What?? Focus in a household of five children of various ages? Well, maybe not detailed, honed-in focus. But I’ll share what I mean. The past two weeks our homeschool has carried the habit of focus.
If it is possible to focus in multiple ways with multiple ages. Often I have quite the distracted mama brain. But, that weekly homeschool planning meeting helped with the ‘bones’ of our weeks. And talking over Sunday lunch about some weak areas helped us know what we needed to focus on.
1. What a beautiful night celebrating Robin and Ross. (My first cousin was married last Saturday night!) | 2. Just dropped Nana and the girls off at The Fox Theatre to see Wicked. | 3. It is a tree-climbing sort of afternoon. | 4. “In the spring I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.” – Mark Twain (jonquils beside my front door)
Focus on the positives
Can you say sunshine, t-shirt weather? Playing outside, signs of spring. Oh happy day!! Yes, those things have really brightened up days around here. We have also been purposeful in the praise. Meaning – saying thank you to a child when she made a point of cleaning up. Clapping after a piano practice. Making sure a child got to pick out something with the service opportunities money he earned. (More: Chores or Service Opportunities?)
Along with the favorites on the right, one that is a treasure is on the left. My aunt gave us ‘Hey! I’m Reading!’ by Betty Miles – when we started homeschooling: “It takes a long time to get ready to read. It takes years! You’ve been getting ready all your life, without even thinking about it, just by growing up. You already know a lot about reading right now…”
Focus on weaknesses
Now we can all admit that we – each and every one of us – have weaknesses. Weaknesses in character, weaknesses in learning a certain subject. Of course this also speaks to talents and gifts. But we all felt that it was time to focus in on our weaknesses. To really hit things hard and practice and fine tune. I won’t name names but that meant math for one, reading for another, spelling for yet another and handwriting for two.
Does that mean that each child felt poorly about that subject? Having to focus on a weakness? Certainly not. It gave us opportunity to praise each one for their success in science, in math, in language arts, in fine arts. And it helped us to recognize that we all need to spend a bit more time and ask for help and to pray about our areas of weakness.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
1. It’s time! Amon’s Adventure – a family story for Easter by Arnold Ytreeide – author of the Jotham’s Journey advent trilogy| 2. Cheaper by the Dozen (and we also got to see the play!) | 3. Rules for Young Friends by Gregg Harris | 4. She’s reading the copy that was mine when I was her age. | 5. Still savoring my way through. You need to read it too, fellow mama. The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst. | 6. Some days are for reading one of your grandmother’s favorites and other Nostalgic Read Alouds.
Focus on just reading lots and lots
One week was just a typical hard winter week of crazy weather. Snow, sleet, rain. It lent itself to a warm blanket, toasty fire and lots of reading. Take advantage!
Focus on the checklist
I had THE best time with my girls – ALL day long! Topped off with a night at the theatre seeing our friends perform in Cheaper by the Dozen.
Getting glasses for our eldest. Checking off those ‘need to’ dos on the list. Swinging by the library, purging outgrown clothes, assessing what we need for Easter. (More: Spring Forward: A Seasonal Assessment)
Focus on imagination
1. Update from the backyard: “We are building a road. We’ll probably be out here… um… three more hours? LOVE daylight savings. | 2. Update from the backyard: Now that the road is well underway, the kingdom of Jingle Longy moved in. Last year’s beach shells make wonderful castle decorations. | 3. Boys and model rockets | 4. Apologia Land Animals – learning about sloths and anteaters.
“Play is the work of a child.” ~ Maria Montessori
We’ve been blessed with a few days here and there of simply pure spring like weather. Joy! So, with longer hours of sunlight, the younger ones especially enjoyed extended times of playing outside in the backyard.
So, as you can see, it hasn’t been a focus on one particular thing. But a purposeful focus on the good, the weaknesses, imagination, reading and more. That counts – don’t you think?
- Tangled Lanterns Art Tutorial
- Dump Truck Art Tutorial
- All our helpful homeschool habits – you might like to browse?
Many thanks to these kind hostesses (I’m linking up!):
- Collage Friday – Homegrown Learners
- Finishing Strong – Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years
- Weekly Wrap Up – Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers
Do you have spring flowers blooming too?