Ready or not! 2018 is here! Where does the time go? It seems like the older I get time flies by just a little faster. No matter, the New Year is upon us and it’s a good time to do a little reflecting on what has gone on before AND (most importantly) to dream and plan for all the possibilities ahead of us.
You may or may not be a maker of New Year Resolutions. I personally like to take time and set goals for myself at the beginning of every year. There is always the end-of-the-year, post-holiday hangover that comes with too many Christmas goodies, too many holiday activities and not enough self-care.
I am generally ready for a simpler kind of life and can be fairly ruthless in my goal setting. Just this morning, I made out a plan for tackling the inefficiency of my kitchen…starting with tossing an opened bag of petrified marshmallows. Which, by the way, also works told my goal of cleaning up my eating habits.
And then there is this. The road from Christmas to Summer is LONG, my friends. For those of us who still have to endure a REALLY cold winter it seems even longer. I have found I have to be fairly preventive to stave off cabin fever.
As homeschoolers, we have benefit of readjusting certain things or attitudes, as well. I think it’s super important to look at our homeschool with fresh eyes going into a new calendar year.
Here are a few hacks to consider while we all head off into the unknown of 2018.
Hack 1: REFLECT ON THE PREVIOUS YEAR
So there were some good times and some bad times. Johnny might not know his multiplication facts any better now than he did in September. There might have been a few too many days of schooling with Animal Planet. Illness and other life crisis’ can really play with our productivity. Here is what you don’t do. Don’t drag out Sister Guilt Trip. You might not be able to see it tangibly, but there is progress somewhere. Reflecting helps you identify what is working and what is not. Decide on whether it is time to change tactics. Maybe Johnny needs to add a few math games to the weekly game plan.
Hack 2: PURGE IT, SISTER
Surely, I’m not the only one who has piles of unidentifiable notebooks, papers and other school- like paraphernalia. I like to take a few days (or five) and toss what needs to be toss and rearrange what needs rearranging. I’m always amazed what I have hidden in a drawer or corner somewhere once the mess has been cleared away.
Hack 3: STOCK UP
I recognize that I am being contradictory, but this is also a good time of year to stock up on those well-loved or frequently used products. For example, our supply of gel pens always can do with updating. And there is the other stuff that us homeschool people like to have around. I like checking my battery supply, favorite essential oils for flu season and lots of vitamin C tablets. I also make sure that there are plenty of games, puzzles and creative activities stocked up for those cold winter days.
Hack 4: SET SOME GOALS
So goal making has always been my Achilles heel. What if I can’t reach that goal? What if I disappoint myself and others around me? What I have found throughout my years of just living life is that every goal needs to have a workable plan behind it. For example, one of my goals for my son this year is to help him find a love for books. He is dyslexic and understandably a little overwhelmed when it comes to reading. However, I want to help him discover the magic of a good story. We’ve always read books together in our home and this year we are going to complete a Reading Challenge together. I think the added interest of a “challenge” will give him something to focus on. My “workable plan” included researching already prepared Reading Challenges (they are all over the internet), printing of goal sheets and working with my son to pick the first few books. Baby Steps. You have to plan to succeed and then chip away at each goal a little at a time.
Hack 5: SPEAK LIFE!
Consider this passage of Scripture found in James 3:4-6. “A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything – or destroy it! A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos…”
Wow! Some of us have been held back by those negative thoughts and words that have passed through our mouths. I know the drill. I’ve practiced daily, myself. “This is just too hard…I’m a failure as a mom…I just can’t do this anymore.” It’s time to see ourselves the way God sees us. We are loved! We are fearfully and wonderfully made! We are His treasure! AND we need to start declaring, ““I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” Philippians 4:13.
Homeschool parents are notoriously hard on themselves. It’s time to let go of perfection in this New Year and speak life over ourselves and our families!
Shew! I needed that.
Happy New Year!
Rebekah Teague is the homeschooling mama to one busy and beautiful boy. She is married to The Muffin who is a pastor and a really great guy. In her spare time she can be found with a book and a cup of tea. She blogs at There Will Be A $5 Charge For Whining.