Back to Back Issues Page
November 20, 2022

It is nearly the end of the year and this will be the last ezine for 2022. It has been a full year with one child finishing her Biochemistry degree, another finishing his last homeschool year, and the youngest as usual busy with all sorts of projects, while busy doing challenging school work also! We are so proud of our children, even though I have to admit that teenagers’ behavior sometimes test one’s own character to the limit! My reality is that ‘two little eagles will be flying from the nest’ next year, with my youngest finishing his own homeschool journey next year. Even though one knows this is absolutely the necessary, right next thing that must happen, it still feels a little daunting not knowing what the new season will hold….but I trust that God will in good time give new vision, as He always does.

I always look forward to December holidays here in South Africa, since apart from being a festive time, it is an opportunity to THINK BACK and REFLECT! It is only during a break that there is TIME that can be spent doing other things than the normal activities and schoolwork – a luxury one appreciates more and more as one grows older. In thinking back I try to appreciate and enjoy memories made, as well as reflect on mistakes made, where opportunities for improvement are and doing practical planning.

There is a deeper value in thinking back to evaluate and remember things than seem obvious. So many times the Israelites had to be told, “Remember what the Lord has done, remember how He has been faithful, how He helped [them] or guided [them].” The times they remembered, there was peace; when they forgot, things started going awry.

May this principle be something that we also apply in our family lives, and for good reason... Remembering the faithfulness of God (how He helped and guided in the past), and recalling lessons and specific shared memories is something that has the power to inspire, encourage, and give hope and a new perspective on present challenges and the future.

During this holiday season especially, take time to not only make memories, but remember good times you and your family had over the past year. This is one of the reasons why I try to take photos of all happenings, including every-day things like the children working, whether at their school desks, in the kitchen preparing food or in the garden or reading with the cat laying on their laps or doing projects, playing with friends, watching sunsets – all the little things that fill our days.

Such photographs will not necessarily win photography competitions (although if you have a passion for photography, you never know!), but they are invaluable for the memories they trigger. I make a point of sorting through photos, organising them into folders for the children, printing some of them and also scheduling times that we can look through the pictures and reminisce. Such ‘photo-nights’ can trigger various conversations and be a source of real bonding and fun.

Another reason to remember is so you can evaluate and analyse your progress objectively, since you are not head-first involved and busy with the normal activities that take up time during the term. Even though holidays can become a rat-race if you don’t carefully manage your energy, it is easier to relax and purposefully make time for thinking back about how things went, than it is to do during the year.

So do yourself a favour, have a cup of coffee (or tea), and consider the year’s highlights, the lowlights, what went well and what can be improved, adapted or even just let go of, for the next year ahead. Measuring your progress (Step6) is the only way you will know whether you are moving toward your goals or not, in order to be able to adapt or change (Step7). This is the way you will improve your homeschool strategy and grow in confidence with each passing year.

Have a wonderful holiday! See you again in the new year.

Until next time, Willemien

There are many wonderful things that will never be done if you do not do them. - Charles D Gill

Want more info?

Homeschooling Guides for Parents (ALL for FREE in 2022)→

Need curriculum?

South African Art Series for Children / Suid-Afrikaanse Kuns Reeks vir Kinders →

Omvattend Afrikaans Graad 1, 2 en 3 →

Copyright © 2022, Homeschool Curriculum Guide

Back to Back Issues Page