Build Yourself Up With New Year Reflections by Jimmie’s Collage

Today’s guest post is from Jimmie’s Collage .

The New Year is a fantastic time for homeschool reflections. You are about half way through your academic year and can make assessments about what is working and what is not. You can pull out your brand new calendar and sketch out a plan for the remaining months, trying to squeeze in as much learning as possible.

When you open that calendar to the first page, you see January. The Roman god Janus is the namesake of this month. He was often portrayed on gates, doors, and coins – all places where his unique characteristic could be best symbolized. You see, Janus has two faces, one looking forward and another looking back. The ancient Romans honored Janus at the start of every day, on the first day of the month, at harvest time, at marriages, and at births. It makes sense that the first month of the Julian calendar would be named after Janus.

At the New Year, our natural tendency is to look forward and resolve to improve. We begin to make short term goals to buckle down with renewed discipline, try a new curriculum, or join a fresh extracurricular club. We look even farther down the path and think about college. (Worry is probably a more accurate word.) We worry if what we are doing is good enough for our children to get into college and to pass college courses. A new wave of pressure can erupt when we start thinking of the future.

Looking ahead is one aspect of January. But what about looking back? Sure, we look back with a critical eye, seeing all our failures and shortcomings. But do we ever look back – way back – and find the successes of our homeschool journey?

Think back beyond the semester you just finished. Think back to when you started homeschooling your children. Remember the hurdles you overcame and how much your children have actually learned. Over the years has your child learned to read? To write? To multiply? You may take those skills for granted, but they are huge achievements both for your child and for you. You taught your child to do those things! Look back and be encouraged! You did well in the past; by God’s grace, you will do well in the future.

Rejoice in the progress your children have made. Pull out their notebooks and look at their work from several years ago. Remember where they started and where they are now.

You did that!

Think of the intangible things like character growth and spiritual maturity. What traits have your children developed over these years of homeschooling? Have they grown in perseverance, patience, kindness, and generosity? Have you?

This year, reject the pressure and condemnation that so often comes as a result of New Year’s resolutions. Instead, look back and thankfully rejoice in what you have accomplished.

As my New Year’s gift to you, enjoy these two free printables. I offer them with one condition. You can use them to build yourself up but not to tear yourself down. Happy New Year!
Janus/January Notebooking Pages
New Year’s Resolutions Notebooking Pages
*photo credit Flickr

Jimmie is mom to one creative twelve year old daughter. Jimmie’s Collage is where she blogs about their Charlotte Mason styled homeschool. Her second blog,The Notebooking Fairy , features free notebooking printables and how-tos.


  1. Jimmie ~ These are very wise words. I love the start of a new year for the reasons you wrote about. Thank you for the notebooking pages. I always love what you do!

  2. Mary, thanks so much. I hope that you have a blessed new year and entire 2012.

  3. What a lovely thought. Some days all I can focus on is the difficulties, but really we’ve come so far in just a couple of years! Thanks for the pep talk. And the freebies. :0)

  4. Thanks for the reminder, Jimmie! It’s true– we often forgot what we have accomplished, and look, instead, at what our struggles are at the moment. We really should write down our small and big accomplishments so that we can look back on the list as a reminder to ourselves.

  5. Thank you, Jimmie…it is easy to get caught up in the here and now and think we have SO far to go…but, looking back and seeing the path already traveled….it’s a joy! Thank you!

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