Getting everyone out of the house on time each day can be a tricky proposition. Once we’re in the car, though, I have a captive audience and want to make the most of our time together.
I don’t drive my daughters to school every morning. My husband often has that duty, since their school is basically on his way to work. However, I have my share of days to drive, like when he’s out of town or has early morning appointments.
Everyone’s commute time to school is different. Depending on traffic, ours ranges from 25 minutes (fairly rare) to almost an hour, with the average being about 35 minutes.
At ages 15 and 13, my girls don’t do much talking on the way to school. Studying happens occasionally, but they tend to be pretty quiet in the car. And honestly, I’m not much of a talker at that time of day either.
However, with younger kids, those minutes in the car can be a great time to connect. I’ve listed a few ideas below that might be helpful in making good use of this time.
Listen to uplifting media. We currently have a monthly subscription to the Odyssey Adventure Club, so we download episodes to my phone to listen to in the car. Even though these may be geared to younger kids, we all enjoy listening to the stories from time to time. We occasionally listen to a podcast, and I also have a playlist of gospel music on my phone. (I remember my dad driving us to school while we listened to cassette tapes by motivational speaker Zig Ziglar!) When you have as much time in the car as we do, audio books are another good option. A couple of our local Christian radio stations have a Bible quiz each morning, and I know my husband and our girls often listen to that and try to answer those questions.
Sing along with some good music. This wouldn’t work well with my teenagers 🙂 but younger kids may enjoy starting their day by singing along to some Cedarmont Kids, Patch the Pirate, or other Christian music.
Talk about the day ahead. If your kids are wide awake and talkative, ask them questions about what may come up during the day. Chat about quizzes and tests, music lessons, sports practices, or what they’re looking forward to doing at recess or with their friends.
Finish breakfast. Just being real here- we’re not beyond eating apple slices, dry cereal, or a toaster pastry on the way to school
Read a verse for the day. Write out a Scripture verse on a card, either from your morning devotions or one you’ve chosen the night before. Even if your kids aren’t up for a discussion, just read it aloud – or have a child read it – and encourage them to think about it during the day. You could even use that same verse to jumpstart a family discussion at supper that night.
Pray for your kids and their school day. If you want to do this out loud, you can certainly do it with your eyes open while you’re driving! Otherwise, you can just pray silently, asking for God’s protection over your children and His guidance in their lives in the hours ahead.
I only have a few years left to make these morning drives to school. Except for the traffic 🙂 I’m sure I’ll miss this time to connect with my daughters as they start their day.
How else do you spend your morning time in the car with your kids?
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