Friday, February 26, 2010

Which Way Do We Go??

Every spring I get the itch to start planning for our next year of homeschooling. I love homeschool, and one of my favorite parts is the planning aspect. There are so many great resources and materials available. I try to be very purposeful in evaluating what our goals are, what is working well for us, what we enjoy doing, and areas that need a change. I am somewhat of a curriculum junkie, and if you homeschool, you know just what I mean. I love snooping around at all my choices, and have an insatiable curiosity about what everyone else is using, and how they're using it. That's part of the fun of homeschooling. But, I have at times wandered away from things that were working well for us just for the sake of trying something new. That hasn't always been a good thing. There are so many GREAT ways to teach every subject, especially history and science. Those are my favorites. So many, many choices for curriculum are available. It's like visiting a buffet filled with just desserts...too much of a good thing! It can get overwhelming, and I can get thrown off track by my greedy eyes and hurried heart and overactive sense of pride.

I usually attend a conference for homeschooling mothers every February. It is a wonderful time of personal reflection and encouragement. It always helps to reaffirm my long term dreams for my kids and to kindle the love I have in my heart for serving my family and creating an environment in our home that is creative, inspiring, and nurturing. That conference has been a lifeline for me over the years; an opportunity to evaluate my priorities and see if how we're filling our school days lines up with where God is leading us as a family. I always come home feeling very relaxed....spiritually refreshed, and focused. It's a special time for me.

This year I decided not to attend the conference. I will miss going, so I've set aside some personal time this weekend to think, to pray, to plan, and to seek a peace about our direction for next year. I'm very excited about it. I have pulled out notes from previous years of conferences, and I have some inspiring reading all lined up and ready. Choosing curriculum is fun, but it is good to remind myself that buying all the "stuff" is completely secondary to spending time in God's Word evaluating why we do what we do, what we ultimately seek to accomplish in the hearts of our children, and where our priorities need to be as we work daily to put our well laid plans in motion! I love the assurance of knowing that when I take the time and effort to earnestly seek wisdom in these issues, I feel a renewed sense of closeness with the Lord. It's like I can take a deep breath and exhale, then s-l-o-w-l-y pick up all those curriculum catalogs again and make our final selections. They are sure fun to look at, but first things first. Those catalogs don't hold the key to success in doing what we do. They are only a tool. From my experience, where my heart is matters way more that what books are on my shelves.

Nothing like a few lofty goals for the weekend, eh? Where did all that come from? I'm not sure I intended to be quite so introspective when I sat down to type today, but I suppose I needed to clear my mind a bit and prepare for my planning weekend ahead! :)

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