It’s too easy to spend the beginning of January contemplating how I want to change things, do things differently, write a resolution list, or live my best life in my morning routine.
Sure, I’ll write my yearly goals, but that’ll keep me going till, I dunno, the middle of January?
So instead, here’s how to include a gratitude practice in your homeschool morning routine (& mine).
How to include a gratitude practice in your homeschool morning routine to keep you motivated.
I’m going to shift my journal priorities and remind myself what I am grateful for instead of trying to force through my early January resolutions.
The practice of journaling my gratitudes each morning in a simple notebook doesn’t seem all that remarkable.
(What is remarkable is actually getting to it, writing in it, and getting downstairs without being interrupted.)
So instead of jumping out of my bed with the kid noise coming from the kitchen or jumping out of the bed because I’ve got six hundred and fifty-seven things on my To-Do list, I’m supposed to sit with a notebook and pen and write my gratitudes?
I, a busy homeschool mama, with a busy household of busy kids, am supposed to stop and write my homeschool gratitudes?
As many mornings as you can.
Think of it as a practice in mindset.
- You want to enjoy your homeschool existence.
- And you want to enjoy your homeschool kids while you’ve got them.
- You want to create memories that’ll last beyond a scrapbook, a digital file of photos, or a jammed iCloud.
This morning practice sets you to think your thoughts in a way that you WANT to think your thoughts: by focusing on the good stuff and living gratefully.
Caveat: just cause you write your morning gratitudes doesn’t always mean you’ll feel grateful All.Day.Long.
(But you already knew that…)
Over the course of time, writing your gratitude is scientifically known to increase your overall well-being.
So do it like you shower every day (I know we might not be doing that every day either, but do it most days…)
Practical tips for incorporating a gratitude practice? I share that here.
ps I was published on the How to Homeschool your Child website and I think you’ll be encouraged by the topic: More is Caught than Taught: How our Kids Naturally Learn Gratitude.
Here are sixteen things I’ve been grateful for…
1. Nature out my back door.
I have a fascination with trees. And girlfriend, I got myself some trees in these mountains.
I’m thankful for the Snow globe flakes falling — who shook my little globe?
Almost five feet the last few weeks. The longer I live here, the more I commune outdoors.
I learn that respite should be taken inside, but life should be lived outside.
2. I’m grateful for my kiddos.
You knew I would mention them. Okay, too predictable, however, here’s why I’m grateful…
- I’m thankful for the strong one: she’s enabled me to stand stronger and be stronger…
- I’m thankful for the nurturing one: she doesn’t even know she does it when I need to most.
- I’m thankful for the sassy one: she reminds me I’m not as smart as I think I am.
- I’m thankful for the strong, silent one: so young, yet so wise.
And for each of these kiddos, no matter how they evolve, or what the stories of their lives maybe, I am grateful.
There are two seasons: gardening season and waiting-to-garden season.
If there’s no snow on the ground, I can find a reason to do some sort of gardening or landscaping outside.
No, not outside under the three-foot snowdrifts. Rather, in my greenhouse.
4. Butter and other stuff that comes from cows.
I’m with Julia Child: everything tastes better with butter.
5. Health issues that require change.
But I’ve also learned the creamy goodness of pureed cashews and nutritional yeast, vegetarian-ish diets that actually taste almost as good, but a bit different, even make my brain happier.
I love me a good book. Have you read Emma Donaghue’s The Wonder? Okay, I love a lot of good books. I’ve always had a half dozen on the go. Entering the minds, the worlds, of new people, new places, and new ideas — I love books.
I also love chatting about books: join me and the Homeschool Mama Support Group as we chat about homeschool encouraging books, our non-fiction reads and fiction reads, and even the books we’re reading with the kids in the Homeschool Mama Book Club, join us!
There is nothing more creative in my world.
(Okay, well maybe home or garden design, planning my kids’ educations, or cooking (cooking is definitely creative)).
Writing expresses me.
This activity forces me to own myself. Writing clarifies my thoughts. I can create other worlds, and even some of my favourite people (fictional characters, not my kids, ha) were created by me.
Writing is something I fashion with my mind and my fingers.
8. My life companion, my husband.
The one who walks alongside the plot of my life and who understands the themes of my life.
He has learned to love alongside me, receive my best versions of love, and also the clunky attempts at love, and the just plain misses too.
He supports me in whatever I put my hands to do. He’s my mirror when I’m thinking wrongly.
He’s the one I’m learning about love with.
9. A community of interesting characters.
My community: the minor characters, supporting cast, and antagonists too.
These people teach me, sharpen me, entertain me, inspire me, engage me.
Each person with a life story is unlike anything I could imagine. Like traveling to a new world, minus the travel expense and effort is listening to new people’s stories.
10. The colour blue.
I dunno, I just really like blue. Nature’s calm. Also, my entire house is painted blue (or white).
11. And the colour red.
A splash of red. Nature’s passion.
12. My health: a highly underrated gift.
Surrounded by stories of unhealth, we are ever reminded that health always deteriorates, eventually, or sometimes it disappears suddenly.
When we have it, we take it for granted. When we don’t, we realize it’s the biggest thing.
13. A God who sees.
- And who shares.
- And encourages.
- Requires truth in the innermost parts.
- Is always there.
- Knows the plans for us, ones to prosper us, not to harm us, ones to give us a future, and a hope.
- Always plants hope grows hope and sustains hope.
14. Grace and forgiveness.
On repeat. And the freedom benefits to these spiritual practices.
They make you thankful for what you have.
The ceiling doesn’t need to be sky-high to enjoy the content in our life. Setting our hearts to appreciate what we have can settle us into existing contentedly.
If we so choose.
15. Cozy blankets, with cozy socks, Spotify playlists, and Sweet Georgia Browns.
Dreams. Wishing upon stars. Prayers. Believing.
I’m planning this year to set my mind on thinking Grateful Thoughts and reminding myself what is true. Watch your thoughts so you maintain gratefulness in your homeschool.
Don’t just plan for what your next year could be, be grateful for what your life is right now.
So how to include a gratitude practice in your homeschool morning routine?
Download the Homeschool Mama Daily Journal, put it on your kitchen counter, and write one thing you’re thankful for each morning while you prep coffee.
ps Coffee is definitely on my gratitude list.
Homeschool Mama Daily Journal
Journal questions to aid in self-exploration, to develop self-awareness and identity, and to maintain a weekly planner for homeschool and life. This Homeschool Mama Journal helps you organize your inner world and your outer world.