Happy New Year!
I’ve recently returned from a trip out-of-town with my family. We did end up driving 2 days each direction with our two kids. They did wonderfully in the car. (I have more to share about that later.)
For now, though I want to reflect on last year and think about goals for the New Year. My three main goals are based on simplifying this year, because that is what I need to do.
Find time to enjoy my kids. As my daughter stood behind the broken puppet show stand yesterday morning, holding an eye-less puppet in her hand and singing “I’m a puppet without any eyes!” as loudly as she could, I embraced the moment. I need to do this more frequently. Why do I so frequently get annoyed at the children for wanting to show me their talents, craziness, and otherwise child-like love of life? It is such a beautiful time. My kids, despite their difference in age, are best friends. This will not always last. I need to embrace it.
Focus on nurturing the emotional, physical, social, and spiritual sides of my children. I spent too much time this year stressing about homeschooling, trying to make sure I was covering all the subjects for school he needed, and so forth. This year, I want to step back from the formal side of education more and focus on nurturing my kids in the ways they need.
Emotionally, my son (age 7) struggles to control intense disappointment and is overwhelmed with difficult tasks. How can I provide scaffolding to help him express himself and have confidence. My daughter (almost 3) is entering a serious temper-tantrum stage. How can I help her learn to overcome her emotions without kicking, screaming, and throwing? How can I be a help as I work with her?
As for physical, I need to be an example of encouraging my kids to eat well and exercise. I am so bad about getting exercise in with all the other things. But I know how important it is and this is the time to make sure the kids get a positive first glimpse of sports and exercise in general!
Socially, we try to stay well involved with our activities, but I can see ways I can improve, starting with regular play time with various friends!
Finally, nothing could be more important than helping my little ones learn of their Heavenly Father. Serving my kids with love as I help them see the influence of God in their life is the most important thing I can do.
Learn (and teach!) for the love of learning. I have gotten distracted by the check marks on my planner far too much. As I help my kids with their learning and school work, I need to embrace the things we are learning much more. It is fun to learn. I need to re-embrace it as we go about this new year. I have often thought that my own education was wasted on the young: I did not appreciate the glorious resources available to me when I was in college. Now that I’m older, I see how cool learning can be. How can I best put that understanding into action for my second grader? I hope I can figure it out.
As you can see, my goals for this year are definitely not measurable. I can’t check off the boxes every day, week, or month. But I hope that by remembering these things I can let our year be a bit more relaxed and enjoyable as we continue the exhausting journey that is homeschooling.
What are you top goals for homeschooling or parenting in 2015? Are any of them similar to mine?