School and Housebuilding

In a recent blog comment, a reader asked about how building a house has affected our homeschooling. The past two years, we have not only had the major project in our daily schedule of building a house, but also of three months or so of being on the road for conferences. The children are still on track with their school, and they should be finished or almost finished by our usual school year completion date of Memorial Day.

Joseph, age 19, had graduated from high school before we began building our house so he was available full time to help with the house. John, who is 18 and graduating this year, did bookwork school in the morning and apprentice work with his dad on the house in the afternoons. Since John is planning to work in the construction field, the afternoon school hours were profitable for him as vocational study time.

As a side note, Joseph and John are the ones who initially volunteered to build the house. They said they would build it while Steve wrote books. They since realized that was a bit ambitious and that they needed their dad’s expertise and help continually, but we were grateful for their desire to bless our family and our ministry. In addition, in the midst of building the house Steve and I were even able to write our most recent book, Managers of Their Schools.

The other three children did their normal school and then would help at the house after school. We have a four day school week so everyone helped with the house on Fridays and Saturdays. The children all worked all day on house building projects during the past two summers. Most generally building work ended at dinner time so that evenings were reserved for showers, family Bible time, music practice, and family fellowship.

Jesse and I doing Algebra together.
Jesse and I doing Algebra together.

The children are motivated to get up at 5:45 a.m. so that they can have their personal Bible time, eat breakfast, do a couple of chores, and be ready to start school no later than 7:30 a.m. This allows them to finish school earlier in the day.

Steve is a dad who encourages his family that we work while we have breath, and we rest in heaven (in addition to the Lord’s day). That work is both spiritual and physical. So much of what the Lord has taught us through our years of homeschooling and why we have been able to do what we do plus homeschool is laid out in these books: Managers of Their Homes, Managers of Their Chores, Managers of Their Schools, and Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single-Income Family. We are not “Super Family,” but we do make choices with our time and our activities because we want to do all that we can for the Lord Jesus Christ while we can.

Trusting in Jesus,

“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,  Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest” (Proverbs 6:6-8)

8 thoughts on “School and Housebuilding”

  1. What a wonderful opportunity for your children (under your guidance) to get to apply some of what they have academically learned to a real life situation. Building a home requires application of Math, Reading, Reading Comprehension (etc.) It is a definite test of what we learn academically, when we use it in a real life situation. And now, as a family, you get to enjoy the fruit of your labor. Isn’t God so good? It was awesome that you were sensitive to God’s timing, this opportunity that he provided will hold its value for years to come in the lives of your children. It is refreshing to see a family seek to be sensitive to how God would have us use our time wisely. Thank you for openly sharing your family life. It is an encouragement.

  2. Thanks so much for your insight! As a person new to homeschooling (again…I did homeschool my older children years ago…) I am curious how other people manage their time. I have been thinking that we need to start our school day and our day in general…earlier! Thanks for your words of wisdom!
    p.s. I am LOVING being a stay at home mom! Thanks for your personal encouragement!
    Love you and your family!!

  3. Thank you for sharing this post, precious Teri. You and your family are an excellent example of being good stewards with your time, and you all are an inspiration to so many, I’m sure (you certainly are to me!!). ~ May the Lord pour out His blessings on you in your new home.
    Sending a hug from Georgia, Patti 🙂

  4. Your family is a perfect example that not all things are learned from a book. Bookwork has its place, but there is a time for hands on learning too. I can think of so many things your children learned helping to build a house. 🙂

  5. This post was most convicting and EXACTLY what I needed to read- praise Jesus!

  6. teri,
    your family is such a wonderful example of ‘work while we have breath’. it is always such a joy to read about your activites and having followed your building project from the beginning i am in awe of what you have created together. the skills your children have learned in building your home far exceeds book learning, and joseph and john are no well equiped to begin their business in construction. my prayers go with them as they build their business and carry on god’s calling in their adult lives.

    i am eager to hear more about your new tours and where you will travel o the west coast. i am praying that seattle will call you.


    THE B.

  8. Just wanted to say thanks for the books you mentioned above. I have read all of them. My husband is listening to the Preparing Sons book. I am reading the book simultaneously. It has definitely convicted us. We have realized that we have been to “easy” on our oldest son. What I mean is that we have been more “worldly” in our views of children working. Alot has been changing here at home. I am also very happy that my husband has been making Family bible time more of a priority. The children are enjoying this time together.

    Thank you again for your obedience to the Lord.
    Most encouraging!

    Thank you.

    In Christ Jesus,


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