Just one week left in our homeschooling adventure! We will have accomplished a grand total of 13 weeks of home education by this Thursday. You can tell that summer is right around the corner. Our schooling times are the basics now – math, reading, and writing. Owen still has a weekly assignment from his teacher. My supplements of crafts and board games have become optional. We have been doing quite a few science experiments throughout the week, so that counts as extra credit, right?
We had a milestone at our house this week – we had kid-led sorting/purging take place. I’m a tidier and I am constantly evaluating what needs to stay or go in our house. I was talking with my MOPS & MOMSnext group this spring about keeping clutter down and they asked me how I do this with the kids. I shared that most of the time I de-clutter when the kids are not aware and they very rarely notice the items I get rid of. I did acknowledge though that my kids are getting older and that soon I would need to include them in this process. The reason for this is two-fold – 1) I need to honor their belongings and 2) they need to learn how to sort/purge their own items. I’m a big advocate of leading by example. My kids have watched me sort and giveaway items their whole lives. This week, they decided to go through their bins and take down the clutter. I was proud of them as they recycled papers and tossed happy meal toys that were no longer played with. A few nicer items were added to our donation stockpile. It was a highlight of the week for me!
Now that we have moved out of the quarantine season, I’m reflecting on the things that I’ve learned through this whole experience. One of the biggest wins for me is I broke the social media addiction in my life. I am now averaging around an hour of screen time on my phone a day and that is because I limit my use of Instagram and Facebook. Now my phone sits on the counter or my nightstand, but I don’t feel the need to check it every few minutes. This discipline has been life-giving through my time at home and I hope I can continue to keep my phone usage down in the future.
I’ve also been reflecting on the pace of life. I’ve valued the slower pace of quarantine and I want to take that pace with me as I move forward. I used to pack the summer weeks with all kinds of plans because I thought my kids needed to be busy. I’ve since learned that my kids do well for long periods of time at home. It turns out we are a family of four introverts. While we enjoy people, we don’t need to go out and do something everyday to be fulfilled. Right now in Phase 2, we can see one household outside of our own a week. This pace sounds about right to me. We can add seeing people in person, but one outing/play date/dinner a week is just enough. As I made a play date for later in the month with a friend, she remarked that her family tires out easily after play dates. We have some muscles to rebuild in the socializing department. Building muscle takes time and I am ready to slowly build our schedule back up. I am hesitant though to go back to the way things were before.
The last things that I’ve learned to value during quarantine is my health. I also give credit to my fitbit for this realization. Since the first week of quarantine, I’ve been exercising daily and making sure to get my 10,000 steps a day. Before quarantine, I didn’t have “time” to prioritize daily exercise, now I make it a daily goal to have my fitbit register that I have exercised. For me, my exercise of choice is walking. Moving my body is important not only for physical health, but also mental health.
Overall, quarantine has given me time and space to evaluate healthy habits and a healthy lifestyle. I’m determined to take the lessons I have learned over the last few months and to live differently here from here on out. The nice thing is that they say it takes 21 days to build a habit. I’ve had almost three months to build new habits. This gives me confidence that these changes might just stick.