The following is a post from contributing writer Amanda of The Scarlet Paisley.
In the midst of gathering curriculum and preparing for a new year of homeschooling our kids, we often forget that we need to prepare for us too. The moms. You and I. The ones (in most cases) who operate this whole merry-go-round. We beam with satisfaction at our best-laid plans for the kids, yet are we truly ready to carry them out? What plans are we making for us?
Athletes practice tirelessly before competing in an event. Performers rehearse over and over until the day of the big show. And artists hone their craft before going public. How are we gearing up as we dive into a new year? We forget that sometimes we need new curriculum too. Are there certain habits you wish you were forming or were more consistent with each day? What things are you doing that make you feel good about the way you’re spending your time? I know there are several things I’d like to be intentional about this school year. Here’s my list:
- Start reading through the Chronological Bible. I’ve never read through the entire Bible from start to finish.
- Check email and Facebook just a couple of times a day. Unless I have a boundary in place, the internet is a major draw, especially when I’m overwhelmed.
- Be mindful about what I’m eating. Never fail, a handful of chocolate chips always sounds better than carrot sticks.
- Take time to really engage with my kids. Like talking to my older kids about what they’re reading, and snuggling up often on the couch with the younger ones and a stack of books.
Is it just me, or do these plans have absolutely nothing to do with the curriculum we’re using, and everything to do with me and my choices? More often than not, the way Mama handles herself from day-to-day makes a bigger difference than any curriculum ever could.
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” - Tony Robbins
Are you okay with getting what you’ve always gotten? Or is it time for a change? After arguing with myself a bit, I’ve arrived at the conclusion that change is necessary. The unwanted habits I cling to so desperately are not my friends. They’re like leeches, those habits, hanging around sucking the life out of me. Are they sucking the life out of you too? If your days are not running like you’d hope, and you know you have some habits and attitudes that are getting in the way, maybe it’s time for you to implement a new curriculum for you too. I dove in and wrote myself a new curriculum. It will be as follows:
- Daily reading of the Chronological Bible first thing in the morning. It’ll be an exciting adventure!
- Set times to check my email and Facebook. In the morning and after lunch is served I’ll set a timer for 15 minutes and hop on my computer. In the evening after the kids are in bed, I’ll check again with no time limit in place.
- Make sure I have inviting and healthy snacks available for myself. So maybe that handful of chocolate chips won’t be so tempting.
- Rest in and savor this process of homeschooling. Being home with my kids is a gift. I want to be present with them in body, mind, and heart during our homeschooling hours.
What kinds of things are you hoping to be more intentional about this year? Grab some paper and write them down. Or better yet: type it out, making more of a formal manifesto of how you’re going to spend your time. Then post it in your kitchen, by your computer, or anywhere else that is readily visible during the day. Your list will probably look vastly different from mine. Maybe you’d like to be more intentional about the meals you’ll be preparing throughout the week. Perhaps you’d like to remember to check your older kids’ work each day. Possibly waking up early before the rest of the house stirs is something you’d really like to begin. No matter what you’re working toward, it’s so beneficial to write those goals down.
“Of course, most people don’t bother to write down the goals. Instead, they drift through life aimlessly, wondering why their life lacks purpose and significance. I am not saying that committing your goals to writing is the end-game. It’s not. But it is the beginning.” – Michael Hyatt, 5 Reasons Why You Should Commit Your Goals to Writing
Putting your goals into writing gets those thoughts and desires out of your head space and onto the page, setting you up for the next step: implementing them. And lastly, as we’re making plans and listing goals, may we lay them at the feet of Jesus. Giving Him our families, our ideals, and our very selves. Relying on His power to help us through this year (best-laid plans and all), knowing that it is “in Him we live and move and have our being“. (Acts 17:28a)
Amanda lives and loves in a bustling household with her husband Jeremy and their seven kids. She blogs over at The Scarlet Paisley, where she writes about faith, motherhood, homeschooling, adoption, and how stripes have overrun her closet. Connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.