03 September 2016

Success for the School Year

Over the last few weeks, I've been busy planning and gathering materials for the new school year. I'm really excited and grateful for the opportunity to be homeschooling again. However, experience tells me that excitement can quickly lead to frustration and eventually, exasperation. And believe me, this can all easily happen before Christmas break!

I'm not a homeschooling expert by any means but over the years, I've learned that no amount of master lesson planning, newly ordered curriculum, sharpened pencils, or even a positive attitude can take the place of prayer.
Prayer is the glue that holds everything together. Prayer gives us prospective and enables us to focus on the direction and purpose behind everything we do.

To know God and to fear Him. There is no greater goal for us as Christ followers.
Each day, I'm praying for God's intention for me and my time with my children. I don't presume anymore that I'll be homeschooling every year nor do I take the gift of time for granted. I am simply grateful for the time I do have. And rather than being bound to a stressful schedule, we're striving for more of a natural rhythm and flow. We have certain subjects we strive to get done each day but my goal is not necessarily to complete a checklist or stick to a time slotted schedule. I've tried that in the past and for me, that only leads to anxiety and feeling defeated, all by day three. :)

The girls are at the age now where they know the priorities and what needs to be done. Over the summer, I have absolutely loved watching them grow in responsibility as well as managing their time wisely. For the most part, each day (other than Zach's nap time when they have my undivided attention and we meet together), they get the independence of doing their work in whatever order they desire or see fit for that particular day. This has given me a HUGE amount of freedom, peace, and REST.

I've had the pleasure of seeing it play out very well over the summer and I can definitely sense a rhythm forming (even for Zach).

I also want to remain flexible and open to whatever the day may bring without feeling frazzled or behind. We want to enjoy things like cooking together, fun trips, opportunities to serve and bless others, or simply take a day OFF!

I love Carole Joy Seid's definition of education. She equates it to a three-legged stool. One leg is study, one leg is work, and the other leg is service. When we focus too much on one leg, the others will fall. It's an important perspective to keep in mind for our home/life school. I'm praying God would bless me with an abundance of grace and patience this year, along with wisdom, mercy, love, spontaneity, and of course, loads of fun and laughter with my kids.

Just for posterity's sake, we'll have an "official" first day of school the day after Labor Day but by and large, we've already completed 40 days of school. Woo-hoo! I've never been particularly fond of taking the entire summer off so the girls have remained engaged by doing 3 days of summer school each week. It worked out great as it was a good mix of study and rest.

Over the last couple of weeks, we've been easing our way back into a full 5 day schedule. A full schedule also means that I've had to be really intentional about my time and develop good habits of my own. For me, this includes meal planning, managing my exercise time and my weekly grocery shopping schedule, as well as more time in my bible and less time on my phone. I didn't realize how much time I actually spent checking my phone everyday. Yeesh!
(Ok, maybe I did!) :P

Staying off social media has actually helped me to block out the noise and listen more closely to how the Lord wants me to spend my day.

I feel it's a joy and privilege to have the girls home with me again. It's crazy how fast the years have flown by already and soon they'll be teenagers. I so want to be fully engaged and available for them. Plus, truth be told, I've never been one of those women who can beautifully juggle different priorities and still have them in tact and whole over time. I'm finding that when I'm really purposeful and wholehearted about my day, it doesn't leave much time for anything else, anyway.

A new season is upon us. Cooler weather is coming!

Our hope is in the LORD and we are looking forward to a fantastic year!

On Instagram

© Brave Soul. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.