New Year’s Resolutions/Planning for a New Homeschool Year
Posted by homeschoolmentormom on December 31, 2010
Sorry I haven’t posted for so long; I’ve been busy enjoying the season with my children. We had a wonderful Christmas, and hope that you did, too! This is the first year that my daughter has had her own money to spend, and she really enjoyed spoiling us all—especially me.
I really can’t believe that Christmas is over, and that it’s time to start thinking about New Year’s Resolutions/our plans for a new year of homeschooling. Do you re-examine your school plan this time of year, while you are thinking about your other resolutions? Your family life? Your spiritual life? We do. Below are some of the questions I have been considering.
Let me make it clear: I am not posting this list so that I can beat you over the head with it. Rather, I am beating myself over the head with quite a few of the questions. I do hope some of them will make you think….they sure make me think!! I believe that every Mom can think of several areas that need attention/improvement.
Philippians 3:12-14 says, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
Here are the questions I’ve been asking myself:
-Am I walking in the Spirit, or in the flesh? This question is top of my list, because I think it is the most important (along with examining our relationships—see below.) I think this question is at the heart of everything that happens in our home.
Our Pastor has started a series entitled, “Living in the Covenant in the New Year” and it has already been a blessing to me. I appreciated it so much because Pastor explained our new life in Christ versus “the old man” in a way that even my boys could understand. (I’ve been trying to explain it to them for years!)
I hope you’ll take the time to listen to the message linked above. Also, consider reading the book, “Practicing the Presence of God”, by Brother Lawrence. You can read it online for FREE. It is life-changing…living a perpetual prayer life.
Here are the rest of my questions I’m asking myself:
-Am I spending enough time in the Word?
-Am I spending enough time in prayer? Specifically, am I praying for my children enough? Am I consistently praying for their future spouses, as well?
-Am I speaking (AND thinking) blessings over my children, or curses? When my children come to tell me something, do I act as if they are merely an interruption, or do I listen with care and respect (in other words, do my actions communicate to my children that they are a blessing?)
-Also, what do my children think of themselves? What do they say about themselves? I want to be aware of this since our perceptions become our reality…we can “curse” ourselves (as well as our children) with negative self-fulfilling prophecies (“You’re so stubborn”…”Why are you having such a tough time with this?”, <child> “I can’t read!” VERSUS “You are very determined, and you have lots of stick-to-itiveness,” “You’re so clever…I know you can do this!” or <child> “I can read! I know I can do it!”)
-Do I control my tongue? Am I teaching my children to control theirs?
-Am I teaching my children the importance of controlling their thoughts?
-How is my mothering? Am I doing the things I know I need to do for/with my children mentally/physically/spiritually? What about discipline-wise?
-Has my attitude been what it should be? Do I set a good example to my children? How are my children’s attitudes doing? Towards discipline? Towards school? How can I help them improve and grow?
-How is my tone of voice? Am I gentle with my children? Compassionate?
-Is there enough follow-thru to provide accountability when it comes to obedience, attitude, chores, school, etc? (This is one I really need to work on—as well as total consistency.)
-How is the culture of our home? Have I become lax in regards to what I let my children watch on TV—or how long I let them watch? (Yes.) Have I become lax with our computer rules?
-What is the character of our home? Is there peace in our home?
-What is working/not working for us school-wise? This is a good time of year to revisit your curriculum and make changes as necessary.
-Is my home conducive to learning? Are art supplies easily at hand? Are there lots of different types of books available for my children to choose from freely? Is my “school area” organized and ready to go? (In other words, is our home an enriching environment?)
-Am I providing enough creative play/outside play time for my children?
-Am I planning time for the “fun stuff”–and getting it done? (Not nearly enough!)
And, of course, most importantly, I ask myself about the 4R’s:
-Relationships: How are our family’s relationships with God going? What is our spiritual temperature? Are we sick, or healthy? Are we, as a family and as individuals, growing in the Lord? What do we need to change? Are we putting off the “old man”, and becoming new creatures?
Am I taking the time I need to grow relationships within our family? Am I teaching/helping my children grow their relationships with others in the family? Am I making time to play with my children? Do we laugh together, play games together, etc (do we take time for relationship builders?)
Do I provide each child with enough cuddle time? What about hugs/affectionate touch throughout the day (ruffling the hair, rubbing the shoulders, etc) to communicate my love to them?
Here is a Spiritual Growth Assessment from Lifeway that might be helpful to you.
-Routines: How are our routines working? Do we need to make any changes, or simply work on being more consistent? How well am I managing my time? Am I teaching my children to manage theirs?
–Readiness: What are we doing too much of/not enough of? Are there subjects/areas where we are falling short—areas where the curriculum needs to be beefed up? (Am I providing the learning activities/opportunities that my children are ready for?)
Alternately, am I trying to do too much? Am I pushing my children too hard? Am I frustrating myself and my children with inappropriate expectations? Remember that with young children, it is important to wait for signs of ability, interest, and spontaneous learning before trying to instruct our children in academic subjects. If you have a preschooler, remind yourself that you don’t have to work your child to death getting him “ready for Kindergarten.” Instead, you can make your homeschool ready for your Kindergartener.
If you have a Kindergartener, give him a relaxed, traditional Kindergarten experience and ease into seatwork/the 3R’s only as they are ready (and never forget how much they learn through real life, hands-on experiences, conversation, and through being read to!)
-Reading aloud: Am I spending enough time reading aloud to my children—no matter their age? We need to continue building up our read aloud time. One goal I have set for myself is getting my boys ready for bed earlier, so that we have more time to read before bedtime. We are in the middle of two series: My husband and I are taking turns reading Hank the Cowdog to the boys, and my daughter has just started reading the Chronicles of Narnia to them (this is in addition to the reading we do for homeschool.)
All these questions boil down to three main questions: 1) Am I walking in the Spirit (and receiving His power to help me do what I know I should do), 2) Am I a balanced Mom?, and 3) Am I making the main thing the main thing–in my personal life and my home life?
I will prayerfully consider each of these questions over the next couple of days, and write out some goals in response to them. What about you? What questions have you been asking yourself? Are you making any New Year resolutions this year?
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