Friday, December 18, 2009

3 Conclusions

As you know, we have taken Thanksgiving week through the New Year off of our homeschool, tacking those extra weeks of school on to the end of the year. Through this experience, I have come to 3 conclusions:

1. This is definitely a must-do for next year, assuming the extra weeks of school in the summer go well, because

2. I have no idea how we made it through the holiday season before while also doing school. I can only guess that I must not have done a very bang-up job homeschooling during this time.

Honestly, I don't even feel I have done a very good job with our 24 Days of Christmas either, which was the main reason I wanted to clear the calendar of academics in the first place. There have just been too many other things that have to be done. This week has been crazy. Our schedule looked like this:
  • Michael's follow-up appointment for his finger
  • Alex's birthday
  • A scheduled Christmas cookie exchange for which I had already prepared one batch of cookies and one batch of Buckeyes. It got postponed to the end of the week.
  • Bright Futures Academy. Thankfully, I had that batch of cookies and Buckeyes to take for our Christmas party instead of making new goodies.
  • Gingerbread House Decorating party
  • Make more Buckeyes for Thursday cookie exchange
  • Make 2 batches of cookie dough, one for Thursday's cookie exchange (with the Buckeyes) and one for Friday's cookie exchanged postponed from Monday
  • Take the kids to their grandparents' house, drive back, spend some time in peace and quiet cleaning the house and waiting for husband to pick me up.
  • Christmas shopping with hubby
  • A night out with hubby--a wonderful dinner with his colleague and customer and their wives and then a hotel
  • 3 hours to go pick up the kids at their grandparents' house
  • Clean up and unpack
  • Cookie/ornament exchange with moms from co-op
  • Wonder what to do with the cookie dough because the other cookie exchanged postponed again to Monday
  • Meet a friend and her girls with my girls so all the girls can get their ears pierced
  • Attack the neglected laundry
  • Lunch with an old friend
  • Get ready for family to come spend Sunday here
  • Get ready for family to come spend next Christmas day here

Don't get me wrong. I love getting together with friends, and the cookie and ornament exchange with the moms from co-op was especially nice because it was just grown-ups. And our night out Wednesday night was lovely, plus the kids had a great time with their Dana and Papa.

It's just that often I think that

3. the true meaning of Christmas so often gets forgotten. I shouldn't say forgotten because I know most people who celebrate Christmas as Christ's birth don't completely forget the reason. It is just given less priority. One thing I had hoped to accomplish this year with my 24 Days of Christmas was to bring the focus back on Jesus and the important things of the season--family time, for example, over gifts. But perhaps the fact that I used the word "accomplish" in that sentence is part of the problem. A focus on family time and Jesus can't be an item on a checklist.

Last week at the church we have begun attending the pastor told a story of a little girl on Christmas day. Making conversation over Christmas dinner, her grandfather asked her if she had gotten everything she wanted for Christmas. Without missing a beat, the little girl responded, "Well, no. But then again, it's not my birthday."

If we only had that little girl's perspective, I think we could bring the focus back on that little baby in Bethlehem.


tsinclair said...

I agree with you about Christmas. It is a wonderful time of year...we do get to see relatives and spend time together - we need to remember that this is not the purpose of Christmas, just a perk. Too many worldly distractions in today's time.

I love the picture of you and Mark.

Amy said...

Love this! Our Christmas is going to be much different this year because of just this reason...I don't want to lose focus. The kids have really gotten into the giving and (so far) are content knowing they're not getting high dollar items. I think I'm having a harder time than they are. There's just so much I want to give them. They only get gifts on birthdays and Christmas so I'm having to overcome my own desires of spoiling them. We decided to watch The Nativity Story on Christmas Eve. Hopefully that will help put Christmas morning into perspective for us. For me.

book worm said...

All your posts about year round school has gotten me thinking about changing over to year round myself. I even got a yes from Caleb and a shrug of ok from Bethany. We will see!

Mitzi said...

Ok..that was my comment above, not Caleb's. :)

5thsister said...

Oh Bookworm has a Bethany, too! Great name. I, too, had thought of year round school but this mama needs her summer break! LOL.

I enjoyed this post, Kathleen. Lots to ponder.

The Vander Vorst's said...

You and Mark look great! I enjoy reading your blog. Makes me want to come over for a visit (too bad we live so far apart).

CrossView said...

"Jesus can't be an item on a checklist." What a powerful statement! =D

Sounds like you HAVE been busy! Glad you and hubby got some time to yourselves...

Bunch of Barrons said...

Busy schedule! I know the feeling! :) We are "snowed in" right now and it's kind of nice to not have to go anywhere, and just enjoy piddling around the house and being together. :) Not schooling during the holidays sounds like a good idea! I plan on homeschooling when mine are old enough, and that's something I think I'd like to consider! :) It's such a special time, and we do miss the reason so often in the crazy busy schedules we have!

Arby said...

You two look good together. That's a very nice picture.