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Monday was our beginning of a new season of our year – a study season. Well, that is our hope and goal. As I look over our year we have several seasons; each season brings its different focus and emphasis. Our goal is for the months of August, September, part of October and all of November is to be a study focus. We will see how that goes!
It started well yesterday. We had a really good day. Really good days can look different depending on our goals. I try and assess a really good day based on the fruit of the spirit alive and happening during the day, but especially the peace (and harmony) at the end of the day. So it doesn’t really matter what we do throughout the day – whether it is a study day (like yesterday) or a creative day, or a helping / serving day – the important thing is that we worship God in all that we do and that we allow the Holy Spirit to keep a check on our hearts – our attitudes and actions!
But yesterday was a study day. I find the key to a successful study day is preparation; my preparation.
- Overview for the study block period (generally 8-10 weeks)
- Specific plans for the week/day
My weekly planning looks like this:
- A study routine – knowing what subjects I’d like to fit into what days
- Lesson plans – a list for each subject, breaking down individual lesson objective and resources for that lesson.
- A daily to-do list
My daily to-do for Monday was:
- Devotions (with Nomi and Daniel)
- Character (with all children together) introducing new trait for the month
- Writing (IEW, all children together)
- Money (with Josh and Jess)
- Auslan (with Jess, Nomi and Daniel)
- Language lessons (Daniel)
- Each child has their independent work to work on as well.
Though I say we had a good day it doesn’t mean that things went according to plan – but we were productive, intentional and aware of what was happening throughout the day.
I started late – Jess and I got talking about an opportunity she is working with. As happens with the older two a lot of these days we get ‘side tracked’ with heart issues (not bad issues – just issues of life). There is so much to teach them as they enter young adulthood.
The Devotional and Character lesson went well.
I had planned on our writing lesson to be together – it seems so easy on paper – we would talk about the techniques and send them off to write at their own level of skill. But in real life this doesn’t work for me – the younger two get frustrated that they don’t know what the older two are talking about and they lose interest and if I focus on the younger two the older two think it is all a waste of their precious time. So 5 minutes into the lesson I sent the younger two off to work on their independent work, while I talked to Josh and Jess. Later on, I had the opportunity to work with Nomi and Daniel on their writing. It ended up being a successful lesson as each child had a clear understanding of what writing skills they need to focus on during the coming month.
But that took about ½ hour longer than I expected. Once again this was because we got talking about the broader picture stuff – it happens! I needed to tweak our plan – so I cancelled “Money” and then I realised that Nomi needed help with her Oral presentation (due Friday) so I cancelled “Auslan” as well. But…. Somewhere between cancelling and lunch I lost 30mintues so I never got to Nomi after all. Not sure how that happened!
So even though I say “I had a good day” I can also say that things didn’t go according to plan, things were changed along the way, and some things simply didn’t happen. But a lot did happen.
The lessons I learnt from yesterday: I was hit with the realisation (again) of the importance of being prepared, I am also aware that I have to hold those plans lightly and meet the real needs of my kids as they are presented to me on the day.