I love the turn of a new year! Just like the beginning of the academic year, it gives us a chance to reflect on what is going right as well as affording the opportunity for re-alignment if our steps towards our goals are off of trajectory.
2016 was a doozy of a year for me. With the addition of our fourth child on top of all of my other commitments, it seemed like I would never escape survival mode. I spoke a little about my struggles in my last homeschool blog post here at Catholic Sistas and have made some positive strides since then towards taking better care of myself as a first priority. But yet the vicious cycle of the seemingly never ending everyday chores…. you are telling me that they need to eat again??!?!!!!
In my reflections of the past year it was very evident that I needed to simplify many areas of our life for 2017. I began this process by listing the things that could be cut out or reduced. I began to see the same patterns of busyness emerging that cutting out activities would not be enough to solve. To overcome this survival mode crisis it became clear that I would also have to simplify my duties at home. Official menu planning and chore charts (for the kids and myself) emerged. And after all of this systematic organization it became crystal clear what would ultimately solve my crazy, over scheduled, hectic life… getting rid of the STUFF in our home.
My mind immediately flashed to the Little House cabin that we frequently visit with it’s sparse decor. I’m pretty sure Ma could have kept her home clean and tidy in nothing flat.
And although this space is too primitive for most of our tastes I think we all can agree that it has a beautiful peacefulness to it.
Simple = Restful.
After reviewing many homeschool homes and spaces I found that the best SIMPLE ones had the following features:
- A reminder to keep our faith at the center of our lives.
- Minimal books and supplies.
- A featured book area where the titles are facing out.
- A writing desk.
- A reading chair.
- Lots of natural light.
- Organized supplies within reach.
This is my virtual friend Jennifer’s newly remodeled learning room that embodies all of the above qualities keeping the room restful and conducive to learning. Inspirational!
When we return to simplicity, organization and cleanliness we return to God. Our priest once told us that cleanliness was next to holiness. And I believe there is so much more wisdom in that phrase than I could recognize then. Here is to a clean, SIMPLE, and holy 2017!