Musical Memory | Renee Cook

✏️New Pencils, Good Intentions, & Spilled Milk

published2 months ago
2 min read

Happy New Year!

Are you one of those people who loves a new year? I am…

Fresh bullet journal, a few goals, and taking down the Christmas stuff.

But getting back to school routines sounded hard this year. Last week, I started mentally gearing up. I know we’re ready for some structure, but the weather & post-holiday chaos made laying around in pajamas sound more fun than mustering up the oomph to get back to routine.

Nonetheless, I want to start off 2023 schooling with joy. And God's Word gently reminded me rejoicing is a decision.

“Rejoice in the Lord, always, again I will say rejoice… Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” - Phil. 4:4, 8
“Why are you downcast, O my soul… Hope in God, for I shall again praise him.” - Psalm 42:5

When the beginning of the school year came back in September, we were naturally excited. Brand new books & school supplies, a couple hours of school work, then outside into the late summer/ early autumn sun! We'd occasionally read on the back porch with a blanket, watching the vibrant, changing leaves.

There’s so much magic in the fall.

Come January, the vibes are very different here in the midwest...

Cold and dark in the morning, cold and dark in the evening, broken pencils with no erasers, and half filled math books.

So this January, I decided to attempt recreating an ounce of the excitement of September. And it worked! There were even a couple oohs and aahs... It took a tiny bit more effort than just opening the books and getting back to the grind, but since Mom sets the tone for the homeschooling day, I decided to choose joy & channel all the cozy winter schooling vibes I could muster.

  • Hot breakfast at the table together.
  • Roaring fire.
  • New coloring books - the kids often color while I read aloud.
  • New wintery morning lists - the kids do the same 5 things every weekday before or after breakfast.
  • New chore assignments - in our house, everyone does the same cleaning chore 5 days a week for about 6 months. Then we switch. There are a couple deeper cleaning jobs on Friday mornings. It’s the only chore system that’s ever worked for me.
  • A stack of new read aloud books for this term.
  • A handful of new art supplies to share - gobs of markers & brand new, freshly sharpened Ticonderoga pencils. (Always & forever Ticonderoga. Am I right?)

A tiny bit of intentionality & joy went a long way. Our day wasn't perfect. In fact, 27 seconds into our cozy hot breakfast, someone spilled an entire class of milk all over the table. 🤣🤦‍♀️ #WinSomeLoseSome

But, it was still a fresh start. And sometimes just getting started is the hardest part! Now, we're back at it and ready to go for next week.

Sharpen some pencils, say a prayer, and dive back in! You got this. (And if not, Jesus' power is made perfect in your weakness. He's got this.)

What is something you do to make getting back to school after the holidays more enjoyable!? I'd love for you to hit reply & let me know. I read every email.



p.s. I made a blank version of my winter themed checklists in case you want to steal them!