By contributing writer Tabitha
A friend of mine recently talked to me about how there are two times of year that we really focus on fresh starts or new beginnings. One of them is the beginning of the calendar year when many people make New Year’s resolutions or reevaluate how they are doing on long-term goals.
The other is the beginning of a new school year, traditionally in the fall. Kids are starting in new classrooms with new clothes, books, teachers, backpacks, and other things. Colleges start and freshmen are experiencing dorm life as well as college classrooms for the first time.
Bring something new into homeschooling
Many homeschoolers, too, are having a new season. We are starting afresh if we follow a traditional school year. For some, it’s a new grade level. For others, it’s a new study goal or subject. We all want something new.
This year there was some new curriculum for the 5, 7, and 8-year-olds in my home. So far, we love it. Sure, we need to tweak it a bit some days, but the newness is still there, and it’s such a change from our usual that even on the days they aren’t motivated, they still want to dig in.
We like finding new traditions to mark the start of the year as well as adding to old ones. We get some new school supplies. We go somewhere fun. We take a picture. This year we’re trying to do more away-from-home learning, aka field trips. With the kids getting older, this is getting easier on me.
Our youngest is a year and a half old and getting into everything. While this is most definitely NOT new, finding her drawing in the closet with her siblings’ homeschooling supplies is a new thing. Each child is definitely a new experience in parenting, teaching, and learning. Add to that, laughing!
We have a homeschool graduate. This is new for us. Watching him plan the next few years of his life is amazing.
Experience something new in your life
Purely by accident, my children brought me a completely new experience. A few weeks before we started up schooling again, my youngest son found a monarch caterpillar. We fed it and kept it and watched it. We worried about it. Then the little guy made his chrysalis. Wouldn’t you know it, just about when I thought we’d lost it, the butterfly emerged. Even better, it was on the day we started up our homeschool again.
My oldest is learning guitar. He completely did it on his own. He bought a guitar. He found some beginner information. He took advantage of some learning opportunities, and when that is complete he will see where to go from there.
My second son decided one day that he wanted to learn the ukulele. He bought it and learned to play it in less than a week.
My third son decided he wanted to learn the bagpipes. We told him good luck with that and to wait until he left home.
All kidding aside, my children are examples to me in that they find the motivation within themselves and then go for it. We support them and help them when possible, but it’s all from them. Now I need to get started on some of my goals.
Let the new into your life
Unlike most other school years, I am not pregnant nor do I have a newborn. This is new, and it could very well be the start of a new season of life for me. If that is the case, I need to let it be a new time for myself and my family and not be focused on what is ending.
Every day is a new day. It’s odd having a child be past the schooling that we’re offering here at our home. We embrace that and support him in his future endeavors.
This summer we had a son gone for 10 weeks. This was very new. He thrived.
We have three children with driver’s permits, and one very soon will be ready to get his license. We step into this with fear and trepidation, but it is good to move forward.
Every day we have changes and decisions to make. New jobs, new books, new ideas, new friends, new focus, new goals. We aren’t discarding anything except what needs to be gone. We’re just moving forward and growing into what we’re meant to become. Whether it is the new school year or just “no time like the present,” I know we can do this together.