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New Season - Issue 264
August 31, 2012
Hi there! ....

Our family is back and settling into life at home. We had a wonderfully amazing time - saw some incredible things and did some fun things too.

It has been good to have a break from Facebook, blogging and writing my newsletter though I'll get back into the swing of all that shortly no doubt. This week's newsletter is really a reflection of my thought processes as I settle in and prepare for the next season of our life. I hope you find some encouragement from it for where you are at with your family life today.

Live life with your kids!

If you are a new Australian reader I would appreciate you reading this special request.

New Season

As you know we are back from our 6 weeks overseas trip. We come back feeling like we are at the start of a new year. Maybe that is because we usually go on holidays at the end/beginning of a new year, or maybe it is because we’ve come back revived and ready to go. Either way it feels like a new start.

Many situations create a new season in our life

  • A new family member is added
  • Our family circumstances change – dad has a different job, mum goes to work, we move house or move town etc
  • Our children grow up into different phases or seasons of their life which brings different challenges or projects (baby to toddler, toddler to pre-schooler, pre-schooler to school age, to teenager, to young adult etc….)
  • We take on new projects ourselves
  • End of one calendar year and into the next year – or the beginning of a new school year

A fresh start –whether it is created by us by wanting to turn a new leaf, or whether it is dictated to us by our circumstances, it is a time where we take stock of where we are at and where we are going and what we need to do along the way. As parents, we do this for our children as well.

Are you in a place where you need a new start?
Are your children needing a fresh start?
Maybe not in every area of life, but maybe in one?

At the beginning of the new year, or a new start, I like to take stock of our family. It is my ‘discipleship plan’. I ask myself where my child is at in each of these areas, what opportunities do we have and what do we need to pursue in each of these areas for each individual child. (Links will take you to my website for further information on each area)

I then choose my priorities – I have found that I can manage 3 priorities for each child at this season in our family life. When they were young, and we were dealing with sickness, I often only had one priority for our family – I told myself that the rest would be dealt with at some stage. We can’t deal with everything today (and some of us feel like it should have been dealt with yesterday!) If we take on too much then we won’t be effective in any of it. Highlight only that which is realistic for you to attend to now – life moves on, children grow and mature and there will be time.

One lesson that I have learnt from our older two children is that it doesn’t all have to be done by 18 years of age (or whatever age you want to put on it). There are still lessons that I am teaching Josh – still character issues that he is working on – still lifeskills that he needs to master – still knowledge that he is pursuing. We need to have this bigger picture as parents and not try and get it all done by a certain age. Our children will have to take responsibility for their life at some stage and in doing so they take on the responsibility to continue to grow and learn as a person.

Once I have our priorities for the coming season of life, I then look at our routine. As I have said before our children say, “The only routine thing about our routine is how often it changes!” Our routine is to serve the goals that we have as a family. It is to help us use our time wisely, to use our time on the goals that we have set. Is this how you see your routine? If you aren’t sure that your routine is serving your current family goals then go and do a little test. Look at every commitment on your routine or in your diary, and ask yourself what goal or what purpose does this timeslot fulfil? Of course, the tough stuff comes when you have to bite the bullet and drop some things because you realise they are not helping your family.

The last thing I do in setting up my discipleship plan is look at the resources I need. They are either resources to teach me what I need in order to teach or train my children, or they are resources that I use directly with my children or they use themselves. Resources come as books, DVDs, online programmes, short term courses, a real life mentor or tutor, hands on kits, tools and equipment etc. (Tip: Look on your shelves, and in your community before you go shopping! It is amazing how often something will be hiding there – maybe it didn’t work last time, but you are in a different season now and it may just work!!)

So, this is where I am at with my family. Over the last 6 weeks or so I have been collecting information. I have been listening to my children as they talk about the things that are important to them. I have been talking with my husband as we discuss our growing family. I have had a few times where I can reflect on the things important to me. I have been keeping all these things in my prayers as I don’t want to rush ahead and fill our precious days with good ideas.

Now is the time for me to put pen to paper and think all these thoughts through.

I have found over the years when I don’t put all my thoughts down on paper I find myself skipping from one idea to the next, I find myself missing heart opportunities that I should have seen happening, I find myself too busy doing not sure what.

There are two keys though to having your thoughts on paper

  1. You have to regularly refer to what you have written down. Any goals we ever write need to be referred to. Be it education goals, new year’s resolutions, budgets, weight goals, creative goals, short term / long term goals – if we don’t refer to them we forget them.
  2. You have to be prepared to tweak. A goal is never set in stone – life happens and sometimes this affects our goals. If we don’t tweak our goals they become obsolete and irrelevant – and we are left wafting as if we had never set a goal in the first place.

I know each and every family who reads this newsletter is going to be at a different place. Some are starting their homeschooling year, some are smack-bang in the middle of a school year, some are training toddlers, some are encouraging their young adults to fly, but wherever your family is at you can be an intentional parent by being aware of the things that you can do to help your children be a child of God, growing in every capacity He has created in them.

You can still catch up with our travels over at Not a Holiday Blog

Blogging at Live Life with your Kids! will hopefully resume this week.

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My Bookshop

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.

Heart Focus Parenting book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

My Sitemap is a quick reference to all you will find on Lifestyle-Homeschool. I encourage you to have a browse around!

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter

Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!

The newsletter will also keep you updated with all additions to Lifestyle-Homeschool

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