Friday, February 21, 2014

Planting seeds of hope in the middle of winter

This is the time of year when we are all just done with winter. The cold, the gray, the snow, the slush, the mess ... the gray. A few warm, sunny days come along and bring hope of Spring, only to be followed by another snowstorm that no one wants.

If you're a gardener, this is the time you pull out your seed catalogs and start planning what flowers and vegetables you're going to plant this year.  Will it be sunny daffodils, glorious iris, luscious cantaloupes, or healthy salad greens? You can almost feel the sun on your back as you plant the seeds, weed, and harvest the fruits of your work.  Hope returns.

If you're a homesteader, you might start perusing hatchery websites trying to decide what new chickens you're going to add to your flock this year.  You can almost hear their cheeps and feel their soft fluffiness.  You can see them hovering under the warming lamp and scattering as you reach in to fill their feeder.  You can imagine them clucking away in the sunshine, nipping at seeds and bugs, and the eggs you will collect.  Hope returns.

If you're a homeschool parent, struggling to survive cabin fever and mid-winter blahs, trying to motivate children who are just sick of school ... you start to re-evaluate your curriculum. Is this a problem that new curriculum will fix, or is it more of a character issue you need to work through? Do you already have another option stacked up somewhere? Do you need to adapt what you already have? What are your friends using? The hope of something new and shiny to fix all your homeschool problems rises within you.

I know that all of those are true for me, but especially the homeschool one. I start daydreaming about next year's curriculum. I make a list of each student I'm going to have and their grades.  I make a list of what curriculum I want to use with them.  List after list fills my notebook: what I own, what I need, what I want, what I can make do with.

And somewhere in all that daydreaming and planning, I find my vision renewed and myself re-energized.  I am ready to push through the final dull days of winter, the spring fever distractions, and the kids who just want to skip ahead to summer vacation. I have a plan, and a goal. 

What about you?  What gives you hope in the dark, dull days of winter?

April E.

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