Its that time of year again where we look back over the year we’ve just journeyed and forward into a year that holds a world of possibilities. We all have things that we would like to leave behind and things that we want to do better in the new year.
This week between Christmas and New Year is the week I always take to re-evaluate and set goals. I shared my process on how I do this in December 2016, click the link to read that post for a practical way of approaching the new year.
This year I want to share my seasonal living and homeschooling goals with you. Let’s start with seasonal living…
In 2013 and 2014 I did a series of posts where I shared my monthly seasonal plans and themes that I put together to mark and celebrate the years seasons and events. I use these themes each year but adapt them for the new years dates, events and choose different crafts and bakes to do with the children. Now that my girls are grown we don’t really do the crafty things anymore but we do like to bake together and I still like to bring in the seasonal rhythms of the year in small ways.
Seasonal Themes and Plans Archive
As I read through my archives I remembered all the fun times we had, all the precious memories we have created. These plans are a snapshot of my two daughters childhood and boy, have we had fun. Why not establish a new tradition in your own family and instil a love for seasonal living by planning some simple activities and observances into your days?
As we move into our last 6 months of homeschooling I want our weeks to be blessed and for us to take time to enjoy some of the important pillars that our homeschooling has rested on. It is so easy as you focus on your SAT’s to leave out the ‘fun’ stuff and be all consumed with SAT preparation and academics.
Some of our constants have been Nature Study, Read Aloud, Music Appreciation and Artist Study. It’s these things that can so easily fall by the wayside and there have been short periods in our homeschooling when they have done so. But is never more than a few weeks until I begin to notice that our homeschool is not quite the same and I pinpoint why and fix it.
“it’s the ‘together’ things that have been most significant”
Let me tell you something…a large portion of our most precious memories have come from the time we have spent together on these 4 subjects and from our Bible and handcraft times. The academics are just that, academics. They have not lent many opportunities for forming precious memories together, nor have they been particularly memorable. We’ve enjoyed learning of course but it’s the ‘together’ things that have been most significant.
So it is with this knowledge that I am determined to make time to continue these things in our day. To continue to make room for conversation, shared experiences, shared wonders and appreciation for God’s natural world and the arts. These are all as valuable as any academic subject and I don’t believe they should be sacrificed in the name of academics.
I will post our Nature Study, Art Appreciation, Music Appreciation and Read Aloud plans in early January.
Time spent outdoors is never wasted irrespective of age. From experience, I know how healing being outdoors can be. I have seen how an attack of the ‘grumpys’ can be banished from the homeschool day by putting down the books and getting outside… read CLEAR THE COBWEBS, a post I wrote in March 2013 describing just such an occasion.
There is a growing bank of evidence that confirms what most naturalists have known for years, spending time outdoors is excellent for mental health and coping with stress so don’t give up your nature study time as you move into your homeschool high schooling years.
I’ve decided not to set any other life-related goals for 2019, I’m simply going to concentrate on what is most important to me; my family; my faith; and my home. Whatever else comes along I will face at that moment… 2019 is the year that I choose to let go of all my plans, put my hand in Christs and let Him lead.
Blessings in Christ…