It’s the time of year when we’re trying to finish strong, while secretly (or maybe not so secretly) aching to get started on our school planning for the next year. Summer, is of course, full of the romance of possibilities — What will we make of this coming school year? I ask myself.
I’m sure you ask yourself the same question.
But I always challenge myself to pause first, and this year I’m challenging you to pause with me. The purpose of the pause is to take the chance to look back — really look back — and reflect on the closing school year, on all that was accomplished and where we succeeded, as well as where we quit or failed.
I call it looking back with wisdom and grace because the goal isn’t self-flagellation. We simply want to remember, be honest, and then move forward with wisdom. But how do we do that without a time of reflection? Without truly learning from the past, rather than sweeping it under the rug like so much dust?
That’s where the Flourish live event comes in. I have a process that I’ve developed over the years that I use to learn from the past. It’s become a little more elaborate as the years have gone by (I’ve been doing a version of this for over a decade), but the goal has always been the same: to really look and listen to the year.
In her book The Living Page, Laurie Bestvater called Charlotte Mason’s notebooks (like the nature notebook and the Book of Centuries)
the liturgy that invokes the formation and frames the student’s encounter with Glory.
I think of my Homeschool Annual Review as part of the liturgy of homeschooling. One reason I called this Flourish is to emphasize the glory and growth that is possible from year to year. Our wont is to rush forward. Think about nature journaling. On a nature walk, our vice is to be consumers of beauty and interest. We want to jump from vista to vista, always looking for the next source of amazement.
But then the nature journal steps in. It stops us and challenges us to savor this one thing, to treasure it, to memorize it and learn from it.
The Annual Review is like that. We’re not going to jump thoughtlessly from year to year. We’re going to slow down and look — even at the painful parts we’d rather forget. We’re going to stop and contemplate until we find those glorious “aha!” moments. And we’ll revel in the lessons, both the easy and the hard, for a moment.
With that said, I invite you to join us for a 2-session live event taking place over two Wednesday evenings (5/29/2019 and 6/5/2019 — and yes, replays will be available). These sessions will be about an hour, and I’ll also shower you with downloadable PDFs to assist you in this process of looking back I’ll be teaching. Click here to register.
Flourish: A Charlotte Mason Homeschool Annual Review — it’s the perfect way to wrap up your homeschool year! ♥