I desperately tried to make the last week of December slow down. It didn’t work.  The clock struck twelve, the ball dropped and the calendar was flipped to 2010.

Now here we are. Back to school. Why is it we don’t look at January back to school time with the same anticipation and enthusiasm as post summer?

Well, it is possible. We can be enthusiastic. I encourage you to catch that joy because children reflect our attitudes and habits.

How? When it is back to school get back to basics. Pick one or two subjects. Don’t try to do it all and you can avoid burn out. Ease into your regular schedule.

For the first two school days, I plan on Bible study and introducing the new books for our history unit. We will write thank you notes for handwriting.

Whoa. Let’s take a step back. Even before school subjects, there are basics. Basics like getting to bed at a decent hour. Rise and shine early again.

I chuckled when I found many of those basic habits in some familiar poems. This afternoon, we were reading Mother Goose nursery rhymes to the youngest before nap. They made me smile.

A wise old owl sat in an oak.

The more he heard, the less he spoke;

The less he spoke, the more he heard.

Why aren’t we all like that wise old bird?

How about a balance of school work and play time?

Here’s our favorite silly one…

I think that falls under personal hygiene.

Catch the back to school joy in the basics. Start slowly. Be silly. You and your children can have a happy habit of learning. You don’t have to feel like the old woman in the shoe.

I printed this out for my kitchen window sill last January:

from Mary Engelbreit's Silly Mother Goose

You can’t change what you have or haven’t already done over the past year. Just start where you are, ask the Lord to make you a “joyful mother of children,” pray for grace and wisdom (and strength and patience), and move forward.” ~Vicki Bentley of Everyday Homemaking

Homeschool encourager, Cassandra Frear, is running a ‘beat the winter blues and back to school series’ on her blog, Apple Pie. If you didn’t follow her back when I linked to her quiet times for mom ideas, be sure to jump right on in now. She says, “I plan to be here to cheer you on and give you tips for managing these weeks of deep winter, so that you can enjoy school and home together. So check in here every day during the week over your favorite steaming cup and chat with me.”

-Tricia homeschools five children from preschool to middle school. She’s forsaken life in the drive thru lane for the road home. She’s saving bucks and her sanity with the frugal recipes and sock it away strategies of her Southern roots. You can find her facing that daily dose of chaos at Hodgepodge. Tricia is a.k.a. Hodgepodgemom.

What are your back to school plans? Will you “lie late” or

have you “jumped over the moon” and right into a full schedule?