I am always reading, researching, and making notes about how to improve the logistics in every area of our life. Obviously this includes homeschooling as a central point as well! Here are five things that we are implementing to our daily schedule and hope you consider them as well!
1) Making our home a little oratory. Prayer has always been something we have done but it hasn’t always been consistent. This year we are setting our hearts and minds closer to God with scheduled prayer throughout the day. St. Terese has a beautiful morning offering that we are planning on using:
O my God ! I offer Thee all my actions of this day for the intentions and for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart, my every thought, my simplest works, by uniting them to Its infinite merits ;
and I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of Its Merciful Love.
O my God! I ask thee for myself and for those whom I hold dear, the grace to fulfill perfectly Thy Holy Will,
to accept for love of Thee the joys and sorrows of this passing life,
so that we may one day be united together in Heaven for all Eternity. Amen.
2) Working on habits. Up until this year I have been more of an eclectic homeschooler gathering materials from multiple sources and shaping the learning environment to best suit our family on my own. But after spending considerable time researching the Charlotte Mason method I am now seeing the true beauty of this gentle and very intentional way of education children, specifically in the training of habits. I am currently reading Laying Down the Rails and highly recommend it to everyone no matter what your educational style is!!!
3) Combining our learning with a Morning Basket. I attended my first Catholic Homeschooling Conference this year and was able to listen to Jennifer Mackintosh speak about her Morning Basket. We have two students in grades 4 and Kindergarten this year and I longed for a way to keep our day centered around joyful combined lessons. The concept of the Morning Basket has given me a way to achieve this in a simple and beautiful way. You can read and “see” Jennifer’s Morning Basket on her blog here!
4) Gathering appropriate books for a “Free Reading Bin.” We read A LOT. Our scheduled booklist is one that goes beyond what our small town library offers and so I have been gathering used “school books” as well as free reading material when I can. As you can see from the image in this blog post our home library has grown several times over since my last homeschool blog post! We do allow our 4th grader to choose her own Free Reading Books but like to keep a suggested list from which to choose from. I saw a fantastic idea on a facebook group to get a bin and place the age appropriate free reading books together inside and leave out in a centralized place where your student can “browse” as needed!
5) Spending diligent time on self care. After our fourth child was born earlier this year it took me longer than usual to come out of the postpardum fog. Honestly, I’m still foggy! But this year I am making it a priority to get up an hour before the kids and spend some time on me. I’m challenging myself to dress for “work” everyday including fixing my hair, a dab of makeup, even earrings! Because I know that when I *do* take the time to make myself feel beautiful it trickles down to my husband, our children, and our home!
May God Bless you and your family this school year!
Is there anything new you are implementing?