Happy New Year! I was looking back at photos from the past year and was attempting to plan a year in review post. As I looked though, I found very few photos from a few months earlier in the year worth posting. So, I thought… “Ugh, forget it! I’m not looking back! I’m looking ahead.” Ok, so I didn’t audibly say those words or even those exact words in my head, but that’s what I felt. Twenty-sixteen was a wonderful year because of many reasons but it was also a really hard one. Maybe sometime I’ll talk more in depth about my personal struggles but this isn’t the post for that. I’ve decided that Facebook, well social media in general, is my enemy. I’ve known it for a while and the latter part of the year, I spent less and less time on Instagram (which I really miss and find much more appealing than FB, but it’s still a time waster) and Facebook. There are few things I enjoy about it but those few things aren’t worth the ugliness it caused in my heart and the heavy burden I felt every time I was on. I feel like a broken record but I really have yet to find a balance with it. I’m not sure there will ever be peace with Facebook and I. So, I’m thankful that my husband keeps me up to date on church prayer requests and other important information. I kept my Facebook messenger app because on occasion someone without my phone number does message me (so, you can find me there if you need to!).Why am I telling you all this? Reason one: accountability; Two: maybe some of you feel like I do and we can chat (just not on Facebook!);  Three: I still have this urge to share stuff! It’s part of who I am. I want to share things that are encouraging, biblical, helpful and important. I want to share what’s going on in my little world, even if no one ever reads it. I need an outlet! And while I don’t have much time to sit and write, I do enjoy it. So, my desire is to write all of my “stuff I want to share” here as time allows. Also, since it is more difficult and time-consuming to create a post, I’m hoping it will weed out anything that wouldn’t be wise to share. So Facebook and 2016…

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Moving on…

We are starting back our second semester  of the school year and I’m looking forward to getting back into our school routine. A few days ago I came across this Type B homeschool post from Sarah Mae and it was so encouraging. It’s nice to get an encouraging word mid way to help fuel you to finish out the year strong. Speaking of “Type B”,  I think personality testing can be fun but I have issues with someone telling me that I’m “this way” or “that way” because I answered a set of particular questions. I do, however, identify with the parts of Type B personality that are laid back, unstructured and  maybe a bit messy… It was nice to see how someone who identifies with similar characteristics as my own goes about their homeschool day. Their day is very much like our day. In the realm of homeschooling, much of what you find online is how to order your day, how to plan, printables for schedules and time segments for each subject and each chore… and a good bit of that doesn’t work for me at all. When I read it makes me feel like I’m failing because I can’t seem to make sure math fits in from 10-10:30a. So, reading this post from Sarah Mae encouraged my heart to keep doing things the way they work for us! If you have similar characteristics (or are just curious about how mamas like me do school) check out her post.

Along the same subject, I’m finishing up reading Little Men by Louisa May Alcott. I read Little Women in December and decided to move on to Little Men. I’m so glad I did because while I didn’t know it, it is an excellent book on homeschooling. The philosophy behind homeschooling that the Bhaers use at Plumfield is so similar to our own philosophy. I’ve not come across a fiction book with a better view on homeschool! It’s actually helped reinforce some of my goals for the boys. So, I’m loving the book for that reason and also because it’s about little boys, whom I happen to be very fond of!  Here are two of my favorite quotes from the book:

Boys at other schools probably learned more from books, but less of that better wisdom which makes good men. Latin, Greek and mathematics were all very well, but in Professor Bhaer’s opinion, self knowledge, self-help, and self-control were more important, and he tried to teach them carefully. People shook their heads sometimes at his ideas, even while they owned that the boys improved wonderfully in manners and  morals. But then, as Mrs. Jo said to Nat, “it was an odd school.”

The house stood open from morning till night, and the lads lived out of doors, except at school time. The lessons were short, and there were many holidays, for the Bhaers believed in cultivating healthy bodies by much exercise.

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Are you on Goodreads? Let me know if you are! I’m challenging myself to 30 books this year. This past year I read 27! I called this past year “The Year of Classics” because I’m a dork and also because I really wanted to add some classic literature to my reading. I have always loved to read but until recently I haven’t made it a priority. Also, I totally count the chapter books the boys and I read (or listen to, because we do both) together. We read lots of really good ones this past year, too! I asked the boys what their favorite read aloud was and Eli said his was James and the Giant Peach. Luke said his was Matilda. So, it seems we have some Roald Dahl fans. My favorite books from the read alouds we all read together would be The Secret Garden and The Railway ChildrenI fear I’m getting a little long-winded, as I do when I start talking about books so, I’ll leave it at that! I’ll share another time some of my favorite books I read personally (you can find a list of all of them here) and which books are on my must read list for this year. I’d love to hear any suggestions you may have!

“She has read too many books and it has addled her brain.” Louisa May Alcott

 

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