How many times during the holiday season do you hear, “Are you ready?” People are constantly asking each other this question. I think some ask because they want to brag about being so organized while others need to check to see how far behind they really are. This year I started noticing people’s reaction when I’d give details of what I still have left to do. For those who are completely ready, I could see them puffing up with pride by “beating me” to the finish line of holiday preparation. For those who still have a list they looked at me with sympathy, understanding we both are still in the race to be done. I didn’t like either reaction, so I starting just being honest with my response. I now say, “Yes, I am ready for the season. Whatever gets done will be enough.”
This is true! I still have a list of things I want to get done before Christmas like teachers’ gifts, wrapping, Christmas cards, and the list goes on and on. But the truth is Christmas will happen even if I do not get those things done. I don’t want to live the holiday season by a list. I want to live it for the amazing interactions and times with friends, family, and neighbors that make my life complete and the true gift of Christmas. The way I’m doing this is to get done what I can each day and make sure to stop and enjoy every moment. I will meet a friend for lunch, coffee, a walk, or drop off cookies for a family dealing with cancer. If my Christmas cards become New Year’s cards, will it really matter?
So, how does this relate to education? Well, how often are we just making sure our kids get something done? An example in our house is the dreaded 20 minutes a day of reading. Instead of enjoying a book and getting lost in the pages, my son just wants to know when the time is up. Now we talk about reading to a certain page or reading a few chapters. He still gets his 20 minutes in, sometimes more, sometimes less, but he is more active in his learning and into the story. We also use some of that reading time as discussion time. I’ll ask, “What did you read? What did you like? What are your thoughts about …?” I’ve found my son has some really unique ideas about what he reads. That’s fun to see!
The time we have with our children at home is too short to constantly have a list of “stuff” to get done. Find ways to enjoy each other and the school experience. Learning is amazing! We need to remember that now, in the hustle and bustle Christmas, and throughout the year.
By Megan Stone, M.Ed.
Wife to Rick, Mom of 2
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member, Founder of Stone Foundations of Learning, Inc.