I've been a little quiet the past month or so.
I want to tell you something, dear readers - and I'm wondering how you will take this.
I am trying to make a big change in 2015. (Hold onto your hats.)
Homeschooling will not be my focus this year.
That's right. Homeschooling will NOT be my focus this year.
My focus this year is going to be on ME. ME, ME, ME!!
If you are part of the Homegrown Learners' Facebook Community, then you might have seen this update:
Homeschooling Is Not The Altar I Will Die On
You see, when I do something I like to do it RIGHT. Naturally, when we started homeschooling, I gave it 110% seven days a week. I believed then (as I believe now) that homeschooling is a full time job that requires a significant commitment from me.
I gave homeschooling my full commitment - and then some. Because the sole responsibility of my children's educations rests on my shoulders, I thought this meant I needed to devote myself completely to homeschooling. I spent inordinate amounts of time reading aloud, planning lessons, following interests, and discovering passions.
All of this is well and good, but there comes a point where a homeschooling mom wears out.
There comes a point when she wants to throw in the towel because it all seems too hard.
There comes a point (and I've reached it) when SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE.
Thanks to wise, wise husband and a lot of prayer, I know what I have to do in 2015..... focus on ME.
Homeschooling cannot be the altar I will die on.
It is important to me and it is the way we will educate our children, but it CANNOT come first in my life.
If it does, then I won't have anything to give those in my life that mean the most to me.
I love my children to pieces and want to be the mom that is happy and healthy and can ENJOY life with them.
Lowering the Bar
I wish you could have heard my husband explain it to me on our New Year's Day walk.
"Mary -- here is the bar you have for homeschooling." (he lifts his hand high above his head)
"It's ok if you lower your expectations to here." (he lowers his hand to his chest)
"You do such a great job teaching our kids, and it's ok to focus on YOU this year."
My heart sank and melted at the same time because my husband cares for me so much that he compliments me so sweetly and also cares for me so much that he wants me to actually BE AROUND for years to come to enjoy life with our family.
We have many people depending on US to be healthy, stable, and responsible. We have children, parents, and dear friends who need us to be the best we can be.
In 2015 I will lower the homeschool bar.
I will let my children be more independent.
I will resist the urge to always go "above and beyond".
I will let my children FAIL.
I will let some things slide.
And you know what? It will all be OK.
(I'm pretty sure my kids will receive an excellent education when I loosen the reins a bit!)
Goals for 2015 - Personal Discipline
That "me, me, me" image is partly a joke, but partly true.
I want to outline my personal goals for 2015 here, and I hope that you will join me on the blog this year as I pursue them.
1. Lose Weight - I don't want to talk specifics here, but I have a bunch to lose. Enough said.
2. Exercise Regularly - I'm not going to go crazy, but I want to join a Yoga class and kick this persistent pain to the curb.
3. Write Curriculum - I LOVE to write. I want to finish more SQUILT volumes and also write more unit studies. Writing gives me such joy! Teaching parents how to enjoy and appreciate music with their children is my passion.
4. Husband Time - I want my kids to see that my relationship with my husband comes FIRST. We need to spend regular time ALONE (so he can hold me accountable with these goals!).
5. No More Personal Facebook - I will keep the Homegrown Learners FB community going, but I have stopped looking at and posting on my personal Facebook. It wasn't good for me and doesn't fit in with my goals of taking care of ME this year.
6. Invest in the Closest Friendships - I have a a handful of close personal friends that truly care about me and fill me up. I want to invest in those friendships this year and get over my need to be such a people pleaser to everyone else!
7. Connect with My Teen - Parenting a teenager is difficult. I have never done it before. I am learning the meaning of GRACE. I want to seek ways to truly connect with my teen this year.
8. Revamp this Space - Over the next couple of months you will see BIG changes here. I still want to encourage and share homeschool ideas, but I feel as my life is changing so Homegrown Learners must change also. I'm very excited about this goal!
9. Continue to Say No! - I've gotten much better about this, but unless something contributes directly to my goals this year I will have to say NO!
10. Put GOD First - I don't think any of "my" plans will be successful unless they are HIS. Putting God first will continue to be a top goal of mine in 2015.
The overarching theme of everything is PERSONAL DISCIPLINE. I struggle desperately with this and will be on my knees daily to achieve these goals.
Surely some of you must feel like I do?
Have you given your all to homeschooling, but let yourself get lost in the process?
Do you give your all to your children, but very little to yourself?
If you answered YES to these questions, please join me in PUTTING YOURSELF FIRST in 2015!
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