We’re rounding the bend on the last lap of Homeschooling, Year Two. Of course, in many ways, I’ve counted this as Year One, since last year was kindergarten and ya just can’t mess that one up. (Find robin’s eggs, collect chestnuts, read favorite stories, look at globes, color and cut and glue, read lots of fun books, answer day-long stream of questions: check, check and fun, fun. Can we just do kindergarten again?)
First Grade is certainly not up there on the list of academically intense school years, but there are some pretty important Big Rocks that have to get in place. And with that big rock concept in mind, I’ve realized there is, hands down, one thing I did this year that was the best thing.
Back in August, as a million ideas were swirling around in my head, and so many different options for which direction to head with science, history, read-alouds, etc, I took my notebook out to a green patch of grass (remember those? Patches of grass?) and asked the Lord to help me focus. I knew there were some Big Rocks I didn’t want to miss, and I also knew that I would need a lot of tethering and reining in to keep from losing track of them. So, prayerfully, I made a list of goals for First Grade.
I kept things simple. I made first thing first. I included not just academic goals, but life skill goals, as well — besides learning information, how else did I want my young boy to grow?
The reason I say this was The Best Thing is because I can’t tell you how many times I have pulled out this list when the waves of discouragement were threatening to suck me under (or had already pretty much succeeded), only to realize, to my shock and amazement, that we were on track!! Impossible! But no — there it was, in black and white, recorded before the year’s craziness and boredom and comparisons could set in.
Write the vision; make it plain.
If you’re like me — an idealist who is never quite measuring up to the lofty dreams that live in my head — then a Spirit-led list can be a tool used by the Lord to reassure and confirm that He is working faithfully in our lives. Lists, when I make them under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (rather than out of the frantic angst and frustration of “I’m always behind”) really help me to be still. It’s true of New Year’s Eve prayer cards, of Goals for First Grade, and also of “Today’s To-Do List.” Really! The sun sets, and I may look around and see plenty of things that didn’t happen, but the three things I felt were important that day did happen, and I’m actually able to hear the Holy Spirit say, “See? Well done. Just be faithful.”