Hi there! ....
This week we started our study schedule for the next season of our year. For those who have followed the coming and going of seasons in our life, I expect this season to last till October though we will have a short study break in the middle. We are in a new phase of family life where each of our children have different study focuses. This has lead us to thinking how we can share the things we are learning with each other in a way we haven’t had to do before. So far, sharing around the dinner table seems to be a workable idea.
I think a highlight of our week though was taking Friday off and heading down to the river with Peter. I packed a special picnic bag and though we weren’t there for long it was a nice rest from the normal daily activities. As we watched the water racing by we could not but marvel at God’s amazing creation.
Live life with your kids!
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Do you Know what you are Doing?
For us to be intentional in our lives we need to know what we are doing and why we are doing it. We also need to know where we are going and how we are going to get there. This means we need to reflect, assess and plan. Over the years I have fallen into a natural habit of going through this process twice a year* – new year and middle of the year. We are at the middle of year mark now.
This is not a homeschooling thing – this is a parenting thing. We need to be intentional in developing the whole child: the spiritual, moral, emotional, social, physical, academic. (This is also relevant for us as a person too – don’t just focus on being a parent, take time to assess your own personal life as well.)
The key to being successful with our goals isn’t in the setting of our goals but rather in the reflecting, assessing and tweaking as we go. To reflect on myself and on my family I set aside some time and ask myself some questions:
- What is going really well at the moment
- What is not going well, and what is causing stress
- What is on your heart at the moment
- Do you see any solutions for any of these things
And then for some more specific direction I look at the whole life aspects for myself and for each of my children as laid out on my website:
- How is my relationship with God
- How is my relationship with Peter (my husband), my children (each one individually), my family, my friends etc
- Am I growing as a person – what are the things I’ve been challenged about (intrapersonal)
- Are my giftings and talents growing, being developed
- What am I learning at the moment
I will also reflect back on any notes that I took last time and I’ll look at our calendar and routines. How are we using our time, are our choices in keeping with our goals?
This process alone will give me some very clear ideas of what I want to step forward and focus on for the next little while. But I think the hard work is yet to come. Here are some keys I’ve found myself having to work on:
- Be prepared to give up, walk away, put aside some things you were doing that you can see are not the best for where you are at today. There is no point in assessing what isn’t working if we are going to keep on doing the same thing. We must be committed to changing.
- Start doing – we cannot just stop doing the things that are not right, we have to fill that time in with things that are right for us. This process needs to lead us to knowing what we NEED to do not just what we need to NOT do.
- Know your weakness and plan against it. When I look at what I want to do I can see some very clear challenges – I don’t just want to accept that, instead I want to plan to overcome it. For example, I know it is going to be hard for me to do reading alouds with Daniel after I’ve been grocery shopping. It may not be hard for anyone else, but it is going to be hard for me. Identifying this and planning how to deal with that will help me establish this new habit I want in our life even though it will be a challenge.
- Know that it won’t change overnight. It took a little while to get off track, it will take a little while to get back on track. Believe in new starts – every morning!
Be kind and compassionate to one another,
forgiving each other,
just as in Christ God forgave you
Sometimes I think we need to be kind and compassionate
to ourselves as well!
There is just one other aspect that I like to think about and that is why am I doing something. Going through the above questions gives me good things to work on, no doubt, but can I answer someone asking me “Why are you doing that?” This question alone separates the good things from the right things. We can fill our day with good and helpful things, but are they the right things for our family at this point in time? We need to be very clear on the answer to this question.
The one word that describes our world today is busy… everyone is busy … I am busy. But… we need to think this though – what are we busy with? Things that we intend to have happening in our family? Or things that somehow got there and we don’t know how to get rid of them? If that is the case, then you really do need to pause, reflect, assess and then ACT.
*I like to do it monthly, and sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t – but these two major marks in the year always happen.
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Until next week
Living life with her kids in Australia!
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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter
I know homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, so I have divided my newsletter into four sections and you will receive one section a week; short but regular newsletters!
- Be a Deliberate Parent – Encouragement to continue in purposeful and intentional parenting.
- Family Life – Spotlights on a particular aspect of family life so we can see the natural opportunities available to us in educating our children.
- Character Education – Each month we focus on a different character trait – The newsletter will include application for Mums, as well as seeing character training opportunities in everyday life.
- A Homeschool Thought – Discussing homeschool issues
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