Being a Mom is the epitome of being on call 24-7-365! And come this time of year, we know that homeschooling families – and more especially Moms! – are running on empty.
But as you come to the end of another year of discipling, nurturing, guiding and educating; and, before you finally ‘close the books and put them on the shelf’ (quite literally) for the holidays, we want to encourage you to take some time and reflect on the year that was.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Six helpful “MUST DO’s”, as you wind down your 2021 homeschooling year.
We are so caught up in the business of all that is happening around us, that we too easily forget to look back and evaluate how far we’ve come.
The End Of The Year Is A Good Time For Reflection
Here are six helpful things that will benefit you and your children…; and you’ll be so glad you took the time to follow through on, when you once again start homeschooling in the New Year…
1. Ask yourself: What DIDN’T work?
Be brutally honest!
If there were things that didn’t work, be sure to avoid them next year. After all, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Don’t fall into this trap!
Try that new Maths syllabus, move your homeschooling to another part of the house – where it’s warmer/cooler / brighter/less bright… whatever! Let your child sit on a gym ball, take regular breaks/less regular breaks, do more/less kinaesthetic/ auditory/ visual activities to better suit your child’s learning “language”.
The important thing is:
for both your and your children’s sakes,
DON’T BE AFRAID TO MAKE CHANGES,
especially in those areas that didn’t work.
2. Ask yourself: What DID work?
Think about any new things that you introduced, or changes that you made. Was it a new Maths offering that sparked fresh interest from your children…? or starting earlier/later in the morning…? Perhaps a new eating regime for your children or changes made to their diet…? Did you lay new boundaries regarding limiting harmful, excessive screen time exposure, or curfew for bedtime which saw them so much more awake and attentive come the next morning…? and so on and so forth.
For many families, during the holidays – especially over Christmas – we tend to be a lot more lenient with boundaries. As a result, bad habits creep in when it comes to things like eating healthily, staying up late, binge watching TV Series and so on and so forth.
You want to be sure that once the holidays are over and the New Year starts, you have a clear picture of the things you know you need to have in place and that work for you and for your children. And having a record of what did work, is a good point of reference from which to kick off the New Year.
3. Ask yourself: Where were there areas of growth?
As you get into the habit of keeping a record of “the year that was”, you’ll have more and more points of reference as regards recognising the improvements/growth/ maturity that are happening in your children.
We all love to be encouraged and recognised for things that we are doing well/getting better at; and as the old saying goes, “Nothing breeds success like success.”
The important thing then is… BE.SURE.TO.CELEBRATE.THEM!
Don’t be shy, make a BIG thing of the growth and maturity that you see in your children.
4. Ask yourself: Which areas will need more focus in the New Year?
There is almost always something in what we are doing, that we can improve. Perhaps your children need to read or write more. Maybe it’s a case of them needing to verbally narrate more – to help them order their thoughts and get comfortable with the sound of their own voices in a “public” forum.
Maybe they has a tendency to avoid trying new things/making changes to old things? In the loving, nurturing and patient atmosphere that is your homeschool, there is ample opportunity to gently address this and help them overcome this fear.
Maybe the area that needs focus is something more related to you, Mom! (Smile?) Do you perhaps need to work on your self-control, or time management. Perhpas it’s a case of needing to be more focused and less distracted by those things that are robbing you in your homeschooling, or…?
I encourage you to “call it what it is” and then doggedly, prayerfully address it; and be expectant that you will conquer it!
Godly thinking is important, but useless if it doesn’t lead to godly living. ~paraphrase of James 1:22
5. Now: Write it all down!
Don’t be conned into believing that you’ll remember all the points that have come to mind as you’ve been mulling over the 4 aspects, above… WRITE.THEM.DOWN.
Remember it’s not just for reference a few weeks from now. This can and will become your Homeschooling Journal as you venture down the years of educating your children. Just like a Prayer Journal where you look back and recognise how God has so graciously and often mightily answered prayers, your Homeschooling Journal too will be a wonderful source of encouragement for you. In time, you will get to tick off the issues that needed addressing, reflect on and recognise the areas of growth and maturity – both in your children and in you – and yes, celebrate the victories that are scored as you continue to disciple your children through homeschooling!
6. Finally, assess all of the above in light of your VISION for your homeschool.
Having a VISION affords you a barometer against which you can measure and assess proposed changes and additions to your homeschool. In these challenging and uncertain times, your VISION gives you a plumbline guide as you progress.
While all of the above is fresh in your mind, you can record your thoughts, feelings and findings. This will afford you tremendous peace and comfort as you take a break for the holidays; and you’ll have a useful reminder and guide to come back to when you start your New Year of homeschooling.
If you don’t already have a VISION for your homeschool,
I encourage you – in consultation with your spose – to compile one,
write it down and hang it up for all to see.
I can assure you, it will serve as a helpful and timely reminder
during those dark days when, for many different reasons,
homeschooling is particualrly challenging
and you find yourself questioning this journey!
In Closing… Thank You, Office Closure And Season’s Greetings!
On behalf of the Love2Learn Team, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to all our families and Cottage Schools that have supported Love2Learn and Imperial International College over the past year. It has been both our privilege and pleasure to serve you; and we look so forward to doing more of this all over again in the New Year!
Our offices close on Wednesday, 15 December and are scheduled to reopen on Monday, 10 January 2022.
Final order placement deadline is Monday, 13 December. This will allow us time to process before going on leave.
We would also like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a safe, peaceful and truly Blessed festive season.
THE LOVE2LEARN TEAM
“She will give birth to a son. You will name Him Jesus [the Lord saves].
Give Him that name because He will save his people from their sins.” ~Matthew 1:21
Joy to the world, the Lord has come, let earth receive her King!