2018 has been a kick in the teeth.
It could be worse – a lot worse, but nonetheless, it shook me to my core.
I think one thing homeschool moms have in common in they go through life with great purpose. We do not meander through life and let it take us where it will. We are not passive with what comes to us, and we see ourselves as part of a bigger picture – a teacher in the community, raising young minds and young hearts to enter into the world to do their best and be the best they can.
That comes with a lot of pressure, and self doubt.
The self doubt this year has been real, and deep, and painful.
I’m 10 years into this homeschooling gig. You’d think I’d be a bit more confident by now. Sure, I’m confident that this is what I want to do. I’m confident in choosing curriculum and making a schedule, but the question in one’s head on whether you’re doing well… I don’t think that ever goes away. We always question whether we are doing enough… whether we are enough.
I looked at a picture of myself recently, and started to wonder: who am I anyway? Am I just a homeschool mom? A wife? A student? Am I community member and volunteer? Am I a 4H leader? Am I a student? Am I a landlord?
And it’s striking to think that certain people think of me only as being in one of these categories, but inside, I am them all. And because I am them all, I’m always distracted by another side of me, another responsibility, that I don’t get to simmer in any one side for long.
So, for 2019, I want to do LESS, and focus MORE.
I want to sign up for less, I want to expect from myself less, I want to simplify and be able to simmer in thoughts to come to my own conclusions before moving on to the next thing.
We’ve had this last week off from lessons, and my husband has also had off from work. In part that made us busier, but in my down time I’ve tried to think about how to accomplish the simplification I’m aiming for. Here are a couple things I have in mind:
- Do not sign up for a CSA this year. Yes, it’s a great experience for the whole family, but I would rather take the kids on trips, at least for this year. We might sign up for the CSA every other year. We’ll see.
- Make 10 freezer meals a month. I’m great about meal planning, so the hard part is just finding an afternoon to put together the meals. Still, that should make other days of the month easier, in sha Allah.
- Finish Lyme treatment. I started getting treated for Lyme with a naturopath a couple years ago, but stopped because it was cost prohibitive, but the sluggish feeling and body aches is kicking back in and it needs to be addressed.
- Establish bedtime routine where kids do not wander around the house after 9pm.
I’ve learned this year that I actually could cut out homeschooling, or stop working toward my degree with Mishkah and I’d still be plenty busy, but both of these are so important to me, that I just need to soldier on.
For the most part, my two youngest play in a different room from where I’m doing lessons with Aamina (8). I don’t do well with lots of random noises that I have to talk over, so it keeps the peace, but I know my two youngest actually would like to have some lessons with me as it’s one-on-one time, and they want to be like their bigger sister. With Amatullah turning 6 this spring, it’ll be time for her to get started with formal lessons.
The last few months we’ve been working on the kids’ morning routine of getting themselves breakfast and cleaning up a few key places before getting started with lessons. Along these lines, a couple goals I have for our homeschool:
- Get started earlier with morning routine. Have everything done by 9:30am, ready for lessons.
- Start lessons in earnest with Amatullah in spring
- Consistently do art lessons each Friday (the kids’ favorite lesson, that normally gets skipped for lack of time)
Of course I want to exercise more, read more, and all the rest. I’ve cancelled Hulu and Netflix and started a subscription with The Great Courses to try to steer myself into more beneficial TV time after the kids go to bed.
And hey, if I even remember to keep working on these goals come June, that’s a win, right?
What goals do you have for this year?