I'm enjoying a breather of a few days to catch up after a busy, busy May...and before a busy, busy June. Next week is our church's Vacation Bible School, then a homeschool conference, and a couple of weeks with our families. It's been wonderful to get my house clean, take time to cook appealing meals, have more time in the Word, and watch the grass grow.
As a homeschool mom, though, it's hard to put aside thoughts and plans for the coming year. I no sooner finish one year than I'm prayerfully planning studies and schedules for the next. And while I would truly love a mental break from it all, I'm grabbing the chance to analyze what worked and what didn't for us.
I ended this year feeling particularly drained and overdone, out of touch with myself and our home life. Some of the outside commitments I made took more planning and execution than I anticipated. We had to adjust our curriculum and scheduling a number of times. Various deadlines kept me forging ahead, and I never seemed to have my week planned well for anything. This was a year that SweetPea and I needed to do a lot of talking and processing to help her work through life. Family health issues took their toll on our daily life, and I just lost my motivation to "get out there and get 'er done." To say it simply, I ran out of gas.
So in looking ahead, I'm making some decisions. I've only got a couple of years left in our homeschool journey and I want them to be good ones. I realize that I can't control what life brings, but with the choices I do have, I want to make sure that they're well thought-out. I've been guilty of taking on too many outside activities, some in the name of giving my daughter a well-rounded education or neat opportunities, or pitching in to run programs and events. Both SweetPea and I have felt the inner exhaustion of not enough break time to synthesize, savor, and appreciate the full value of our experiences. More isn't always better.
Gratefully, she and I are of the same mind. We're going to have more of a 'home' focus (you know, the first part of the word 'homeschool'!) and leave room for the relationships and activities the Lord would have for us. We're already feeling a gleeful sense of relief at the prospect. I'm going to work on four things...
Peacefulness. (Focus on following the Lord's lead and be guided by His peace.)
Intentionality. (Think it through before I do--whatever!)
Ownership. (Keep the control I properly should have for our time, activities, energy, and goals.)
Margin. (Keep some space for fun and rest and spontaneity!)
And to start our summer off on the right foot, tomorrow we're intentionally and peacefully going to enjoy some margin at a lake with some dear friends!