Posted by Sarah Chia
This past fall my family was on the move, and it culminated in a relentless December that threatened the peace of our Christmas. We knew going into it that it would be a challenge to maintain some sanity through all the play rehearsals and performances, the dance classes and recital — particularly during the cold season when a new germ of the week gets brought home from church or preschool right along with all the crafts and coloring pages.
So, as I was writing about Advent and thinking deeply about the relationships in my life, I was also fighting nearly a straight month of personal sickness and was definitely ready for a life that I could call low-key.
Midway through the month, I knew what I had to do once that season was over. I had a new challenge for myself. One that would help me refocus and hopefully re-visit an element of simplicity that I cherish. I’m calling it the 1 Thing Challenge.
It doesn’t have to do with material possessions, but rather with the activities that we are participating in. After a period of time that had at least one thing on the calendar every single night of the week from September 18th until December 12th, I’ve decided it’s time for just 1 thing per person, per week. If things come up that we would like to add in, I’m looking to find a way to make it a family event, instead of everyone going his or her own way.
Now as a homeschooling mom, I rely on community opportunities for my children to experience some of the things that I’m not able to cover effectively at home. As someone who cares about humanity around me, I also try to take advantages of community opportunities to serve.
Here’s a list of some new things I would like to do in the new year but won’t be doing in order to maintain simplicity in our schedules:
1. Weekly, hour-long Spanish lessons for the 6-year-old who shows great interest, picks up words quickly, and has Hispanic heritage.
3. Art classes for 12-year-old, who does amazing work when she is so motivated, but lacks the motivation under my limited tutelage.
4. Art classes for 6-year-old, who likewise has great ability, but also has great enthusiasm for it.
5. Sports for any child, particularly my 4-year-old son who has more energy that he or I know to do with and would benefit greatly from the structure of a team.
6. Weekly get togethers (without kids) with people from church that are intended for spiritual growth.
7. An extra drama class where my incredibly talented daughter can hone her skill of writing and directing plays.
Somethings we will be keeping and focusing on:
1. Dance class for the 6-year-old.
2. Drama troupe for the 12-year-old.
3. Preschool for 4-year-old.
4. Teaching a weekly ESL class – me.
5. Leading a boy scout troup in the projects – my husband.
Focusing intentionally on those 5 things feels very do-able and very freeing. I’ll keep you updated now and then on how the reduced schedule works for us.