confronted with the miraculous power of God. I love this fresh perspective on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus!

Remember the Titans

In Virginia where football is sacred, a high school football coach is forced to become the assisant when a black head coach is hired and black players are added to the all-white team. Set in 1971 and based loosely on a true story, this is a beautiful story of friendship, loyalty, and teamwork. Great family film.

Mom’s Night Out

This movie is just plain fun! We laugh so hard when we watch three moms head out for a night of no kids, no husband, and relaxation. Of course, the night is anything but relaxing and all sorts of mishaps make it a fine comedy.

Courageous

The Kendrick brothers and Sherwood pictures introduces us to a Sheriff’s deputy who endures a terrible personal loss that causes him to rethink what it means to be a father. He brings in his co-workers on his quest. A beautiful story of redemption!

Polycarp

Released in 2015, this movie takes us  back in time to the church in Smyrna where the Christians are being persecuted for their faith. Bishop Polycarp and his precious congregation will become dear friends as the story unfolds and their faith is put to the test. An inspiring film that will strengthen your commitment to Jesus.

Faith Like Potatoes

When a Zambian farmer (of Scottish descent) moves to Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, to make a better life for his family, there is one trial after another, including terrible tragedy. Likes his potatoes, Angus grows in his faith and love for God.

Please note that there is one scene which is fairly graphic, very tragic, and heartbreaking. Every parent I know who has scene this movie weeps at this scene. It is probably too much for younger audiences so this film may be better for more mature audiences.

Time Changer

A  Bible scholar from 1890 travels forward in time 100 years to see the impact his book will have on future generations of Christians. This movie explores the negative impact of liberal theology at its roots. An excellent movie to understand how what we believe about God impacts how we live.

Miracle

This movie released in 2004, takes us back in time to 1980 where we meet Herb Brooks, played but Kurt Russell, a hockey coach who builds a winning team to compete for the USA in the Olympics. The hot-headed college hockey stars have to learn to work together and value on another if they have any hoping of winning a medal. A great movie!

The Chronicles of Narnia

The classic C.S. Lewis fantasy is brought to life in this movie. Four young children move to the country to live with their uncle for safety reasons during World War II. When they open the magical wardrobe, the adventure begins. This adventure stands alone, but as an allegory, it is amazing!

The Blind Side

Sandra Bulluck is one of my favorite actresses and she shines in this movie about a wealthy Christian family that takes in a tramatized homeless teenager, Michael Oher, who rises to become an All American football player and first draft pick for the NFL. Another inpiring movie about love and investing in people. Beautiful story.

The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry

Dustin begins mowing laws for an older man at church which leads to a special friendship. Jonahtan Sperry, the older gentleman, begins a Bible study with Dustin and his friends, but his mentoring goes beyond the study to living out the ways of the Lord. The ending will have everyone in tears. I love this movie!

Pollyanna

One of my favorite books is a movie released by Disney in 1960. After the death of her missionary parents, Pollyanna is sent to live with her rich, but grumpy aunt. Her gladness and looking at the bright side of things turns the town upside down and when she is down and out, they rally to her. This is beautiful movie about friendship and love.

Resources

HIS Story of the 20th Century by Meredith CurtisUnlocking the Mystery of Homeschooling High School by Meredith Curtis and Laura NoletteJoyful and Successful Homeschooling by Meredith CurtisTravel God's World Geography by Meredith Curtis

 

 

Wacky Wild Wonderful Teenagers

Finish Well Radio, Podcast #083, with Meredith Curtis and the Finish Well Team on the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network

Wacky Wild Wonderful Teenagers

 

In Wacky Wild Wonderful Teenagers,” episode #083, Meredith Curtis talks frankly about the teen years and how they affect teens, their parents, and the parent/teen relationship. Shake off the lies that these years have to be negative, they can be a blast! Meredith believes parents and teens can work together to overcome the challenges teens face.

 

 

 

 


PLP Ad - Galatians 5:22-23

Powerline Productions, Inc.

Being World Changers, Raising World Changers!

We offer books and ebooks to help you homeschool to the Glory of God!

 

 


Show Notes

Drill Team Story

What’s so Great about a Teen?

  • Interesting
  • Engaging
  • Energetic
  • Enchanting
  • Fun
  • Funny

What’s So Challenging about the Teen Years?

  • Hormones
  • Guys—Anger
  • Girls—Emotional
  • Need More Sleep
  • Insecurities
  • Lapses in Judgment (“Have You Lost Your Mind?” song)

Problems for Teens & Their Parents

  • Disposable Income—Targeted by Advertisers
  • Message from Media
  • Stalked on Internet
  • Predators
  • Normal Temptations

Questions Teens Ask

  • Will Anyone Love Me?
  • Do I Measure Up?
  • Am I Valuable?
  • Will I be a Success?
  • Is God Real?
  • Can I Trust the Bible?

Start with Relationships

  • Lives Changed
  • Teens Influenced
  • Jesus’ Model
  • Set Up for Success
  • Family Time
  • Friendship Time
  • Sports Days
  • Picnics/Parties/BBQs

Build Healthy Relationships

Friends to the EndGod's Girls: Friends to the End

 

 

 

 

 

Give Them Answers

  • Apologetics
  • Read Bible & Discuss
  • Create Classes
  • Bible Studies
  • Living Books
  • Biographies (Augustine, Luther, Amy Carmichael, Georg Muller)

Worldview Understanding the Times by Meredith CurtisNew Testament Survey Class by Meredith CurtisOld Testament Survey Class by Meredith CurtisGreat Commission Course by Meredith Curtis      

 

 

 

 

The Opposite Sex

  • Natural Attraction
  • Sexual Desires
  • Movies & TV
  • Internet
  • Facebook/Social Media
  • Pornography
  • Sexting
  • Vigilance
  • Listen/Give Godly Counsel
  • Purity
  • Freedom from Lust
  • Wholesome Friendships
  • Courtship/Dating with a Purpose or American-Style Dating?
  • Who Will They Marry?

Real Men 102: Freedom, Courtship, Marriage, & FamilyReal Men Talk About Freedom, Girls, & MarriageGod's Girls 103: Courship, Marriage, and the Christian Family High School ClassGod's Girls Talk About Guys, Virtue, & Marriage      

 

 

 

 

Put That Energy to Work

  • Zeal/Passion/Energy
  • Outlets for Emotion: Music, Poetry, Sports
  • HARD WORK: Projects, Chores, Home Business
  • Family Ministry
  • O.Y.

Prepare Them for Life

  • Build Godly Character
  • Foster Close Relationships with Jesus
  • Mentoring
  • Bible Classes
  • Character Courses
  • Adult-Prep Courses using Living Books

Economics, Finances, and BusinessGreat Commission Course by Meredith CurtisWorldview Understanding the Times by Meredith CurtisCareer Choices and the College Decision by Meredith Curtis      

 

 

 

 

Real Men Bible Studies & Courses

Real Men 102: Freedom, Courtship, Marriage, & FamilyReal Men Talk About Freedom, Girls, & MarriageMaking of Real MenReal Men 103: Leadership      

 

 

 

 

God’s Girls Bible Studies & Courses

God's Girls 105: Homemaking by Meredith CurtisGod's Girls Brand New Life Bible StudyGod's Girls 103: Courship, Marriage, and the Christian Family High School ClassGod's Girls Beauty Secrets      

 

 

 

 

 

Resources

Unlocking the Mystery of Homeschooling High School by Meredith Curtis and Laura Nolette

 

 

 

 


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor -Bright Ideas Press

Homeschool moms are busy! Bright Ideas Press gets that. And that’s why, for over 25 years, we have promised to publish Christian-oriented homeschool curriculum that will fit your family—curriculum that is both affordable and easy-to-use with children of different ages and learning styles at the same time. Curriculum that busy Moms love!

Offering history, science, geography, and humanities curriculum and over 100 options of online classes and clubs for homeschool families, the team at Bright Ideas Press creates products and resources that will not only help simplify your life, but also inspire, encourage, and equip you to educate your children.

Find out more here!


 

 

 

 

Date Night (even when you “can’t”) – MBFLP 215

How to have date night nevertheless

Once upon a time, when we were young parents a long way from home, we heard someone say, “Date night is absolutely necessary for a healthy marriage!” When you’re new in town and grandparents are a thousand miles away, that’s discouraging! But the important thing is not “dates” but connection – how to renew the face-to-face relationship in the midst of shoulder-to-shoulder life. This episode, we talk about practical ways to do just that, even if you can’t really manage a getaway right now!

How to have date night regardless

What’s the reason?

Actually the important thing is not “the event” but the time for re-connection. Don’t get frustrated and fretful over the inability to do a big formal celebration – it may be the best thing at this time of life is smaller and closer to home.

In fact, home is a good option. We travel so much with our speaking and teaching ministry, we really find a quiet evening at home is a change of pace! We’ve had some great anniversaries and Valentine’s dates watching old movies on Netflix and eating dinner we prepared ourselves.

What are some options when kids are in the mix?

A second thing that’s important to remember is that we need all sorts of intimacy – not just the kind that takes total privacy and all kids asleep or absent. It’s good to just talk together, whether over dinner or a grown-up dessert, and let the kids watch their own movie back in the family room. If you really want them to entertain themselves for a while, you can even invest in some snack foods and turn them loose for an hour or two.

If you haven’t noticed, people never stop growing and changing. You didn’t reach 18 or 25 or 40 and then stop, as if you’d arrived at a destination — life goes on, and you both will find new surprises in each other if you look for them. Why not ask some open ended questions – “What’s your favorite food? Do you like different things as an adult than you did as a child? What’s the earliest thing you can remember? What did you find surprising about being married?” If you need some suggestions, sign up for our free series, “LoveBirdSeed” and get fun and thought-provoking conversation starters every week.

Of course you can stay up later than the kids … or get up earlier. You can go for a walk together or take the kids to the park, where you can sit on a bench and watch them play while you have some grownup conversation. Grandparents are a lifesaver if they’re nearby (and remember, letting your kids eat a few extra cookies at Nana’s house probably won’t topple the organic or keto lifestyle you’re cultivating at home). We even know friends who traded babysitting with each other on a regular schedule, one Friday a month at each house – and as the kids got older, the couples were even able to sneak away for overnights sometimes.

Remember that a lot of advice people share is based on particular circumstances. Sometimes you’re so busy or kept apart by business travel or other responsibilities, you really need to jealously protect a few precious hours. In that case, a scheduled, carefully planned date on the calendar can be a lifesaver! But if you are blessed to have more free time together on a regular basis, the desperation isn’t the same, and maybe you can find good, satisfying “couple time” from day to day. Date night can be great fun, but don’t feel that it’s a mandatory formality if you’re building a strong relationship in the informal hours of life right now!

“Q: What do we do when we can’t get away for our anniversary – not even for dinner out?”

If you are looking for a great couples getaway, check out our Come Away Weekend retreats in the spring and fall. Details will be coming soon for our Spring 2019 event – for more info, visit our website!


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Change is in the Air Movie

This story embraces the imperfections that make us human, offers a way to set ourselves free and asks us all to take a good, long look at the wild birds in the sky.

Watch the trailer here!