In the final stages of the holiday season last December, I wrote a list of things I would like to refocus on for the new year.
Looking back on 2013, what would I do differently? How would I rework things? Has there been anything on my mind that I always mean to do and just never get around to doing? Here’s what I had:
What I Want To Accomplish This Year
- More art
- More Etsy postings (and maybe even a sale this year!)
- Continued Progress with Homeschooling
- More Frequent Running
- A functional garden
- A functional blog
- A 10K run
- Attending the Blog Her Conference
- A scheduled plan at the beginning of every month
- I would like to be less lazy and more deliberate…but also more relational and less task-oriented
So, now that it is the last day of January, how did I do?
1. I finished sewing applique` projects! Woohoo!
2. I haven’t even logged into Etsy all month. Boo on that.
3. Huge progress here. It took a couple weeks to get back on track and finish all our work every day, but it was well worth the effort. I personally don’t mind when things get hard during homeschooling. The days when subtraction is something that was designed in the stone age and we were just discovering fire, the days when the only thing the kids are doing is spacing out and staring longingly at the sunshine outside; the days when it’s 3 in the afternoon and you are still working on the first subject….those days are rough.
BUT- those days force you to rethink what you’re doing. If your lesson plans are not engaging the child, and not engaging you, then you have to toss that lesson plan. Just crumble it up and toss it right out the window. Do something else. What I did was set the entire day of Monday aside for “Arts, &etc.” German, piano, sketching, color theory and documentaries are on Monday. This opens up the rest of the week to academics.
I originally had the kids practice face sketching so their motor controls would be trained, and it would improve their handwriting. What is surprising is the advances they made with sketching. We went from this
in a couple weeks! That is AWESOME.
The curriculum we use has 12 little books per subject, instead of one big book, so it makes accomplishing the books much more satisfying…and palatable. This month the kids have finished many books, which is super exciting.
We also started open registration EPGY, which I have been looking at for a while, and it has replaced time4learning.com as an educational supplement (just covering all our bases to make sure we are actually learning up to standard). I was a little worried when we first started because I haven’t had the kids test to see if they are on track with their grade level. We use curriculum for their grade level, and we use the STAR test printouts to see what needs to be revisited, but nothing has ever been official. So signing up for an online course from Stanford that was designed for homeschoolers was a little trepidatious.
I am so happy (ECSTATIC) to report that the kids are getting 90%-100% on the subjects. WHEW!! They also love the way it’s laid out. It’s very quick review of the subject, and then you work. I didn’t know how that would go, but it turns out to be exactly what they need.
So, #3 – check!
4) Besides this week, where I have only run 1.5 miles, I’m doing good. Averaging +3 miles a week. I’m still not a size 10 (or 12), but Progress is progress.
5) No luck on the garden, but it’s still there. Looking at me. Longingly.
6) The blogging is certainly doing better. December was a little tough to find time to write anything, and once January came I had a big case of, “what on earth do I even write about,” but I persevered and kept at it. Blog Her Convention in the future…?
7) Well, obviously no 10K run this month. That’s a case of “I’ll do it tomorrow.”
8) Attending the Blog Her Conference- TBD
9) “A scheduled plan at the beginning of every month” I think this is something I forgot about, and I’m looking forward to writing out the scheduled plan for February. I can plan a week just fine, but a whole month is daunting. That will be this weekend’s project!
10) I would like to be less lazy and more deliberate…but also more relational and less task-oriented
This was the big one for me. If I accomplished nothing else on my list, I at least wanted to accomplish this one.
I am definitely more initially task focused than people focused, and I can get lost in checking off lists during the day; especially with homeschooling. I’m pretty sure this is more common than not with homeschooling moms: “Do X and Y and Z, and when you’re done with that, we will finish G, H and J.” That’s all good and well for finishing subjects, but if you ignore the child while you finish your task list (because it can become your list instead of their list, if you’re not careful!), you’re missing out on the relational gems of homeschooling.
This month I have made a deliberate point to work with the kids more, sit with them for some subjects, work on the white board with them through tough fractions and sentence diagrams (I need a white board marker fund…for serious). Nova and I have had a couple nights of writing sessions at Starbucks together, which was a lot of fun. She is building a recipe book for herself, and I am pulling my hair out over my organizational skillz on tamarah.org.
So, all in all, it has been a really successful month! I’ve stayed on track, made good progress, I feel good….AND I am on top of the laundry!! BONUS!