And she has some Lazy Mom tips for us today… ways to easily teach our kids to have a heart for the world.
On opening night of the Olympics, we did like many other millions of families did that night: we watched the nations of the world parade around the Olympic stadium in Sochi, Russia.
Later that night I saw a status update on Facebook from a fellow homeschooling mom saying that they too had watched the parade of nations, but as they watched she had a world map laid out on the floor for her kids to find each country as they were introduced.
Those other homeschooling moms… they’re just so clever!
While I may not have been that clever that night, we do try and keep “the world” in the forefront of our children’s minds. This day in age where so many kids are self-focused, I think it’s important for them to have a heart for the world, and not just “their world.”
So, true to “lazy mom” form (click here to learn what a lazy mom is), here’s a list of simple ways we keep our kids’ focus on something more than what is revolving around them:
1. Invite missionaries to stay in your home.
While this may freak some of you out (invite people to stay in our house and see it the way we actually LIVE in it?!), this is a really hands-on way for kids to learn about missions and live out the act of caring for missionaries in a practical way. Who cares if your bathtub is as dingy as mine? Missionaries are the easiest house guests because your imperfect house is usually a step-up from their current living conditions! And besides… the dinner conversation is always an adventure!
2. Put pictures of your missionaries on your fridge.
Most missionaries carry “prayer cards” with them at all times. Just ask a missionary for one and they’ll pull one out faster than you can blink! Keeping these cards on your refrigerator is a little reminder that there are real people in other countries that we need to actively pray for. Practical tip: If your kids help you make dinner, pray for your “refrigerator missionaries” while you are cooking together!
3. Video chat with missionaries.
We have such an incredibly connected world these days, don’t we? Thanks to technology, we can now video chat with people all around the world. Why not set up a video chat “date” with one of your missionaries once a month? Your whole family can get involved and be an encouragement to a missionary that is far away from their home, families and churches. Our family enjoys video chatting on occasion with missionaries we support and this helps our “refrigerator missionaries” come to life right before our kids’ eyes.
4. Travel when you can.
No, not missions trips. I’m talking about small little day trips or overnight trips! We travel on a shoe-string budget quite regularly because the effects of traveling even just an hour or two down the road really and truly has opened our kids up to a bigger world view. Take your kids to new areas, different cities, other states! It seriously does broaden their scope and helps them realize there is more to life than just their little world. Practical tip: stop at rest stops or state welcome centers and get your kids free paper maps. Our digital world has made these almost obsolete, but my kids LOVE them, and it helps them see the “bigger picture.”
5. Pick up missionary newsletters at church.
Our church makes copies of our missionaries newsletters and puts them on our “wall of missions” for church attendees to take. If your church does something similar, have your kids pick up new newsletters to bring home and read together. Or, if you receive email newsletters, print them off for your kids to read, as well!
6. Take your kids on missions trips.
Missions trips are one of the most life-changing trips you can take. Our goal is to take our kids on at least one missions trip before they grow up. We certainly won’t be able to afford to take them all at the same time, but we hope to send them one at a time with a parent at some point. Practical tip: If an out of the country missions trip just isn’t something you can swing, look for in-state missions trips. We sent our 11-year-old on an in-state kids missions trip last year with lots of other kids and children’s pastors. He saved up money, sent out support letters to family members, and mowed lawns to raise his money, and it totally rocked his world!
These are a few tips that I hope you find practical, as well as, EASY to do! If you are intentional about keeping the world in the forefront of your kids’ minds, you will reap great benefits… it helps them be less selfish, reminds them that there’s more to life than just their little world, and shows them that a life of missions is important!
What do you do to teach your kids to have a heart for the world? Leave a comment to continue the conversation!
More from the Lazy Mom? Find fun lazy mom tips, lazy recipes, house tricks and so, so much more!
More from this series? Check out the other days!
Heart for the World Day 1 – Reading Resources
Heart for the World Day 2 – Missions Around the World and in your own home