Word for the Year Ahead!

Practice is my word of the year for 2019!

As a mom, this word, practice, could have been my word of the year many times over. Especially, if I had considered a word of the year for us as a homeschooling family. Practice, the word and it’s slightly varied definitions has been a constant in our home and homeschooling. Many were the times I encouraged each of my three children in the practice of a skill or discipline. Homeschooling takes lots of practice on the part of everyone in the family. Beginning with the daily practice of a routine that facilitates the learning and accomplishments that everyone hopes to achieve.

There were the household tasks that take practice. The academic study that takes mental discipline and practice. The extra curricular activities we participated in as a family led us to learning skills that required practice. The sports activities that became a major part of our lives reiterated the positive aspects of practice. Coaches took over where we left off emphasizing practice in the areas of baseball, gymnastics and dance. The value of practice has quite successfully been internalized by my three children.

The Basics

Keeping a home running smoothly takes practice. Practicing a daily chore routine was always helpful. I loved the 15 minute idea that I discovered on the Fly Lady website years ago. Her online encouragement in practicing daily routines was useful when our children were little and we were beginning homeschooling. Follow through on routines, I have also witnessed the confidence acquired by repeating a routine over and over as preparation for the day, whatever the days activity will be.  Fewer last minute treasure hunts for a missing items like a book, a water bottle or keys to the car.  Practicing care for tools and knowing where equipment is stored has it ready to go for the next use.

In Extra Curricular Activities

Practice makes perfect.
My three children have all engaged in activities that have required practice. In most of their undertakings, daily practice was required, sometimes even demanded, to participate at a level they aspired to. As a result, they have all become more disciplined than I was at their ages. They had our encouragement. The behind the scenes support provided a foundation for understanding the value of returning to practice day after day. Reminders from a loving support system enabled them to develop their understanding and engage in the discipline required to attain skills. Continuing to practice to the point of actually realizing results was hard. Sometimes really hard. However, it was the opportunity to experience first hand what it takes to excel and to experience the reward of consistent methodical practice to become skilled in a chosen area, that has led each of them to value the discipline of practice.

I have learned from watching them. I have witnessed how it works by seeing them continue to reach  milestones. They are achieving their own big goals. It is an astounding joy to witness the pay off of practicing a skill set, broken down into many steps and returned to daily. There are always set backs but those setbacks also generally emphasize the importance of returning to a habit of daily practice. I see the rewards in their lives of the daily practices they have continued.

My Own Practice

Based on all of our parenting and homeschooling adventures, choosing practice as my word of the year for 2019, may, at this point, seem redundant. However, choosing it now, I am choosing it for myself. It is the word of the year for me – to remind myself of the value of putting into practice the concepts and understanding that I have learned and know to be true. Even though I will still add it to the refrain with my teen and young adult children on occasion, the emphasis is on my own practice.

Practice, as in, practice what you preach. Practice the principles and concepts I already know. There is no quick fix for most of life’s ongoing challenges. To reach a goal, it takes a plan and the discipline to take the steps to get to that goal. Those steps need to be are taken on a daily basis over a period of time, over and over. Broken down into small actions your practice will get you to the goal. Sometimes those steps feel like they have nothing to do with the goal. The understanding that practicing those small steps leads to attaining the result takes having the experience of the process. It is one of the most valuable insights my children have from participation in sports activities.

So here is my own practice plan for 2019:

Things I personally plan to continue to practice in 2019.

  • Listening. A skill I am already pretty good at but, there have been a few situations in my life recently that have reminded me of the value of listening and for the ongoing need of it’s practice in my relationships.
  • Art making again. To further develop my skills and for the joy of it! I’ll be creating; returning to practicing drawing, painting and sewing skills on a daily basis.
  • Writing. This article!
  • Gratitude. Probably the most important. The underpinning for all the others as an ongoing spiritual practice. Gratitude is vital to well being. It needs to be exercised regularly and I need to practice it daily.

What will you put into practice for yourself and your family this year? I’d love to hear your practice plans for 2019!


  1. habitual or customary performance; operation:office practice.
  2. habit; custom:It is not the practice here for men to wear long hair.
  3. repeated performance or systematic exercise for the purpose of acquiring skill or proficiency:Practice makes perfect.
  4. condition arrived at by experience or exercise:She refused to play the piano, because she was out of practice.
  5. the action or process of performing or doing something:to put scheme into practice; the shameful practices of a blackmailer.
  6. the exercise or pursuit of a profession or occupation, especially law or medicine:She plans to set up practice in her hometown.
  7. the business of a professional person:The doctor wanted his daughter to take over his practice when he retired.
  8. Law the established method of conducting legal proceeding
A big thank you to Angie Runyan of Run Ran Fam Family Adventures and Learning for writing this article.   

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