A Week of Looking Forward

In the past, the week after Christmas has felt rather lifeless around our house.  The kids were over the holiday excitement and all of us were eager to get back into a routine.  So when I originally set our calendar for the 2014-15 school year, I planned to go back to school this week.  However, over the weekend I was debating whether or not we needed more of a break.

My “Word for 2014” was PRAY, and over the past twelve months, the Lord has shown me how faithful He is to guide me when I take the time to ask.  It is a lesson I certainly need to continue to take to heart, but I feel like a good foundation has been laid so that in the future I will be more inclined to remember to pray before making decisions.

As I sought the Lord about how to spend this week, I strongly felt that we should deviate from my original plans (which I admittedly had NOT prayed about when drawing up our calendar) and take one more week off from any school work.  Instead I have found myself tackling organizational projects around the house that will help our family life run more smoothly over the next few months.

P1050355xFor instance, I spent two days sorting through hand-me-downs from friends as well as clothes my kids had outgrown that had never been put away properly.  When I started, there were several trash bags of mixed sizes.  Now everything is put away in storage tubs clearly labeled by size, ready to be worn by the next child in line.  (Plus I filled a couple bags to give away, since we had way too many clothes in certain sizes.)

I also started thinking about ways I can be more intentional about keeping my little ones busy during our school hours.  Up until now, Nico has blessed us by taking a long morning nap that allowed us to get through most of our work uninterrupted.  I know those days are numbered, however, so I started looking for various ways to entertain him.  Even if I just come up with five activities and then rotate them each day of the week, I think that would help us get through math (our most crucial time.)

He really liked putting dominoes into a can with a slot cut into the lid.

I think he might have emptied our entire domino bin if Arianna hadn’t come over to “help” him.  (Note to self: find an activity to occupy HER at the same time.)  She could probably handle most of the activities I listed in “Entertaining Elijah (Tips for Toddlers)” back when we first started schooling with a younger sibling to occupy.

Elijah and Arianna used to play together for most of the morning every day, but lately he’s been wanting to join us for math.  Arianna plays by herself better than my older boys did at her age, but sometimes she prefers to be in with us, and I want to have activities ready to give her when that happens.

My hope is that by taking this week to get things a little more organized around the house, we’ll be able to transition back into our school routine smoothly.  I made a few changes in our curriculum over the last few weeks of school, and I hope to spend the next few days adjusting my weekly lesson plan to make sure I’ve taken out the things we’re no longer using and found time for those we’re just beginning.  I’m thankful that the Lord prompted me to delay our return to school, and now I find myself looking forward to the months ahead.