A lot has changed since August. (Can I get an amen?) I’m not making fun of my own eager over-achiever self or those of you like me, but the allure of the ideal can feel pretty strong at the start of a new school year. And even though I’m slowly learning to address my attachment to the ideal, I still make the mistakes of setting my hopes on them.
So the things that are saving my homeschool life right now are:
1. The snow melted. It was over 40 degrees this past Saturday. It felt glorious outside. I took a deep breath in and remembered what it felt like to just enjoy being out of doors. The realization that we will soon (hopefully, it is February in Michigan) be outside again helped me with the cabin fever.
2. The daily journals (Bullet Journals for Kids). I started these in August, and we are still using them. Let me be frank, it has not been easy to sit and write in each kid’s notebook every night before the next day, but it has been worth it. The number one reason why we are still making it through our material, why we were able to recover relatively quickly from Christmas break and the like, is keeping up with these journals.
3. 31 Days to Clean. I started a cleaning challenge at the end of January because I needed someone else to tell me one thing to focus on each day. After being in the house for all of December and January, I feel numb to the clutter and drained by all the stuff we have to take care of. Those of you who are about to pounce and tell me to read “The life-changing magic of tidying up” – brace yourself – I have a copy and I’m planning on tackling it soon. 31 Days has been a gentle motivator to just focus on one major thing. The bonus has been that since I’m not pressuring myself to get to everything every day, yet I’m seeing progress, I actually want to do the little things that help make my home feel clean and tidy. Like, clearing the counter before going to bed. It’s little but it saves my attitude for the next day. I don’t feel immediately drained and ill equipped to handle what the homeschool day may throw at me.
4. Challenging and rewarding my kids. Weather and attitudes go through seasons, and sometimes it’s good to have an external motivator to push through the days that feel blah. So, for my kids we challenged them to the Winter Read Aloud Challenge and watched as they read and earned some fun little and big prizes. January flew by and with a new week at a glance chart pasted into their Bullet Journals we instituted a family first: Allowances.
5. Low pressure curriculum. We intentionally chose Five In A Row this year in order to focus on building family bonds by reading together. And I’m so glad that we did because we have been able to glide through this year without falling into the trap of “Oh no! We were supposed to be through unit 12 by January and now we are 4 units behind – so sit down and listen to me read 4 chapters of our textbook.” Gentle lessons have truly saved my life right now, and this whole year.
Those are the things saving my life (plus Seafoam but I already told you about that in my last post).
This post is linked up with Anne Bogel’s Modern Mrs. Darcy post The Things That Are Saving My Life Right Now. Feel free to share your favorite things or your link with me in the comments.