Attitude of Gratitude
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Homeschooling often requires a lot of patience, especially when you are in the early years, and still have children who are too young to do any form of schooling. I know this because I am currently homeschooling a 2nd grader and a kindergartner, while also being “Mommy” to our 2 year old son and 4 month old daughter. When I only had two, and only one of them was old enough for school, the younger one would happily sit and do “schoolwork” with her big sister. Not so with our son. If I were to give him a crayon and paper, and leave him for even a second, I would have to spend a good portion of time scrubbing crayon off of our walls. The question has become “How much can the girls do WITHOUT me?” This year we started BJU Press Distance Learning Online, and it allows both of my little scholars to work well independently. Before the school day begins in earnest, I have already opened each book to the correct page, printed out any supplemental pages suggested for (and attached to) that lesson and placed them with the correct books, and logged each student into their personal profile, so they are ready to go when the school day officially starts!

My main tool and most valuable resource in keeping our days from being derailed is my Day Designer. I can plan out my entire day, down to the half hour, have my list of things to do – I’m a big fan of checklists – and also jot down notes and reminders to myself throughout the day. Each day is usually laid out around the same lines – start school by a certain time, fit in a few tasks between school start and end times, lunch, check schoolwork and talk about what they learned, playtime for the kids while I do a few more tasks. It’s simple, and I fill in the specifics based on the day, but it allows me to keep a close watch on how I am spending my time, and if I am spending it wisely. When I am, I tend to have more patience with my little ones, which means we have more pleasant days, and I have more chances to mold little hearts and more teaching moments, and fewer days where I feel like we are battling each other and just slogging through in misery.

My favorite feature of my particular day planner, one that has become a great teaching tool, is that on each page there is a spot reserved for a Daily Gratitude. I pick one thing each day that I am going to be purposely thankful for. Sometimes it’s something that stood out for me the day before. Sometimes it’s something that just “came” to me that I jot down. Most days I end up having more than one! I try to find a chance to speak this gratitude to my children, ESPECIALLY if it involves them. I want them to know that they are a blessing to me, always. I want to make sure they know that it is important to express gratitude and appreciation, even for the little things. This is my favorite part because being a mom is HARD. Being a HOMESCHOOLING mom can be very hard at times. It is very easy to fall into the trap of grumbling, whether it be internal or vocal, about little things that aren’t satisfactory.

Stressful moments happen; insecurities can get to us and make us question whether we’re doing well enough, doing the right thing, being the best mom we can be. And homeschooling – all those moments spent with our little ones – definitely give us more moments to be stressed and question what we’re doing, or if we even know what we’re doing. But when I have those moments, I can look back at all the little things I have written that I am thankful for, and it helps me to refocus and continue to be faithful to the task that has been set before me. Doing so, and allowing my children to see an “attitude of gratitude,” especially for them and towards them, is going to make an impression on them, hopefully for life. And that was one of my goals in homeschooling in the first place.

Abbie Knott

HomeWorks by Precept Consultant


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