Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
L M Montgomery in Anne of Green Gables
So the year that is 2010 draws to a close, and on Friday night Old Father Time will pass his baton to the pure and innocent Baby New Year of 2011. The New Year – a time of new beginnings and new resolutions.
A year with no mistakes. Yet.
For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, the new calendar year is more than this. January 1st is also the beginning of the new school year, bringing with it all the excitement of a new year level, new books and new subjects. In the new year, our fourth year of the Ambleside Online Curriculum, my daughter, Jemimah, and I will be dipping a nervous toe into the wonders of Latin and Shakespeare and Plutarch. We will be reading Robinson Crusoe, and Lassie Come-Home, and Playing Beatie Bow and Treasure Island and Black Beauty – such wonderful classic treasures of childhood. We will broaden our geographic horizons with a real-life trip to Canada, but also with virtual voyages along the Mississippi with Minn, and along the Murray with Old Man River and River Murray Mary as our guides. We’ll learn more French, more maths and more Scripture.
It is impossible not to get incredibly excited at the veritable feast laid out before us. And all with no mistakes. Yet.
Each year of school also brings its challenges. One child struggles with reading; another refuses to write. Jemimah can’t spell. Sometimes it seems as if ours are the only children who don’t ‘Love to Learn’. They scrawl their copywork. They hurry through nature study. Their maths sheets look like chicken scratchings. They refuse to answer in French. Their narrations are irrelevant or waffly or plain incorrect.
Mums get it wrong too. We yell at our kids because they forget their memory verses. Have you ever been angry as your child stumbles over the words in 1 Corinthians 13? I have. “Love is not easily angered”. Yeah. Right.
Our todays are full of mistakes. Isn’t it great, then, that there are no mistakes in tomorrow?
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
What are the mistakes that you resolve to fix in 2011? Yelling at your children? Not spending enough time with the Lord? Neglecting family life? Eating too much junk food? Hoarding stuff? New Year’s Eve is the day for resolutions. New Year’s Day is the day for breaking them. Isn’t it good that the Lord is faithful? Every morning.
As we move into the great New Year, a year with no mistakes in it yet, I feel encouraged that it is not only my daughter who continues to learn. It is me, as her mother, who is learning the most. Since we began our homeschooling journey together I have learned to crochet. I have joined a book club and have read great books from terrific authors that before I didn’t even know existed. I have renewed old friendships with Milly Molly Mandy and Norah, the Little Bush Maid, and Pooh and the Seven Little Australians and Peter Pan and Charlotte and Wilbur and Blinky Bill and Pinocchio and Alice. Along with my daughter I have relearned the first 75 questions of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. (The end is in sight!) I have learned to be silent – to practice Masterly Inactivity instead of Benign Neglect, balancing authority and freedom as we raise our daughter. I have begun learning patience, and I am beginning, only beginning, mind you, to learn what works best for the beautiful, happy, vibrant, energetic young lady who is my beloved daughter.
On behalf of all at Educating Mother I wish you all a safe, healthy and blessed 2011.
Happy New Year from us all.