Wednesday, January 13, 2021

2021 Changes

It's 2021! Another new year. All I can think about currently are my hopes and dreams for 2020, none of which I attained. Life is funny like that sometimes. I wanted a baby in 2020, and I had two miscarriages. I made a list of books I wanted to read, and things I wanted to knit, and I finished about half of them. I wasn't expecting covid, riots, civil unrest, politcal stress, or the entire nation to start wearing face masks. I started the year excited to start homeschooling Reuben for kindergarten in August, ready to grow my family and have a lot of summer adventures.

Instead, we had quarantines, churches were closed, and I battled some serious anxiety and chronic illness issues. My summer was spent recovering from my second miscarriage and sleeping off chronic fatigue (well, you can't sleep that off, but you get my drift). 

I learned that even when nothing goes the way you plan, God will still meet needs. I am lucky to have food, a wonderful family, and a house over my head. My health is "fair" at this point, and I am able to function now. I am grateful. I never thought to be thankful for an ability to get out of bed, cook, clean, and stand up: but now I am. I totally am. 

This year my "word" of the year (a practice I have scoffed at in the past) is abide. My goals are to learn to play the violin and read more of my bible, and abide in Christ. I want my hope, my faith, my foundation to be in Him. So, unlike last year I'm not going to make lofty lists or monthly progress posts. 

I've slowed down a lot. We have a morning and an evening routine, and I am not a routine person but I love the structure it brings to our family. We stay home a lot. I love staying home. Homeschooling and chores and cooking and cleaning, knitting and writing and relaxing are all done at home. Going out a lot just isn't possible for me in this season of life and I'm getting used to it. Structure has made me feel like I'm not all over the place all the time playing catch up or two steps behind. It isn't fun living in flight or fight--that is what I will call the newborn phase, or whatever the first year of life after having a baby is.

I've also begun treating motherhood like a job. Maybe I should make a whole post about this, but honestly I came to the realization that motherhood is like five full time jobs where you also live (and sleep) at work and your coworkers don't understand personal space or emotional boundaries. So, I thought: why not treat it like a job? I mean, obviously I'm a mother, and it's more than a job: but what if I gave myself the things you get in a job? Like a lunch break and an ending time. So I did just that. I end my "job" at 6pm and rest before bed. I sit down and knit and I don't get up unless someone is bleeding. I also give myself a lunch break where no one is allowed to bother me or ask for snacks. It has greatly increased my mental and emotional health and it only took a few days to make it part of our rythem. Try it, if you can!

What else has changed? We switched math curriculums. I was using Singapore math, kindergarten level. Both Reuben and I grew to hate it. It is heavily parent-lead, and Reuben found it too easy and complained of boredom a lot.  We have switched to Masterbooks, Year 1, and suddenly math is fun for both of us again! I love the master books approach of teaching math through storytelling. Reuben talks about the characters in our math book like they are real and I see him applying his "lessons" in real life. This isn't me saying Masterbooks is the best math for homeschooling. This is me saying Masterbooks is the best math for Reuben. Every kid, and every mother is different. We did not like Singapore math but we LOVE Masterbooks. Finding a good fit for Reuben has made a night and day difference in our homeschooling!

Here are the other things we do daily: read books, do memory verses, and teach Reuben to read. We also work on habits, art, crafts, music, poetry and nature weekly. This week we did puzzles and made paper airplanes! Becky comes along for all of it and enjoys most. 

We have a great Wild and Free co-op that meets weekly for socialization and have a lot of play dates. I can't believe our kindergarten year is half over, and I am planning our Year One from Ambleside Online

Do I have any hopes and dreams for 2021? I think I am just going to accept what the Lord chooses to give me and be thankful, and pray. 

How are you all? Are you working through the drama (and trauma) of last year? What a year. 

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