Have you been reflecting on the past year? Have you been wondering where improvements could be made in your home and homeschool? Read on for the word that keeps me going: the word that helps me to “show up” every day.
Homeschooling is hard, it’s not always an easy job. We are faced with days of frustration, days of distractions, days of illness, and days of outright disobedience.
All of these troubles don’t compare to the rewarding side of homeschooling. The days where cuddles and beautiful conversations with our kids happen. The days of of seeing the light bulb go off in our children’s minds. The days where joy is felt in our homes.
We know that not every day will be easy but we keep on keeping on.
Until we realize things have gotten hard.
A hard day turns into a hard week. We take a needed break and focus on relationships, doing life together.
Then we realize we need to get back into doing our schoolwork. We realize that chores aren’t being completed. We realize we’re getting distracted easily by the bright and shiny screens.
We become acutely aware that some changes need to be made in our homes and homeschools.
We recognize that the changes need to start with us. That we have sunk into bad habits. That our attitudes haven’t been the prettiest with our family.
How do we make these changes?
Understanding what makes our homes and homeschools run smoothly is part of it.
Understanding our perception and attitude towards the people we love is part of it.
And showing up every day, giving our best is part of it.
For me, I know that when I have good habits in place it’s much easier to do what needs to be done, because I’m used to doing it. It’s become habit. I don’t have to think about it or make the decision to do it or not, I just do it.For me, I know that when I have good habits in place it's much easier to do what needs to be done. Click To Tweet
When these good habits are in place and I’m completing my everyday tasks, I feel accomplished. I don’t feel behind. I become more productive. My attitude improves and my family notices that I’m more easy going and light spirited.
However, sometimes these good habits turn into bad unproductive habits. I allow myself to be distracted.
In my home and homeschool I need to be consistent. I need to “show up” every day. I need to put those good habits into practice.
So, in my home and homeschool, this year, I’m choosing faithfulness.
Faithfulness in my Bible reading and time with God comes first.
When I start my day by sitting down and opening my Bible to read a passage or to copy a few verses I’m putting my focus on God and learning more about what He wants for me.
I notice that I tend to be more on edge and I worry more when I’m not putting God first, and frankly, I become more selfish.
When I’m in the habit the best time for me to get in the Word is usually right when I get up, with a coffee by my side. But sometimes I linger and then I get too comfortable. So the second best time for me is once I’m sitting down with breakfast.
I like to take out my Bible and notebook and the study I’m working on and bring it to the table. By this time I’m (hopefully) showered and awake, I feel more studious sitting at the table. This helps my attention and it sets a good example for my kids to see that it’s a normal part of the daily routine.
Faithfulness to my family is a priority.
Allowing distractions to take over instead of choosing to be present with my husband and kids is not how I want it to be.
I want to be engaged and know my kids and listen to my kids and play with my kids. I want to greet my husband when he comes home from work with a smile and I want to make eye contact and have a conversation about our days.
The distractions have to be limited. I have to set boundaries.
Faithfulness to our homeschool means showing up every day, even when it’s hard.
I’m still working out the kinks to the “perfect” schedule. I know that any schedule will never be perfect. There will always be something that will not work out the way the schedule says.
But I also know that I need a guide to keep us on track, to hold me accountable.
Learning to do school so that the work gets done but that it’s a natural part of our day, our routine, and also giving ourselves grace is a learning process.
In our homeschool we aim to school in the morning and leave our afternoons open for free time. This is one aspect of a Charlotte Mason homeschool. Children need space and time to play, to do the things that interest them, to be outside without a purpose from mom.
Over these last few years we’ve been in various activities and co-ops, which are wonderful, but they do take away from our schooling time.
We would go in the morning with the intention to do some schoolwork when we returned but often it didn’t happen, or it happened with great reluctance.
For us, right now, this means saying no to morning activities, saying no to morning classes at co-ops, but saying yes to our time at home for school. (Currently we do have a weekly speech appointment in the late morning, but that won’t be the case forever. And I lead a small co-op that satisfies art and physical education for the kids on every other Friday, bonus they get to see their friends.)
This time at home will allow us to carve out time in the day that says here is when we do school, it’s important to consistently do our lessons.This time at home will allow us to carve out time in the day that says here is when we do school, it's important to consistently do our lessons. Click To Tweet
Homeschooling is my job.
And any job would require you to show up. Even when it’s hard. Even when there are distractions.
Being faithful in my homeschool means continuously and unfailingly showing up.
Faithfulness to my work in the home is doing the mundane, the little every day things because it’s simply a part of my role as wife and mother.
The every day things like dishes and laundry and meal prep are not glamorous but they are necessary.
I don’t always like to do these basic tasks. Whether there’s a little to be done each day or a mountain of a pile (I’m talking about you Mount Laundry!) to do all at once because it just can’t be neglected any longer, I know it still has to be done.
And I know when I am on top of these chores and have a clean sink before I go to bed then it’s so much easier to keep things clean and tidy.
Hence, I need to be faithful to my duty of homemaker. Building a little time here and a little time there throughout the day keeps those every day things from becoming overwhelming.
Faithfulness to caring for myself means I can better take care of others.
Working and taking care of a home and family needs to come with balance. We moms also need to make sure that we are doing something that refreshes us each day. We need to know what gives us joy that is all our own.
We need a hobby or something that is intellectually stimulating.
Do you crochet, or paint, or love to read? What about something to challenge yourself like learning something new or participating in a Reading Challenge (like this Back to the Classics Challenge)?
Set aside a little time for these mom activities. When you’re feeding your brain and feeling relaxed you can handle situations more graciously.
Another aspect to caring for myself is making a priority for my physical health. When I’m active and out walking with the kids every day or when I choose to actually do a workout I feel more energetic. More energy for me is all around a good thing.
Choosing to eat well and drink plenty of water is important for my physical health as well.
When I do these things that physically and intellectually care for my body and mind I feel replenished. And a replenished mom is ready to tackle anything that comes her way.
This concept of faithfulness, of showing up every day consistently has been on my heart for a while.
I always want to do better and make improvements. Sometimes I can step back and take a look at the big picture, set some goals, and little by little make progress.
But sometimes I just need to keep doing the everyday things, faithfully, and know that little by little my unproductive and distracted habits will turn into habits of a productive and joyful momma.But sometimes I just need to keep doing the everyday things, faithfully, and know that little by little my unproductive and distracted habits will turn into habits of a productive and joyful momma. Click To Tweet
This year, I choose faithfulness. I choose to faithfully show up, every day, where it matters most.
Do you choose a focus word for the year? What helps you to stay on track or to make progress in your home and homeschool?