The school buses are practicing their routes, teachers are busy attending teacher work days, and school supplies are flying off the shelves faster than they can be restocked! A rejuvenating feeling is in the air. Excitement abounds as a new school year is about to begin. While everyone else is searching for a fresh new wardrobe and picking out a new backpack last minute, I relax on the couch browsing over the curriculum I have planned out for the next week. Even though I school the whole year through (with plenty of breaks,) I still feel a sense of “new beginnings” this time of year. I get excited for what lies ahead and reflect on the accomplishments of the year that just passed. I set goals for the coming days and readjust accordingly. Here are five ways that I am starting this new year, fresh and new with a clean slate.
Not Getting Down On Myself
So maybe my son didn’t complete every single worksheet in his language book, the important thing is that he learned how to write a book report. He got the concepts and skills down and that is what truly matters. This past year was filled with emergency hospital visits, a new baby and piles of unexpected interruptions. The kids were able to put into practice many of the character building lessons that they were taught which is far more valuable than a worksheet any day.
Look At the Skills Gained
My daughter can now read short and simple books, which she couldn’t do a year ago. My middle son used to be bummed that he couldn’t multiply and his older brother could. Now he can spout off several multiplication facts. You can see the pride on his face. My oldest son can write a complete rough draft without help, and in cursive! These skills don’t just happen but are learned which means they actually were paying attention even on those days I thought I wasn’t getting through to them. Overall, it was a successful year.
Staying Home More
Co-ops, music lessons, homeschool groups and play dates are great but they can become overwhelming if these days cause more stress than blessing. Know your limit and stick to it. It’s okay to say no if you find that your housework isn’t getting done and you’re eating more fast food than healthy, homecooked meals. I’m finally learning the balance and seeing what my kids can handle as well as myself. I’m realizing that we don’t need to sign up for every activity that comes along and have found peace in knowing what will work for us.
Knowing Our Weaknesses
If you’ve a ever attended job interview, then you were most likely asked what your weaknesses were. Most people don’t want to admit that they have weaknesses. We think we have it all together and can easily be the superhero mom that we think our kids need us to be. Then, when we fail, it’s painful because we truly thought we could do it. Even Paul admitted that he had a thorn in his flesh, (2 Corinthians 12:7). He also said that if he was going to boast, he would boast of what pertains to his weakness, (2 Corinthians 11:30). We need to know what are weaknesses are so we can receive help in these areas. For example, if math is a hard subject to teach, instead of ruining your day by making yourself miserable trying to teach it, hire a tutor or use teaching textbooks. We truly free ourselves when we realize that we don’t have to balance everything on our own, there is help out there.
One Week At A Time
Life happens, which is why I only schedule my homeschooling one week at a time. Monthly seems to be too much and yearly just will not work for me. I usually know what is going to happen in the week ahead so I can plan our homeschooling week accordingly. My kids check off their work in their planners each day and over the weekend I will write their assignments for the following week. I find less changes will come into play this way and feel more successful in my schooling endeavors at the end of the week where I used to feel like a failure when I didn’t get to everything that I had planned a year in advance! What goals have you set for yourself this coming year?