We are so close to the end of the year. Like REALLY close.
I started this post with funny facts in mind but it has morphed into a serious reflection on our year.
1. We all want a vacation. Me especially.
What is it about finishing something that is so hard? I have partly finished projects all over my house. The reward of finishing one is so sweet. That said, I like starting projects a lot more than finishing them. Each school year is no different. The end of a school year is a much harder time for me than the beginning.
It takes perseverance to finish something well. It would be so easy to just give up. I want to. I really do. But there is a bigger lesson in this than finishing a school year. Both for me and my students. My children (and yours) are watching us every day battle to do things we don't want to do.
Don't think they aren't watching. They are.
I keep going because I want my kids to be finishers. Not giving up on hard things is a HUGE lesson to learn. I want to be a good example of this and encourage them as they work to finish well.
2. Change drudgery to fun
Learning can be a lot of fun. And it often is around the Brush household. However the lessons, the grading and the daily dedication is not always fun for the teacher or the student. We are at the end of our books. The final few chapters are left. Every time we finish up a subject there is a mini celebration. The feeling of putting away a book is glorious!
We use those small celebrations as the incentive. Then we spring board that excitement into the next subject to tackle. Once math was finished, we were able to double up on science. When science is done we will be doing LOTS of literature & history reading. It's a snowball effect and if we focus on the momentum and excitement of that then the drudgery of finishing disappears!
3. Whining about Being Behind
I like to whine. It's more fun to have sympathy than to work. I want to wallow in the guilt of not being done already. Blaming myself is easier than buckling down and working.
In past years, we would shoot to finish in mid-May. Since we didn't start school in August as planned and I had a cornea transplant in December that has put us WAY behind. Not to mention the process of getting Elizabeth diagnosed with Celiac disease in December.(when it rains--it pours right?)
It would be easy to just say "oh well we will never finish this year because ____________"
But we can finish. Looking at the plans on the calendar I know it can be done. We just have to work instead of whining about our "situation"
4. distractions are . . . distracting
We all want to be out in the sunshine. Playing in the garden, shooting baskets or riding our bikes. Elizabeth is home from college and comes up with great ideas for what would be a fun to do. She's excellent at fun! My answer to her is almost always "Well, maybe after school is done"
Sometimes I just say--let's go. Funny how after we go and have some fun then the distractions are easier to resist and we are more motivated to get back to work and finish the day's to do list.
5. List is too long
I've been using the Wunderlist app lately to keep me on track. Notice I said on track--I don't use it to get things done.
I never get my to-do list done. EVER
The kids always have more work they can do. That can feel so overwhelming if I let it.
It wasn't long ago that I couldn't do what I wanted to do(not lifting more than 5 pounds or leaning over) and that was overwhelming. Feeling helpless is just as overwhelming as having a long to do list.
The ability to get up and work on my list is a blessing. That to-do list isn't an evaluation of my day. If it was I'd fail every single time. Instead I think of the list is a guide. Sure I try to check off as many things as possible. But I know that there are TONS of other things I get done that never even make the list.
My kids are the same way. The goal is to do as many lessons a day right now as possible. But if we can't due to some unforeseen event or fun activity we choose? Well then tomorrow's to-do list is already started.
I'm sure there are lots more lessons we've learned along the way. These are the BIG ones for us. We are ready to start the summer and enjoy that time off but we will finish this year well first!
What lessons are you learning or have you learned this year?
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