1. Repetitious Bible Reading is a beautiful thing
I finished my second time through the school-year Bible Reading Challenge, reading the entire Bible over 9 months. I absolutely love this plan. I don’t know why this one works when I’ve not finished year-long plans before, but I have a few ideas:
- The reading chunks make sense and don’t require a bunch of flipping around.
- I use the audio Bible for most of the OT readings.
- Many people in my life and in my circles are doing it, so there’s positive peer pressure to come back and keep going when I’ve missed a few days, whereas on my own year-long plans, I’d give it up as “ruined” if I missed too many days in a row.
- In fact, the plan itself emphasizes just coming back and not worrying about “catching up.” It’s an anti-perfectionist plan that still asks a significant commitment of reading. It’s a perfect blend.
- It’s a fun, color checklist that’s satisfying to see filled in.
I’ll do the summer plan again (third time!) and then start the school-year plan again in September. Reading Scripture over and over is what helps it become the familiar backdrop to our lives that it ought to be.
It’s become the reading plan my husband and kids are also doing on their own, too, so it’s pretty great to all be reading the same chunk of Scripture.
2. I love the ocean.
We finished up our school year and headed out to the coast. The Oregon beach is cold, but beautiful. I love it. It was great to get away with the family (although my oldest couldn’t come because he still had school and work) and enjoy Creation and movies and a good novel and hiking and audiobooks on the drive.
3. Nature study doesn’t have to be official.
We stayed in Pacific City where there is a very large sand dune. We always hike to the top when we go there, but this year we went down the other side instead of just back to the beach we came from. Yes, this meant going back up again to get back to our rental, but it was worth it for more than just its ability to burn off some more vacation indulgence calories.
We happened to end up down on an empty beach at low tide and find all kinds of creatures and sights in the rocks that were uncovered. We had no phones, no cameras, no art supplies – just eyes and hands and interest.
Nature study is a more formal or structured thing we sometimes add to our homeschool, but this experience was a reminder that nature study as school isn’t the point or the end goal. We do the nature study so that when we stumble upon cool sights, we know what to do. We know to stop and look and notice. We want to stop and look and notice.
As my oldest approaches graduation, and as another school year was over, it was a reassuring experience. Not only are my kids interested in the world around them. I am much more interested and knowledgable than when I first started. For that, I am truly grateful.
4. My team has great ideas to implement.
So Simply Convivial Continuing Education has taken off in the last two years. We have several hundred women enrolled and participating. It’s a fun and active community of homemakers engaged in the process of sanctification and service at home.
It definitely takes more than just me at my computer a couple hours a day to keep it all going. Viriginia Lee Rogers helps me with emails and customer tech support, which alone takes several hours every week. Stefani Mons is the community manager in our Convivial Circle private chat app. She spends several hours a week making sure people’s questions are answered, keeping conversations on topic, and generally participating in our lively community and keeping a pulse on what people need and are interested in. Leisa Moulton is a mom with young kids who helps out with scheduling emails and texts, fixing website tech stuff, and other odd jobs that keep things running smoothly. I couldn’t do it without them.
So in May, as our current six month “Community Coaching” group wraps up, Stefani sent a message to the team with a brilliant insight and idea that we fleshed out together and are making happen. The Community Coaching groups work through the three signature Simplified Organization courses: Organize Your Attitude, Work Your Plan, Streamline Your Homemaking. In total, it’s 36 modules and we do 6 per month to make it happen. It’s a lot. We all have to give up perfectionist ideals to keep going, because the point of any of the material is not to “finish” it, but to think through things and begin making appropriate adjustments in your own life, wherever you’re at.
Stefani had many insights as to why a change would be better, but the bottom line is that we are going to do our next round of Community Coaching along a school-year plan, with catch up weeks and holiday breaks, rather than a six month stretch. This will allow us to do one module per week and do more brain dumping, have more conversation, and keep a more doable pace.
Community Coaching is included with every enrollment, and the next one, on a school-year schedule, will be open for registration on August 2. Click here to enroll and be ready!
5. I really am writing a book that will be published.
I’ve been in a little bit of denial over this myself, with nerves over announcing it, but the time has come.
Surprise! I am working on the first draft of my first book, getting close to finishing it. I wasn’t positive it’d really turn out, so I didn’t say anything until I actually did have significant progress. At this point, I have friends who won’t let me give it up (I did try a few times), and so I better just admit it. :)
The book is The Convivial Homeschool: Gospel Encouragement for Keeping Your Sanity While Living and Learning Alongside Your Kids
It will be available in kindle, paperback, and audio on Amazon and through my website sometime in October, Lord willing.
I’ll let you know more as the project continues and publication nears! I plan to offer several bonuses for preorders as well as some launch-day events.
Bonus: Books Finished in May