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Monday, December 31, 2012

A Look Back at 2012 and a Look Forward to 2013

On New Year's Eve as I sit here watching the snow come down, I'm reflecting on our year as a homeschooled family.  As the white wet flakes are floating from the sky outside, it makes me realize the correlation between the wintry weather and what I hope to accomplish in raising and educating my children.

Each snow flake is unique - Just like each of my children is unique

Each snow flake combines with others to form a pure white blanket of snow.  It takes more than one unique snowflake to create this beautiful white covering of winter.  When they unite and join together, there is a beautiful white snowfall that results.  If they were to melt before hitting the ground or to dissent once connected, the snow would evaporate and be no more.

When you see a blanket of fresh snow, it's energizing and filled with the presence of exuberant life yet to unfold.  Within seconds, this snow often becomes a mushy, muddy field that is trampled upon and destroyed.  Through it all, my hope is that a few unique snow flakes remain unharmed and left to glisten in the sunlight, and in this parallel, I hope my children are among those unique shining creations and not merely flakes left to drift aimlessly about.

Some years I feel as if we accomplished a ton.  This year, it's all sort of a blur, and I'm not sure why.

Of course 2012 started in January mid-way into the 2011/2012 school year, and that year was a lot of hands-on student-led learning.  Determined to be a special part of their learning this year, we started the school years of 2012/2013 in September while on a trip to Wisconsin with daddy on a musical tour.  He performed 18 gigs out while we explored the hotels' offerings including a beach, Lake Michigan, an indoor waterpark and more.  There was tons and tons of physical education with the water parks and even some science learned on the beach.

(First Day of School 2012)

And, my favorite part is their first day of school picture.  Not every child can say they spent their first full day of school on the beach.  Though, we did log some school hours, we did not officially begin on the book work until we returned home mid-September when we also were faced with finding a new dance studio for my daughters.

We spent the rest of September learning how to survive without water for a few days as some plumbing issues were fixed and learning to face saying goodbye to a favorite dance teacher of 8 1/2 years.  I'll spare you the emotional details, but we have finally found a studio and a teacher we are happy with even though my youngest is still not so sure.

I did manage to get a schedule of waking up early to complete my writing work and then spending quality school time one-on-one with each child each day before the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's breaks began.  So, now we face getting back into that routine after the new year.

In 2013, I am determined to enjoy every learning moment I am given with my children.  One of the reasons I homeschool is so that I can be the one to lay their learning and spiritual foundation in their lives.  I am determined to focus on this original plan to launch a family into the world who are willing participants in spreading joy as they help others.

Our plan in 2013 is to implement a formal chore log of which my son is already dreading.  But, I will try to make it as enjoyable as possible because I believe doing household chores should be something to take pleasure in and not to regret.  Though, I will not have his future wife cursing me for creating a son who doesn't know how to clean up after himself or do his own laundry.

I also hope to create even grander photos in 2013 with the help of a new camera lens I received for Christmas.  I'm excited that my moon pictures will no longer look like a tiny dot in the sky and that I'll actually get some good landscape photos instead of tiny faraway specks in the distance after the camera's click.


The fresh snow covering the ground represents the foundation I hope to lay within my children to present to the world.  I just hope their upbringing and sound spiritual sense is solid within their souls like ice and sticks to their hearts and minds as they face their future whatever it may hold for them.

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