I tend to be a little over the top. I love my kids and I want them to excel as much as possible, to reach their full potential. All parents do. For me, that can be a slippery slope. I get in my head what we should be able to accomplish and when it doesn’t get done, it’s not pretty. I shudder to think how many hours we have probably gone over the minimum requirement for school days. How much I have stressed them (and myself) out. All in the name of progress and education.
So yesterday we started our next official school year. Not because we were just so excited to begin in July, but realistically I have seen how life can “happen” and run things off course. I am anticipating a bit of that this year and want to have a little extra down time built in.
Instead of the normal stressing, we began the day with celebratory donuts and a science field trip. Our math was what we could squeeze in while waiting in doctors offices. My little bookworm read one of his favorite books every spare second he had in the car. It was a bit different from last year’s beginning of the year scavenger hunt and first-day-of-school pictures.
The real difference comes on the second day and beyond, when the rubber meets the road. This is when we really start digging into our normal routines and set the pace for our “regular” days. We pulled our little guy out of school for academic reasons. As a teacher of 10 years, academics are very important to me. I have a hard time letting old methods go and it has greatly impacted my teaching, often negatively. I have a checklist of what I want to accomplish that is often too long. If those items don’t get checked off…look out! This year I have vowed to let a few things go. It won’t be any less academic, but I realize that my relationship with my children has to come first.
“Fathers (and mothers), do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4
So what am I doing differently? I am…
- Keeping the school day to the minimum–at least most days. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing!
- Starting the Day with Family Circle Time–It’s a time for all of us to pray together, share 3 happy thoughts, voice concerns and ideas, quote our verse of the week together, sing a worship song, go over our schedule, and do anything else we need to do to get our day off on the right note.
- Making the First Subject Bible–It gets pushed aside for the more “important” things way too often. So now it’s first. No matter what.
- Being more intentional about educational fun. My kiddos adore food. (Don’t yours?) There is a world of fun and educational or Bible themed snacks out there that will go along with what we are studying. We eat a snack every day. So why not make it fun and educational?
- Reading More. I have never met a more avid reader than my son. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t still enjoy being read to. I have made the mistake all too often of asking him to do things on his own just because he can. Never underestimate the power of curling up together with a good book.
Just like New Year’s Resolutions, I may need some accountability! What are your new school year resolutions? (Even you non-homeschooling moms probably have some!) Please share to inspire us and so we can pray for each other!