An intention. Or maybe a goal is the better word? Mantra, perhaps?
Whatever it is, before school started last year I made a little list of what I hoped for our year. It was long. And overwhelming. Basically, it was too much … much too much for a mama with a kinder, 2nd grader, and two baby/toddler tagalongs.
So I boiled it down to one thing. One thing that tugged at my heart the most. One thing to measure our year by — Make more art.
And with that intention I made sure we created something every week. Even if that meant we skipped something “important”.
Best of all, it was fun! It was so fun to search Pinterest together for ideas, to take online watercolor classes (we are still obsessed with Let’s Make Art), use gobs of google-y eyes, and fill a wall in the school room with creations we’re all proud of. Because, yes, I totally participated in many of our projects.
I considered sticking with the art goal this year, just making it part of the fabric of our home school. It was so good for all of us. But this year, I needed something fresh to focus on.
Adding Reid into the mix with a light load of preschool curriculum felt overwhelming. Encouraging Max through his studies takes a lot of hands on effort. Seeing that Jemma doesn’t get lost in the mix makes me fret some, because as independent as she is, she still deserves my attention. And Eli, well, let’s just say he ate mouthfuls of butter straight off the butter knife the other day while I was tending to one of his siblings. He needs me too!
So, this year, I chose an intention more for me. One that would keep my heart right and in the game. Because I’m still at the very, very beginning of all this. I’m still trying to learn our rhythm, sluff off the excess, and figure out the core of what we really need to do each day.
This year I landed on “do what we can well”.
It means that if we don’t get to math because we were heavily invested in our read aloud, that’s ok. It means that if we write pen pal letters with lovely penmanship, but don’t open our actual handwriting workbooks, well, so be it. It means that we aren’t going to live by an arbitrary checklist. It means that if we are learning together and investing in our familial relationships, that’s enough. It means that I’m not going to run our home school like a classroom. It’s breaking the mold and living in the moment. It’s being intentional with the time and tasks we have. This year we are going to do what we can well. We aren’t going to do everything. We are going to miss opportunities. What we do accomplish, we will aim to do to the best of our ability.
We won’t rush.
We will savor.
We will soak in all we can.
We will do what we can well.
And that’s this year! So far, I’m having about a 50/50 success rate. Good thing it’s only October … plenty of time to practice and make progress! I so struggle with getting stuck in list mode and creating an idol of staying on track in our workbooks. It’s so hard to balance the responsibility of properly educating whilst unschooling how society has pretty much killed the desire of learning. The kids though? They’re doing amazing! I conveyed this year’s intention as, “Take the time you need to be proud of your work … be diligent. Do what you can well and I will always be so very proud of your effort.”
So you set goals or intentions for your homeschool year? If so, I’d love to hear!