Friday, December 13, 2013

Wrapping Up

I'm not writing about gift wrapping, though we are doing a bit of that in these days leading up to Christmas.  I'm actually referring to wrapping up our school term next week. 

When formally began homeschooling in 2007, we decided to school from August through December (approximately 20 weeks) and, after an extended winter break, school again from February through May (approximately 15-16 weeks).  We chose this schedule to allow a little time off from bookwork during Brian's annual off-season.  It was a practical decision that seemed to make sense logistically, plus it allowed for a good dose of family time.

Alaine's Christmas style
Through the years I've realized another advantage.   With two large breaks in our school year-- a 2-month break in the summer and a 1-month break in the winter-- I have 2 opportunities every year to stop and evaluate our progress.   Of course, as a homeschooling mom, I can continually adapt our schedule as I tune into what my kids need, but these extended breaks give me a moment to breathe.  Then I can step back, take some time to think and pray, and decide if there are ways to make our days more efficient, more profitable, more challenging,  or more fun!

Our last day of school for this term will be next Thursday, the 19th.  We've been slowly bringing things to a close.  The kids finished gym class the week before Thanksgiving. We completed our study of Beethoven in November, too.  A few subjects we snowballed like when we finished our history book and started reading our science book more frequently instead. The kids are motivated with the end in sight. Maddie did three weeks worth of handwriting in two days to complete the term.  Gavin finished his cursive practice last week and did his last page of grammar yesterday.  All the kids have taken a break from art and we're calling baking and Christmas crafting art for December. 

Decorating cookies

Christmas crafting with friends

Next week is a ~crazy~ schedule week.  I'm so thankful that our school requirements are down to bare bones because Brian and I had to have a mini-meeting in front of the calendar to coordinate everywhere we have to be and everything we need to do starting Sunday.  In the midst of the chaos, we will quietly (or not so quietly) finish the school term. 

Then comes Christmas where all thoughts of school will fly from my head for a few days.

Then comes that promised time to breathe. 

Then...I plan to take some time in January to do an overhaul on chores assignments.  I have new ideas and Brian has mentioned new ideas.  My dad used to say, "I love to see my kids work."  He said it tongue-in-cheek and I do, too.  I also want to research a few new things to implement during our daily table time. I love an afternoon when I can sit down with my laptop and a blank notebook and put my plans to paper.

But that is then.  For now, I'm focusing on the task at hand-- wrapping up the school year and finishing well. 

"Let us run with endurance, the race that is set before us."
Hebrews 12:1

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1 comment:

  1. Yes, yes! I think ALL teachers - home, public or other - need breaks from time to time! Enjoy your time off and I know you'll come back refreshed and literally better than ever!


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