Hey, it’s Jess again!
How was your Christmas holiday? Are you happy it’s over and ready to start a fresh new year? As much as I love the holly jolly time of Christmas, I also love when it’s gone and I am gifted a new beginning.
Sometimes it is hard to get back into the swing of things after a long break. The kids and I have taken the whole month of December off because I like to focus on the fun and family time more. With all the card making, baking and our youngest who’ll be 1 tomorrow, I was super busy. Taking some of the stress off of my shoulders was nice.
Life can definitely get away from you when there are so many things to tend to. So, I have a few tips I have used on how to inspire a new year and fresh beginning.
- Set new Homeschool goals: Okay, I know this seems daunting, well, because it does to me. At the end of the year some homeschool families are rushing to finish that unit study or curriculum. As an unschool family, we don’t do that. However, we do have many unfinished workbooks and some group lessons we do on occasion. I still feel like I should have made them finish those books but it honestly doesn’t matter. So, in order for me to let it go, I set a few new goals for a fresh new start. It could be a few new stories I’d like my kids to try. Or it could be to actually finish our Story of the World book and activities that we didn’t finish in September. Oops. The important thing is to make some new goals and have a plan in mind. This will in turn spark some motivation. At least it does for me.
- Count your blessings. What have you accomplished in the last year? Write it down. At the end of each year I’m so shocked at how fast it went by. It doesn’t feel like I accomplished anything because there have been certain things I couldn’t get to. That feeling of unfinished business, it isn’t a good feeling to me. I am also a perfectionist when it comes to many areas of my life. Which can become a negative aspect. What I have started doing is writing down all that I have done throughout the year. Bella and Cheyanne can now read fluently, Casey Jr. can spell, write and do math on his own and my oldest daughter works more independently than before. We no longer struggle with reminding her to do her work and it doesn’t take all day like before. As I start this list, I realize that WE most definitely have accomplished an impressive amount of milestones! I say WE because I am not doing this alone. So my point is, when we see what we have accomplished written down, only then do we finally SEE what is truly important. So stop being so hard on yourself Mama.
- Clean out those closets and maybe even your computer. Do some early spring cleaning. This one is strangely my favorite! I get such a good and peaceful feeling, like a load has been taken off of me, when I clean things out. Whether it be my computer or my house, I love to look through the closest and organize. Things that haven’t been used or worn get donated or thrown away. It feels empowering! I also like to move the furniture around for a different feel and to make it more accommodating for our unschooling life.
- Try something new. Try meal planning, a chore chart, a lesson with a documentary, a new book to read as a family, etc. Meal planning can give you more time for crafts, projects, field trips and more. A chore chart can help you stay organized, as well as teaching your children that families should work as a team. Try a new approach to homeschool. See what is out there. If you usually lean towards curricula, maybe try lap-books and unit studies instead. It cannot hurt to spread your horizons. After all, isn’t that why we homeschool?
- Relax. Have 2 days a week of nothing related to homeschool. Use that time to explore. It’s harder to explore when it’s cold out but there are many library resources and the world wide web. There are also places you can visit indoors, like museums. If you’d like to not worry about going somewhere, then stay home and watch some great learning shows and play some fun educational games. Your kids will continue to learn. Their minds do not shut off when they put a book or pencil down.
These tips are pretty simple when you think about it. All you have to do is take action. We decide what we want from life and that includes our homeschool. It’s all mixed in together. Just as you would make goals for your job, weight-loss or business, this is no different. I hope I have inspired you to start a fresh new year. Have a wonderful and safe New Year!
What is something you do that helps you get inspired for the New Year?