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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
Make A New Year's Journal
© Beverley Paine
How many resolutions have you made for this New Year? Do you encourage your children to make resolutions? I find that if my resolutions are based on who I am, recognising my limitations and strengths, and stay within the boundaries of what I really need, rather than want, it's easier to achieve.
Like most people I'm brilliant at forgetting my resolutions, or giving up way too soon, but luckily I've found a way to help me keep my resolutions going all year - by creating a resolution journal. I'm a great one for writing lists, but with dozens of lists lying all over the house sometimes it's hard to remember to actually look at them!
You can use paper or card to make the book, an activity children love, especially when it comes to decorating the cover with stickers, illustrations, photos, etc. Create 53 pages, one for every week of the coming year, plus a blank one at the beginning. I made my 2006 resolution journal from 52 index cards that I picked up at a recycle store - in this case That's Not Garbage in Adelaide a few years ago, knowing that one day they'd come in handy!
I used a hole punch to make two holes and then bound the book with thin ribbon left over from wrapping presents, but you can also staple or sew your book together. I prefer a 'flip book' style that I can prop on my desk with the resolution in plain view every day where I can't miss seeing it! Date each page with the week: "Sunday 1st January - Saturday 7th January", etc. Or you could simply write "Week 1", "Week 2" etc.
On the blank page write your New Year's Resolution and why you've chosen it as a resolution: "This year I want to do more exercise because it will make me healthier and stronger!" or "This year I want to do one nice thing for somebody every day!", etc. If you have more than one resolution (and I have about twenty!) you can make a book for each, but it's probably best to pick the most important one, the one you'd really like to keep above all others and use this for your book.
Place your book where you can see it every day. The idea is to write in the journal anything to do with your resolution - things you've done to keep it, or need to remember, or why you weren't able to keep your resolution - anything and everything about your resolution. You may have picked up some tips or ideas from friends or magazines that have successfully mastered this resolution. Jot these into your journal too.
Your resolution journal will help to keep you focussed on what it is you want to achieve and why and I bet that when New Year's Eve 2006 rolls around you won't be recycling this particular resolution ever again!
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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
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