Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Some Thoughts on the New Year: Refining

A very happy New Year!

My last post focused on my decluttering activities, which were an unqualified success. As far as they went. But at my house, some decluttering is far, far better than none.

Now I'm thinking about our home school. Barb, at Harmony Art Mom, recently posted this excellent article about minor changes she's making to their lesson plans, i.e., improvements and refinements, as well as helpful links to resources they are using. Both the girls and I feel we need to do some revamping and refining around our house and school, too.

Here are my targets:
  • Be more organized. This fall, we all felt less organized and more scattered than we have in years past. It did not help matters that the study was a disaster. Also, I fell asleep at the wheel on our chore rotation, figuring I'd just ask the children to attend to chores as they arose. Let me now proclaim loudly that This Does NOT Work Well.
  • Be more liberal. We did no Shakespeare, artist study, or composer study this past term. I hate that, because, for me, these pursuits are the hallmark of a well-rounded education. I cannot say for certain why we neglected them, but my guess is that bullet point number one may have had something to do with it. Hmmm.
  • Be more intentional. The girls read more "fluffy" books this past fall and fewer (what I deem) quality selections. I like cotton candy now and again, myself; but one cannot make a steady diet of the stuff and come out better for it. To be honest, they gave me more grief about some of the titles I suggested, and I gave in. No more! Going foward, I will assign a literature reading from the AO free reads list; they can read fluff on their own time.
  • Be more focused. In the past few months, I found myself scurrying around doing too much and not doing any of it well. I tended to squeeze lessons in with my home management activities. Some of you may do this effortlessly; I felt as if I were spinning plates -- badly. While multitasking is a useful skill that has its place, it's out of place in our home school.

I know some of these are a bit vague -- like #4. I'm not certain exactly how I'm going to accomplish all these goals. (Any advice will be appreciated, by the way!) But I am uncomfortable enough to want to make the changes; for me, that's the essential step.


  1. Ellen, I am in the same boat, great minds and all. You may well employ this already, but I am faithful to my list/calendar. I used to dimiss lists, but now embrace them and they have become tools for focus. My weakness is still "multi tasking." When I do one thing at a time, I usually finish. When I try more than one, I almost never finish in a way I like. Let me know what works for you, the de-clutter focus is motivating me. I did purge some sad Chrimas decor, but the accumlation behind closed doors is intimidating. Happy New Year.

  2. Hey, Carol! I've been a list girl all my life. In fact, if I do something that's not on my list, I add it just so I can check it off. I used to think this was kind of unique, but it turns out that lots of listmakers are the same way. (I realize it's still a little weird.)

    Glad I could motivate you!


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