Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Finish Strong.

A few weeks ago, Holly asked on the ABCJLM Facebook group what everyone's plans were for this summer since the ABCJLM Curriculum is only 36 weeks long.  In conversation I learned that she has never missed a week of doing the curriculum with her son.  I was amazed.  I wrote the curriculum and there are weeks that it just doesn't happen in our home! 

So, I asked Holly to share with us tips and ways that she has been able to be so consistent for the last 33 weeks.  In the most humble manner, this is what she shared. 

I am just a simple, country girl who likes to keep things calm and low stress.  I approach everything in life the same way and ask myself, "What is expected here and how do I meet the present expectations without losing my mind or motivation?"  Most importantly I focus on doing all my work in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. 

Formerly a public school teacher, now I am a stay-at-home mom implementing the 2 Year ABC Jesus Loves Me Curriculum with our son.  Each week, I stretch the lessons out over five days, as opposed to the three-day model providing on the website.  This provides something fun for us to each morning while Daddy is at work.  We never do lessons on the weekend.  Those days are reserved for family and church.

Implementing ABCJLM into Our Day…
7:30 – Each weekday morning as soon as Daddy leaves for work, we do “Bible time” which consists of the Bible Verse, Bible Story, Bible Song, and Poem.  It takes 10 minutes tops, but I'm amazed at all that he is learning.  Next is breakfast, play time, and I prepare for the rest of the day's learning.

9:00-10:00 – Each day we cover the lessons I’ve selected from the objectives.  We either do a Bible Story Activity or Coloring Sheet (This is always done on Monday so I can hang it up and refer to it all week as we do his Bible time and go about our day).  Then we cover the other objectives of Shapes, Colors, Numbers, and Fine Motor Skills.  After his lessons, we have more play time.  While the lessons rarely last a whole hour, this is the block of time I have set aside for learning.

11:30 – This is when we read the Book of the Week and do one of the Suggested Activities.  Some weeks I read the book daily, other times just two or three times a week.

This concludes my part of the teaching.  My husband does the Gross Motor Skills with our son in the evenings after dinner while I am cleaning up the kitchen.  It keeps them both out from under my feet while I’m cleaning, and our son looks forward to the “fun game” with Daddy.  We both teach the Information and Self Care skills as situations arise in daily life.

It’s a pretty simple routine, but I am very structured with it, and I don’t deviate.  This has allowed my son the ability to anticipate the routine, which I think is very important, and he looks forward to all that we do for school.

Now, my “perfect plan” is not perfect all of the time?  Things come up and people get sick and when this happens, I flip forward to the upcoming Review Week, jot down what didn’t get finished during a particular week, and we make it up later.

As I stated before, I am committed to ABCJLM.  Outings, appointments, etc. are scheduled for late morning or the afternoon after he’s had his nap, so it doesn’t interfere with his school work or give me the feeling that I’m falling behind. 

What has kept me motivated to keep plugging away week after week for thirty-one straight weeks now without fail? 

My son.  That’s it.  His academic progress astounds us every day.  We have often said what a terrible thing it would be if we hadn’t done ABCJLM with him this year.  So much that he wouldn’t have learned!  It was having the ABCJLM Curriculum as a guide that helped me know what skills to introduce and when. 

Honestly, there are days that I am tired, cranky, and bored with being a stay-at-home-mom.  I try to justify skipping school for the day.  But then my son, because of our structured routine, comes up to me and says, “Mommy, read Bible” or “Paint, glitter, draw lines” and that’s all it takes.  I’m up off my duff and away we go into another day of school because the end result is so worth it. 

We’re about to complete the 2 Year Curriculum, and I can promise you, Years 3, 4, and 5 are in our future.

Glance back at the cover image of this post.  Running shoes.  In many ways, I believe using ABCJLM and being intentional with our children is like running a race. 

When we decide to run a race we known it will be worth it and we prepare by gathering all the right gear.  For some an obstacle comes before them and race day never happens.  Others start too fast and can't finish.  But then others like Holly keep their eyes on the finish line and they finish strong. 

Holly has shared some great ideas to help everyone finish strong.  Did you catch the wisdom? 
  1. Be committed and make it a priority.  
  2. Decide why using ABCJLM Curriculum is important to you.
  3. Set a schedule and make it part of your day. 
  4. Include your spouse in the learning...if possible.
  5. Give yourself grace...use the review weeks.
So, grab that running gear and lace up your shoes.  Start at a good pace and be committed to finishing strong.  

Thank you Holly for taking the time to share your experience and tips!

Read more Daily Scheduling Tips...

Is the enemy filling your head with lies about why you can't finish the race?  Join us for tomorrow's Periscope:  The Lies We Believe and How to Replace Them with Truth.

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The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.