Sound familiar? Step back from the cliff, mama.
Deadlines are hard, because they force us to face up to reality. The problem is, sometimes we only face up to part of the reality. This year (ahem, as every other year, so far) we completely failed at our modern language. Oh Spanish, you are the golden chimera in my home school plan―forever out of reach no matter how many check boxes I put in my schedules. That is a piece of my family’s reality, but it’s only one piece of it. There is a lot that we succeeded at beautifully. In her 20 Principles, Miss Mason reminds us that:
When we evaluate our end of term, we can choose what reality to look at. Our failures exist. They can teach us something. They can be a jumping off place from which to improve, rearrange, or even (gasp!) decide that the best route for my family is a few judicious cuts. But we cannot look at our failures without accounting for those successes. Where did our kids thrive? What interests were sparked this term? What were her favorite books? Did he make a new literary best friend? Did she learn a skill―whether that be multiplication, crochet, or controlling her tongue with a sibling?
By all means, let's look back over the terms and evaluate what went well and what needs improvement. But as we do so, let us remember our purposes. We are raising children to be virtuous and wise, to have relationship with many different things, to see their own places in the world’s story. Those things will never show up on a check list. Schedules are wonderful tools, but terrible masters. They are useful only insofar as they keep us moving towards our purpose. Keep those purposes at the center of your decision-making as you choose how to move forward.
May God bless us all as we step into a new year.