It is that time of year again. When we take stock, make changes, sometimes hit the restart button on something. One of the blessings of homeschooling is the close integration of school, family, and faith. Recently (as in this morning) I saw a pin on pinterest (thank you Emmanuel Books) about a family’s patron saint for the year. Our school has a patron saint and we choose personal patrons at First Communion, so why not choose one as a family for each year? I’m sure lots of people already do this, I’m even vaguely aware this is probably isn’t my first time hearing/seeing this idea. However, this time it stuck. This seems like a fantastic family tradition, one to pass on to our son and some day his children.
There are a variety of ways to make the final choice, such as everyone write their saint choice on a piece of paper and put them in a bowl to pick, or take turns (each year a new family member chooses), etc. Since we just have one child, we will let him choose this year in order to help get him excited and involved in this new tradition. I haven’t ironed out exactly what we will specifically do, other than celebrate the saint’s day and learning more about the saint during the year. My goal is for us to choose one by next weekend and next year make a final choice on January first.
It is also time to make a new Bucket List for 2013. This is a list of events and programs we want to attend and places we want to travel to. We make adjustments to the list as the year progresses, but it helps us prioritize our schedules and resources.
Our next goal list is the 2013 Twelve Days of Christmas Charity List. This is one of my favorite family traditions we started a few years ago. It was my son’s idea after flipping through the Heifer International gift catalog. The first year we just gave to two charities, Food for the Poor and Heifer International. Each day of Christmas we donated something different (through their gift catalogs you can donate anything from trees, animals, classes, food, school supplies, water pumps, etc). The second year we tried to align our donations with feast or saint days that fall during the twelve days of Christmas (donations to Wyandotte Pregnancy Clinic on the Feast of the Holy Innocents, Catholic Relief Services on Feast of the Holy Name). On the third year we mixed up cash donations, gift donations, donating gently used items, and services for friends, local charities, and other homeschool families in need. Next season we are adding special prayer intentions to each day as well for our favorite missions, charities, foundations, and people we know are in suffering or need (you would think this would have been an obvious thing to do all along, but the obvious is beyond me sometimes).