How to do Devotions with Your Children

homeschool mom doing devotions with child

She cried out to God, “This isn’t working! Homeschooling is too hard! I can’t do it anymore!”  

Last week, I planned to write on how to schedule your homeschool, but it turned into an article on allowing room for the Holy Spirit to guide your days—essentially not being a slave to your schedule or to fear, staying attuned to that which is most important…

nurturing your children’s heart and character. 

I mentioned in that article the need to begin the day with devotions, and now I’d like to share how our family made devotions work each morning. I’d also like to offer you the opportunity to beta test a new Bible devotional I’m creating for homeschoolers! 


Let me explain, through a story, how the Fulbright Family did devotions. There was once a homeschool mom (me) who began her year faithfully doing devotions with her children. A few months later, this homeschool mom became consumed with how poorly her homeschool days were going, how they did not progress according to her brilliant schedule, how far behind her children were in their curriculum, how little was getting accomplished, and how she was failing as a home educator. 

This overburdened and underperforming mom felt she could not possibly afford to spend the mornings doing devotions. After all, that’s a whole hour out of the schedule. If she were ever to finish the curricula she bought—the curricula everyone else was finishing—she had to buckle down, put the pedal to the metal, get her ducks in a row, and so on and so on. 

She would get back to devotions when everyone got caught up. She really would. Maybe next week. 

Weeks and weeks and weeks later, every hope and dream she had for the school year went down the drain. 

“Ughhhhhh. Do we have to do school?” My oldest groaned on the way to the school room. 

“I hate school,” another said falling on the floor in dramatic fashion.

Once she got them into the room, it wasn’t any easier.

“I’m hungry.” 

“You just ate a full breakfast.” 

“I’m still hungry!” 

“I’m thirsty!” 

“There’s your water bottle right there.” 

“It’s not cold. I need cold water.” 

“I’m tired.” 

You just woke up.” 

“He called me stupid!”

“We don’t use that word.” 

He looked at me!” 

“Please stop looking at your sister.” 

“She broke my Lego dog.” 

“Put your Legos away. It’s time for school.” 

They were near impossible to rally. 

Mom would assign reading, only to come back 20 minutes later and find the book upside down under the table and the child drilling a hole with his pencil into the desk. She’d give her child a math sheet and come back to find the page covered with a crayon sketched giant T-rex eating small animals. Ugh. This mom was at her wits end.  

She took to imagining life in the local elementary school. Surely it would be better than this disaster. She wondered if she’d fit in with all the neighborhood moms (with their immaculate homes decorated in the latest styles) and be invited to lunch dates and girls’ night out. 


She cried out to God, “This isn’t working! Homeschooling is too hard! I can’t do it anymore!”  

Then suddenly—unexpectedly—amidst the chaos in her mind, a still small voice spoke. The thought of devotions sprung up. Devotions? Devotions! Yes! That’s what we’ll do. In fact, I’ll ONLY do devotions. I only have the energy for devotions. I only have the strength for devotions. I will do devotions and then be done with school for the day. That’s what I’ll do!

She dusted off her Bible, located the devotional under the couch, printed a hymn off the internet, and put a basket of photo Christmas cards on the table.

The next morning, Mom announced after breakfast, “Time for school!” Amidst the furrowed brows, groans, frowns, and dramatic sighs, she said, “But we’re going to begin with devotions. Meet me on the couch in five minutes.” 

“Yay!” one happy heart cheered. “Oh yeah, we used to do that!” another replied with a look of wonder. 

That morning, she began with a prayer for her children’s eyes to be opened and their hearts to understand God’s Word. She handed out a hymn to those who could read, then played it on a speaker while everyone sang along. 

She then read from the Bible and the devotion book. Curious, her children asked questions and she discussed the things of God brought up in the reading. 

The children shared their own insights, revealing how profoundly the Holy Spirit can speak to the heart of a child. 

After that, everyone worked on a new Bible memory verse (John 15) and Mom recited the first verse three times. The children attempted to recite as much as they could remember. 

Then each child was told to pick a family Christmas card from the basket and lead a prayer for that family. After sharing requests, the children also prayed for each other. 


After all was done, this mom felt a sense of peace returning to her spirit. This was all that was needed. This was the first and only thing necessary.

“Okay! I’m going to go make lunch now.” She left for the kitchen, not mentioning that they weren’t going to do “school.” She didn’t even want to mention the dreaded word again after such a precious time together.

Then something strange happened. All four of her children, even the four-year-old, got up from the couch and trotted toward the school room. 
What on earth are they doing? she wondered. 

She continued fixing lunch but they still did not return. 

She crept stealthily to the doorway and peered inside the school room. Shock overtook her as she saw every single one of her children sitting at a desk doing schoolwork as diligently as a saint.  

And then it hit her. 

Focusing on academics will not produce the fruit of a joyful, peaceful home—of gentle, kind, persevering children who exercise self-control. Yet, if we, day by day, present our children to the Lord, the Holy Spirit will be empowered to produce the fruit we long to see in their lives.

If we lead our children’s hearts to the Lord, we can trust that He will do the rest. 

God loves your children far more than you do. He talks to them far more often than you do, in words far sweeter, far more motivating, and with a heart that’s pure of any other motive than to bless and build up.


He is their teacher, their ultimate and most important teacher. Lead them to Him. That’s the most important job we can do. And it’s really the only thing that matters. It matters more than math, reading, science, history … more anything else. 

A heart for God will see our children through no matter the journey they take in life. A heart for God will give them strength, joy, wisdom, and yes, even success in life. 

Charlotte Mason speaks to this idea when she says,

“But this holy mystery, this union and communion of God and the soul, how may human parents presume to meddle with it? What can they do? How can they promote it?… what can the parent do? Just this, and no more: he can present the idea of God to the soul of the child.”