Keeping it Clean

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Now that Christmas is over, there is something inside me that clicks, making me want to clean, declutter and re-organize everything. I continue to repeat, “Do we really need this?” to my kids, or “Are we using this?” to my husband.

As we begin to put away the Christmas decorations and find homes for new gift items, I try to make myself get rid of at least one old item for every new one.

A new pair of shoes means getting rid of an old worn pair. A new necklace means finding one I never wear and putting it in the give-away box. New sheets or towels? Time to go through the linen closet and find some worn items to use as rags.

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And I get this way about our homeschooling, too. Is that new curriculum I bought over the summer just not working as well as I had hoped? Is one of my children struggling with a subject this year? Maybe I need to do a curriculum double-check. Perhaps I need to take a look at our schedule and see how I can alter what we are doing to make learning a bit easier. Maybe we should drop that extra class (or maybe we should add one).

This is a great time to clean out, organize and reevaluate lots of things in our household, and I encourage you to do it. During these last few days of break, take a little time each day to sort through one or two areas in your house that are a source of organizational frustration. Perhaps one shelf of toiletries that needs to be cleaned out or that junk drawer in the kitchen. Yes, we all have them, it’s no big deal.

Take some time to pray about areas in your homeschool day that are stressful, and ask for wisdom to take a new approach. And understand that it is OK to change curriculum if it is just not working. I know it probably means spending some more money, but you can likely resell the old curriculum, and this is one of the blessings of homeschooling. If a course of study is not working for our children, we have the freedom to change it. Every child learns differently, and we don’t have to make them fit into a cookie cutter plan just because it is the newest thing or it was on sale. Husbands, give your wives permission to make curriculum mistakes. After all, we can’t assess it unless we use it, and sometimes it just doesn’t fit!

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And most importantly, if you do change educational course mid-year, know that you are NOT behind a semester. You have actually given your child a 6 month head start in studying in a way that better fits their learning style.

 It’s a great way to begin the new year!