Today is the day.
The day to box-up Christmas and pack it away. Yet it is also the day to store the memory of Christmas, its lessons, its truth, and its beauty, to remember throughout the year ahead when I need it.
The day to clean up after New Year celebrations. Yet it is also the day to remember the joy and the hope that seeing in the New Year with loved ones offers, and live the memory of that hope and joy in my new everyday that will count as 2017.
The day to leave behind my in-between-week of Boxing Day Test Match Cricket, living low and simple, to just be, in that in-between time that hides in the bookends of Christmas and the New Year. The day to embrace what lies ahead while remembering the joys, the sorrows, and the truths of my yesterdays. The day to get back to business.
Our official homeschooling life begins again in the first week of February. So we still have four delicious weeks of Summer to live. In between lazy sub-tropical summer days, and all that they mean, I will be organising, cleaning, and readying resources for our year ahead (well, at least the term ahead anyway). I will be preparing my heart, mind, soul, and living space for the learning and working that lies ahead for me and my youngest daughter (it's just the two of us now) in 2017.
I mentioned in a previous post a lesson that is really making itself felt to me, at this season in my life. This lesson is the place of habit and memory in learning - genuine, deep, life-changing learning. Habit training (something that appears significantly in the works of Charlotte Mason) is something that I have not had the heart-space or mind-space to tackle consistently in my children's childhood years. And in all honesty, it shows. In my life and learning, and in my young adult and teen children's life and learning.
Now my daughter's are beautiful and delightful young women to be with - albeit far from perfect. Like everyone they have character flaws, strengths, and weaknesses. And if I had been more diligent in habit training in their childhood, there would be areas of improvement in their character traits and habits, but they would remain imperfect.
Perfection is not the goal of habit training. Manners and socially acceptable behaviours are not the goal of habit training. But I am beginning, now, to consider what habits really mean to learning and life - practically, intellectually, relationally, and spiritually. I am beginning to see played out, time and again, how a persons character affects the quality of their learning and how they can either encourage or discourage learning in their peers by their own habits and character.
This year I will be digging deeper into this idea of habit. What it means, how to develop it, the effects it has on those in our circle of life and learning, how it relates to our personal understanding of and relationship with God.
Reading slow. Narrating. Commonplacing. Thinking. Asking questions. Discussing with friends. Practising in my life, parenting, and teaching.
I begin now. Kicking off with CM 101 by Brandy Vencel, CM's volume on Character Formation, Laying Down the Rails, and You Are What You Love by James KA Smith. Not all at once of course. We'll see what rabbit trails open up after these. Anyone like to join in?
* these links are not afilliate links