After completing another home school year, you’re probably thinking about family trips and relaxation this summer. Yes, breathe it in because you’ve earned it. But, also take time to use this summer to freshen up your home schooling approach for the next fall home school year. Consider this example from a lovely flower arrangement.
Good friends recently brought me a beautiful vase full of flowers. In absolute awe of the combination of flowers selected, I was certain there could not be a better combination of colors, smells and textures. The vase itself was a perfect way to display God’s beautiful creation.
A week passed and I began to notice that the perfection I hoped would never diminish was beginning to wither. Flowers were beginning to fade and the vase was becoming cloudy. What I needed to do was freshen the bouquet.
I carefully selected the flowers that needed to be removed, drained the stagnant water, added fresh cut flowers from the yard, and replenished the vase with crystal clear water.
The arrangement wasn’t exactly like the beginning, but the new combination and fresh water gave it new life. It was even better than I had imagined—possibly better than it began.
I’ve thought a lot about this special vase of flowers in the weeks since they were given to me. I continue to replace and freshen the arrangement, each time seeing a remarkable similarity to life.
As parents and educators, we are constantly called to change. We are required to look at our surroundings with fresh eyes to remove things that are stagnant and bring in new ideas.
Summer is a perfect time to freshen up many areas of your life, including your home school approach. When looking at ways to freshen up your fall homeschool year consider these three approaches.
1. Fall Home School Preparation: Address Time Wasters
What parts of your day are filled with wasted time? Are there tasks that should only take a few minutes but seem to drag on endlessly?
Keep a journal of the actual amount of time it takes to do certain tasks and then look for ways to streamline the process. If your children are taking too long to complete chores, have them remove electronics or other distractions for one week to see if that improves results.
Additionally, any time wasters that can be completely removed will freshen up your schedule by creating more breathing room.
2. Are You Over Serving?
You might be familiar with the saying: “You can have too much of a good thing!” The same is true for volunteer opportunities. There are so many good things to participate in that sometimes your time of service needs to be downsized.
Review your extracurricular activities and then prioritize them accordingly. If there are some that you can let go until next semester or even next year, then tell the organizers that you have overcommitted and need to reevaluate your time away from home.
3. Next Fall Home School Year: Seek Practical Application
Occasionally, there are events, programs or classes that no longer fit practically with your family.
Do your children no longer have the same zeal for art classes or music lessons? Are certain activities no longer necessary? Or, are your children continuing activities simply because you’re worried about teaching your child that quitting is okay?
Summer is the time to answer these questions. Look for classes and events that fit your family’s lifestyle and interests. And, do not feel pressured to continue something just because you have historically been part of it.
Your Next Steps this Summer
Whether you are looking to be more efficient with time in your day, seeking new volunteer opportunities, or making significant changes to your work or family life, take time to look beyond what you have always known.
Embrace the freedom to cull out the things that have run their course and try something new for the fall home school year, even if it’s making time to do less!
Your Turn: Have you found success reevaluating your fall school year during the summer? Share what worked for you and your family in the Comments Section below.
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