Have you noticed that your kids are more fidgety, more distracted, and less enthused about studying Daniel Boone than they were in October? Why is that?
Actually, are YOU less enthused about math and science and history right now? Do you find your thoughts running more and more to Christmas—when to get the tree, when to decorate, when to clean the house before guests arrive, how many cookies to make, and what gifts would delight the hearts of your family?
Are you feeling guilty about your lack of “commitment” to homeschooling and frustrated with your kids because they’re not with the program, particularly if your lesson planner tells you that if they could just finish THIS chapter, THAT project, and THOSE books, you could be “done” in time for Christmas? Is the pressure mounting?
Believe me, I understand. In the words of a good friend, “Been there, done that, got the bumper-sticker.”
I’ve been learning a lot lately about the value of listening to your heart when it comes to these kinds of struggles and pressures. Though, like you, I can force myself to do things I don’t want to do, ignoring ongoing internal messages like, “I wish we had time to enjoy this season,” often means ignoring what the Lord is offering us.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that I’ve missed a lot of wonderful opportunities to take in and enjoy the moment, the season, the special time of year because I was so busy trying to get my impossible to-do list done BEFORE I could rest and enjoy. These moments, these seasons, these Christmas-when-my-kids-are-home don’t last forever. . . If we’re determined to keep marching through our planned out schedule, the precious gifts—the laughter, the fun, the making-memories-that-happen-when-you-do-unexpected-things—will be lost.
So, dear friends, if I could share a bit of wisdom that I wish someone had shared with me when I was homeschooling, when you see your kids and yourself longing for Christmas break, consider carefully throwing the textbooks in the closet and thoroughly enjoying the next three weeks!!
Play with your kids, plan special times, decorate cookies together, make a snowman or go swimming (depending on your climate!), go caroling at a senior citizens’ home, and all of the other things you’ve wished you had time to do. Immerse yourself thoroughly in giving and celebrating this Christmas in the ways that matter to your family.
And, just so you know, when you take this kind of a thorough break, when you come back to “school,” your hearts will be refreshed and ready to go. That’s what makes listening to your heart a win/win!!
Remember, stay relational.