It was just about a year ago that I found myself desperately searching for answers to what felt like too many questions, especially considering that I’d already been homeschooling for a dozen years. As the ages and needs of my children changed, however, and opportunities and promptings had presented themselves over time, I recognized that there were new essentials and that much as I wanted to fight it, adjustments had to be made. Prayer had led me to the “what” requiring attention for the year, but I could not find the formula for “when” or “how.” I was perplexed and the clock was ticking.
To my way of thinking, my list of questions required answering in the order I asked them. But one night, as I had stared long and hard at the top of my list and could think, listen, and feel no more, I decided to finally go to bed. In that peaceful bliss of time between putting my head to pillow, closing my eyes, and just about relaxing into sleep, the answers to questions numbered 20-25 flashed through my mind. It was a lesson on revelation, and a revelation on our lessons all at once. It also proved to be the best and most important component of our homeschool for the school year.
It was simple, really. Five topics that needed focus for five days of the week. Over the course of the year, each topic would get ample attention, we’d have a firm framework for beginning each day that the kids could count on, yet by rotating topics daily, there would also be variety which is something I personally need.
We began each day singing a hymn or Primary song that was related to that day’s topic, sometimes reading the scriptures listed at the bottom of the page and often reading about the hymn itself in "Our Latter-day Hymns: The Stories and the Messages" by Karen Lynn Davidson. I purchased a 5-subject spiral notebook with pocket dividers for each child, each day’s lesson having a copy work element, whether it was rules relating to manners, quotes from prophets or scriptures or books read on the topic, a personal reflection on the topic’s discussion, as well as the section for Thankful Thursday also being used as a gratitude journal. The pockets held things like General Conference addresses on the topic, or the written testimonies of family and friends I requested for Testimony Tuesday. (The pockets also had to occasionally stash a page accidentally torn out by a younger child.)
This year we’re going to stick to the same format, but change the topics as led by the Spirit. Following the alliterative pattern, here are just a few of the ideas on my list of possibilities.
Monday – Missionary, Mothering, Marriage, Miracle, Meek, Memory, Mercy, Extra Mile, Mindful, Ministry, Music
Tuesday – Temple, Talent, Temperance, Teachable, Treasure, Trustworthy
Wednesday – Wisdom, Word, Walking with God, Worthy, Worship, Watchful, Willing, Witness, Worth of Souls
Thursday – Theology, Thoughtful, Thirsty (for Living Water)
Friday – Family, Fathering, Follow the Prophet, Faithful, Forgiving, Freedom, Fruits of the Spirit
Of course, you don’t have to be so poetic (I just love alliteration and cannot help myself, and it was the manner it was presented to me), and you can also include Saturdays and Sundays if you’d like
I am indebted to and thankful for a Father in Heaven who knows me, knows my children, knows our needs and desires, and who listens and answers with wisdom I’m not capable of. I don’t know if the solution He gave me will be of use to you, but it did make all the difference for my family.