The Lofty Game Plan for our new year:
These are the goals for those days when we aren’t pulled to and fro with great social/service and other learning experiences for a fresh plan B, there aren’t larger more time consuming cleaning, gardening, farm and food projects that take large blocks of time but that provide their own family learning experience, and Mama learns the great art of time management, and self and child discipline. These goals will comprise a process this year, for our family.
My first goal is to keep our house from over running our entire day. It is the one aspect I really haven’t any successful experience of yet with, and this great experiment, is for family clean up to last from 7:00-8:30 a.m., in order to have a nice spirit in our home, teaching obedience, team work and how to work efficiently… (we’ll see how that works out.) (Yes that means if I want to exercise, pray and read my scriptures, that does mean I’ll have to wake up really early~more goals to aspire to!)
Second goal is to Seek the Lord Early after breakfast and clean up, and this to be the most important accomplishment of the day. I hope to sing some songs together to get into the spirit of things and I will try to rotate between children, listening to reading, trading back and forth reading, or instructing on reading as well as teaching how to use a scripture journal and how to apply the scriptures to our own day. Meanwhile holding down the flame of fighting/teasing flames. This goal took all year last year to establish as a habit and to keep as our first and sometimes final goal for the day. (Meaning there were many days this was all we ‘accomplished’.) If I haven’t read anything myself yet, then now will be that time to steal some spiritual energy for myself.
Third goal is to put my youngest down for a nap, and read aloud for the joy of family learning, when we’ll have the children color their unfinished drawings, or draw about the reading. We’ll begin the week with the The Friend, and Character stories, proceed to history, other fiction and scientific read a-louds.
Fourth goal is to proceed to morning guided learning in math skills, copying poetry, learning to read, and work in language, foreign and other skills, that comprise parts to the learning which will when learned, build the skills needed for better whole learning experiences. The goal here is like sport coaches that teach drills that target specific small components to an athletes holistic ability; the team player learns to trust the coach so that in playing the ‘game’ they can play so much more adeptly. The child is learning obedience, faith, trust and integrity to establishing habits, the teacher, persuasion, creativity, freshness, gentleness, patience and consistency. As I work with a child specifically, hopefully we can keep each child busy and on a task (either one of their own creation or one guided to) that are focused so that we avoid teasing and fighting, and we can work through authority and unkindness issues.
When great imagination games crop up I will decide whether or not we should forego the family guided learning in order for imaginative loving cooperation and life experimenting with roles in play, is more important currently, or if the crew needs to stick to the plan for a more important learning opportunity, and this fifth goal will be that ongoing work of flexibility and self discipline that I always continue to try to balance.
After lunch and lunch clean up, my sixth goal is really a distraction free self discipline goal for me, because when emails and other familyj/home matters come to my mind, I rush after them, usually disrupting family flow. I hope to discipline myself to keeping these matters till mostly now, and I am excited to see how consolidating this will help with efficiency. I have a sheet I’ve made patterned after a form from Donna Young, that can give me the chance to jot down the note to myself to take care of the matter later, because I know how forgetful my mind really is I also hope that I will avoid causing family distractions. Further I am excited to see what will happen for myself when I PLAN in this project time for ME! This time after lunch is a mother business/email and project time while the children experience their own unstructured learning, exploration and playing time.
We will close this period with a 10 minute spot clean up, and the next hour will be a family learning hour, diving deeply into Montessori learning, Art, History, Science, Geography, etc exploration, hopefully comprising many aspects in a holistic learning experience, including nature journals, charts, maps, book creation and more. This eighth goal will obviously not happen every day, because the children will want more than an hour to free-roam, (even though they will also have that during the morning while they aren’t being worked with specifically). Of course I could always decide it is more important to do this deep family study than experience our family guided learning time in the morning, and I can swap this chunk to the morning. But as of now I consider it the icing on the cake, the final touches that will comprise the perfect learning goals completed…but cake before frosting. This time will further self discipline for myself and greatly further family learning synergy and comprise a wonderful experience.
Next will be a family reading time, and those who can’t read can without help can listen to books on tape or look at pictures. This will build in some down time for us all, and build in reading time for myself.
We will begin making dinner together, have dinner and clean it up together, have family time together, spend 15 minutes tidying up our bedrooms, and have one half hour of reading together while father reads a great story to the children, and we do laundry. We started this goal last year, and the great thing about laundry is that it keeps coming and builds in, if you will, this great read aloud experience. If rooms are clean then the children get their own 15 minutes of reading at night, before lights out, the goal being 8:00. (And so you know, reader, we STINK at family bed time, which isn’t hot on the marriage, or adult quiet time.) Let me not joke you either, as stands bedrooms usually need 30 minutes to an hour to clean, but one can always dream.
Sunday Eleventh goal or so, is for Riley to make goals with the children on Sundays to help them be on the family game plan page. They will make goals in their character and spiritual levels, with using their toys, games and working on self-initiated projects and service goals.
Un-clean rooms will have to be cleaned during free time, and children not cooperating after certain amounts of expected error, will end in- un wanted naps. Service for each other and me, will abound in fight correction.
And these are the LOFTY goals! Doesn’t it sound like way too much too chew on? The good news is we’ve worked on many of them at-least sometimes, so my vision isn’t completely un-reasonable. What are your over-lofty goals? Or are you far more reasonable than me? I wish you the BEST of luck in them, and whats a DREAM without goals leading up to them? Success will be in achieving parts of my dream consistently.