A new year brings hope for new beginnings and new adventures. It's time to forget the year that's gone, and celebrate what can be in the days to come. Here's our chance to start over, to do it right this time, to have another chance at success, to simply accomplish what we want to do.
The new year is an excellent time to reflect and make resolutions. A resolution is a serious vow to do something better or to accomplish a goal by taking a firm course of action. If the new year is really going to be any different, it means that you have to actually make some changes, not just empty promises or wishful thinking.
Does your list of resolutions this year look the same as previous years? I can remember all too many resolutions I've made and let slip away. Even with sincere motivation, it isn't always easy to pick a resolution and stick to it. But I still believe that new year's resolutions are worth making. In addition to one's personal resolutions, homeschool new year's resolutions are important to have, too.
Even though it's in the middle of the school year, the new year is a good time to make a fresh start, especially if you feel that things weren't going so well at the end of last semester. The excitement and newness of beginning school in the fall has gradually worn off. It's mid-winter and with the drudgery of the routine combined with the anxiety of all you have yet to cover, you may feel overwhelmed.
So when you change the calendar, maybe you would like to make some other changes as well. Rearrange the school room, dust off the shelves, get everything organized. Try setting up a new schedule and altering your routine. If you really want this year to be different, you have to make some changes.
The new year is an excellent time for re-assessment and mid-course corrections. How did last semester go? What do you want to do differently this year? This time of year should remind you of the accomplishments you have made, as well as the goals that you left undone. Look at it this way--now you have a second chance to do all those things that you didn't get to do yet.
Sure, we’re not perfect and we might fail in what we set out to do, but "if we fail to plan, then we plan to fail." If you're so fearful of failure that you never try, then you're not likely to succeed. Sometimes we find it very hard to admit our failures even to ourselves. But owning up to our failures is the first, painful step on the road to learning from them.
Look at the Apostle Paul. As he endeavored to preach the Gospel of Jesus, he was constantly being hindered. He was opposed, persecuted, shipwrecked, beaten, stoned, deserted, slandered, scorned, threatened, and imprisoned. Someone else under those circumstances would have given up. Yet Paul was not willing to quit: "Forgetting what is behind, and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me..." (Philippians 3:13-14, NIV) Paul didn't look back – he looked forward. He didn't let past failures or delays in his work keep him from pursuing a most worthy goal. Keep this in mind as you pursue your own goals in the new year.
Finally, there is no better time than the present to learn to rely more heavily on God's help. Jesus provided Paul with peace, joy, and strength, even when things weren't going very well for him. If during the past year you didn't practice trusting in the Lord as much as you should have, make that your number one resolution. If you place every aspect of your life, including your homeschool, into God's hands, you will be much more likely to have a happy new year.
1. I will develop a homeschool mission statement and follow it.
2. I will re-examine our curriculum choices and make changes if necessary.
3. I won’t get upset when my homeschool fails to run “smoothly” based on a made-up schedule or pre-set timeline.
4. If our homeschool schedule is not practical, I will change it.
5. I resolve to keep our schoolroom neat and organized. (Really, I will!)
6. I resolve to keep our homeschool records updated and accurate.
7. I will not compare my family to other homeschooling families.
8. I will not covet the free time that my neighbor has because her children are in public school.
9. I resolve to always spend my time and money wisely.
10. I resolve to always treat my children respectfully.
11. I resolve to acknowledge each of my children’s unique strengths and gifts.
12. I resolve to use those unit studies that I bought last year and haven’t touched yet.
13. I resolve to not get discouraged when I have bad days, but to call a friend who I can count on to empathize with me and encourage me in some way.
14. I will watch that fine line between giving up on something too easily, and knowing when it’s best to go on to something else for the time being.
15. I resolve to assist a beginning homeschool family in getting started.
16. I resolve to actively participate in a local homeschool group, so that I can learn from the expertise of veteran homeschoolers as well as support newcomers.
17. I resolve to take some regular time off for relaxation and reflection, and to maintain my mental and physical fitness.
18. I resolve to do my best to keep my patience and sustain my enthusiasm.
19. I resolve to trust in God’s help and pray for the Lord to bless my homeschooling efforts.
20. Finally, I know I’m not a perfect person, so I won’t expect my child to be a perfect student.
New Year Traditions and Resolutions: www.knowledgehouse.info/njfknewyear2.html
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