SummaryDrawing on saints and Scripture, Amanda Evinger, homeschooling Mom and author, has seven suggestions for New Year’s Resolutions for homeschooling parents.
If you are like me, you may be feeling like you should be making some New Year’s resolutions this year when it comes to homeschooling, but you’re not quite sure where to turn.
You have a hunch things could go better, but you’re not really certain just why or how. Let’s pray on it together, and turn to the Saints and the Scriptures for some ideas.
1. Put Prayer in First Place.
St. Paul of the Cross said, “The soul at prayer is a rock, because God holds it fast in His infinite love.” I don’t know about you, but as a homeschooling Mom, I sure need to be a “rock” most days!
This new year is a perfect time to embrace prayer in a refreshing way. Drawing up a parent’s “rule of life,” including set times for prayer may be helpful in carrying out a firm resolution to let prayer be a priority.
Committing to daily devotional or meditation books such as Conversations With God by Fr. Fernandez, or the Daily With series by TAN Books can be a wonderful place to start. Making a point to spend a good amount of time with Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament will also crown this upcoming year with God’s favor.
2. Remember You’ll be Judged on Love
“At the end of your life, you shall be judged on love,” said St. John of the Cross. Now is the perfect time to remember the true reason you are homeschooling in the first place — love! The love of God and your children compels you, and the thought of spending eternity with Him inspires you to press on.
Recognizing this love once again can give you the strength you need to persevere in homeschooling throughout this New Year, and do it with flying colors!
3. Get a Little More Organized!
Getting a nifty new Catholic planner (beautiful ones can be found at TAN Books or at michelequigley.com) as well as a homeschooling organizer can give you a boost. Making sure your homeschooling routine is simple, effective and consistent can bring order to your day and help you stay on top of house rules.
Giving things your family isn’t using to the poor can help with organizing and make you feel refreshed as well.
4. Refill Your ‘Cup’ Often
Plan how you can refill your ‘cup’ throughout the year. As Christ said in Matthew 11:28,
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves.”
Many homeschooling parents are highly responsible people who do well with their work routine but not always with their leisure schedules. Taking time for prayerful rest and family-friendly recreation is something you just can’t do without.
This new year, consider getting creative and thinking of some new ways to do to enjoy the blessings of life.
5. Take Time to Take Another Look
Make some time to re-evaluate your who’s, what’s, why’s and how’s.
Every now and then, we need to bring out the “melancholic” in all of us, and contemplate just who we are homeschooling for, what we are supposed to be spending our homeschooling hours doing, why we are “sticking to our guns” and not giving up, and how we plan to make it a success (or rather, how we plan to allow God to make it a success!)
6. Get Suggestions from the Children
Ask your kids for ideas about how to make this new year of homeschooling better. Children are very observant. Although sometimes this blessed characteristic can be trying for parents, other times it can prove to be a real asset to family life. They may notice how tired you are, when you’ve gotten so used to the bags under your eyes you forgot what you look like when you are rested!
They may suggest they can babysit the toddler so you can catch a nap a few times a week. Or they may feel that if their school box was a little cleaner and pencils were sharpened every Saturday, they could function better. A seven-year-old may reveal to you that they would love to do “story time” and give you a break by reading to their younger brother and sister. An older student may be more distracted by the noise of younger learners than you knew.
Ask your children to open up to you in a respectful way, and see what suggestions they may have for a smoother, more productive homeschooling year. You may be pleasantly surprised!
7. Have More Fun
If you or your kids aren’t smiling a good part of your homeschooling day, maybe something needs a little changing up. Just because we strive to be devout Catholics and serious academic students doesn’t mean we can’t have loads of fun with school.
The flexible homeschooling schedule allows all kinds of opportunities for spontaneous, fun-loving activities, not to mention field trips, hours upon hours of delving into amazing books, charitable whims and soul-lifting outdoor adventures. You make the sacrifice to homeschool — you might as well enjoy the bonuses!
Keeping in mind your favorite kinds of learning activities (as well as your least favorite) can help the school day be a lot brighter for everyone.
That’s my list… I’d love to see yours!
And, most of all, let’s commend this year with all of our hearts to the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, that she may keep us all close to Jesus, our friend and our king!