Happy New Year! I hope you all had a fantastic holiday season! We had so much fun during our holiday break. We baked so many cookies, attended some awesome Christmas parties, and had fun with Dad who took off the week of Christmas. So many great Christmas memories!
I have to admit, though…I’m kind of happy to see 2018 go far, far away. Between three broken bones, an emergency surgery, a sprain, a brown recluse bite, (and that was just between two of us!) in addition to so.many.family.problems, it was a rough one.
There were some super great highlights though: a short but sweet girls only trip to the beach, a couple months of watching the cutest grand toddlers and grandbaby, a few good field trips, plenty of baseball and soccer, fun concerts, many game nights with friends and family, and of course our awesome holiday season. The good completely outweighed the bad….when I take the time to actually think about it.
One area in 2018 where I feel I failed more often than not was our homeschool. We never got off to a good start this school year. Too many commitments. Too many outside activities. Too many HUGE expectations on my part. And not near enough planning. We had fun and we’ve learned a lot, but we could have (should have) done so much more. We already started back this week after a long holiday break. However, I’m still working on a plan for finishing out this school year. So here is my short but hopefully effective goals list for 2019:
- No more outside commitments. We already have commitments with church, one of our homeschool co-ops as well as Little League sports, and of course family commitments which I wouldn’t change for the world. And we have one BIG new commitment beginning this semester: Kaleb will be joining a local high school’s baseball team. He will be required to attend 7th period every school day as well as the after school practice and games. He’s actually attending our neighboring school district as ours doesn’t have a baseball team so I will be responsible for driving him to and from practice each day. Thankfully, a neighbor’s son who is also homeschooling attends the same hour as Kaleb so we will be able to car pool a little. So the goal is to not add any additional commitments. Along with that, I am only going to teach one class during co-op. Well…the same class x 3. I will be teaching all three hours BUT it will basically be the same subject.
- Monthly, weekly, daily routines. We did SO well with this…until about Thanksgiving. Then the holiday madness kicked in and we let it all fall away. We completed more of our schoolwork AND household chores once we got on a good routine though. It just made life so much easier to know exactly what was coming up next. Even on days when we started late, we still knew exactly what we needed to do and got it done. So. Much. Productivity. I want to get back to this and even dig in a little deeper. It just works that well for us.
- Weekly prep. This is a must. And I have failed miserably at it this school year. I usually do a big once a year planning weekend during the summer where I get every subject planned out, all the printables printed, all the supplies bought and organized, all the things done so that I could just grab the file of our current week…and get to work. I didn’t do any of that. I wasn’t prepared properly when we started school….and I’ve been playing catch up ever since. The only thing left for me to do this late in the game is to use the weekend to fully prep for the upcoming week. Maybe I can do some catch up in the next month or so while we have some downtime from most of our outside activities, but really I just need to commit to that weekly prep. Our homeschool would run so much smoother.
- Blog and YouTube. I’ll be honest: we get more done when I’m held accountable. And blogging about our weeks does that for me. Knowing that I will be publicly recording our homeschool is so motivating. And let’s be honest….my attempts at blogging the last few years have been pitiful. I love looking back on those years when I regularly blogged about our homeschool. I wish I had a better record of the last few. I can do better. And I will. I also want to get back to posting YouTube videos. I enjoy watching and reading about other homeschools and the community is such a blessing to a mama who spends a lot of her time at home. I decided last month that we would give YouTube a retry so I deleted all the videos I had previously posted in preparation….I just couldn’t look at them. Ha! The boys and I will start over some time this month. Slowly but surely! I’m committing for sure to weekly blog posts and possible bi-weekly YouTube videos. We’ll see how it goes. I have a teenager who would LOVE to edit my videos for me so that is a HUGE bonus.
- Be more intentional. This really is the sum of the four previous goals but I feel it needs its own space. I have to see it to believe it. Out of sight, out of mind. Or something like that. More intentional with my time, my boys’ time, our family time, our outside commitments. All of it really. Make it count. You know when you fix an amazing dinner and have leftovers? You put them in the fridge with the intention of having all that yummy for lunch the next day. Then you forget. And it sits there in the fridge. You might see it later and think you’ll have it the next day. No worries! Right? But then you forget again. And eventually you have to throw the whole thing….container and all…into the trash because it’s become a science experiment gone wrong. That’s kind of how I feel the first half of our school year turned out. I kept forgetting/putting off the good stuff. The things that make our homeschool fun. And eventually we got sucked into a super busy (but so fun) holiday season. None of the good stuff I wanted to do actually got done. I think the biggest reason for that was my lack of intention. I just didn’t make time for those things to happen. I spent a lot of the last few months thinking we would eventually get to it but we never did. So I am going to work on being more intentional. Use my time wisely by making sure I don’t over-commit our family, reestablishing those routines that work so well for us, planning ahead with good solid prep time on the weekends, and holding myself accountable through this blog and social media.
I fully believe that, if I stick to these goals, we will accomplish so much more in our homeschool and finish out the year with a BANG! And part of making that happen is accountability so thank you, WWW, for holding me accountable! Ha! I look forward to the next few months and learning alongside my boys. It’s a new year. A new start. And I’m more excited about this last part of our school year than I was when we started it. Better late than never, I guess. Hope you all are off to a great start on your new year. If you’ve made some new homeschool goals for 2019, I would love to read about them. Happy 2019!!