We’re just a little excited here at RAR this week.
First, it’s our 200th episode! 🥳
And second, it’s March, which here in the northern hemisphere meets *melting*. It also means a new season, and it’s a great time to name what matters, and set some intentions for how we want to finish out this homeschool year.
This week, the whole team will walk you through a simple process we’ve been using here at RAR in RAR Premium in order to name what matters – and how to get there.
In this episode, you’ll hear:
- How to name what matters most this spring
- Your FREE cheat sheet to making a plan for your own homeschool that’s doable
- And … what we’re reading this spring! 📚🌱
Click the play button below or scroll down to keep reading.
How to Name What Matters
Naming what matters is familiar vocabulary in RAR Premium because this is something we did recently in one of our Circle with Sarah events.
It’s based on the idea that none of us has an infinite amount of time or energy to do all the things we want to do in our homeschools.
This is not a problem. It’s just a reality.
Instead of lamenting that reality, we honor the fact that we know we have all the time we need to do what we’re called to do, each and every day, each and every season.
We’ve just got to be intentional about what we’re going to focus on.
The idea to naming what matters is fleshed out in Kendra Adachi’s book, The Lazy Genius Way.
And it’s something worth revisiting every season because our homeschools aren’t stagnant.
They’re always shifting. We’re always growing. Our kids are always getting older. And so we shift and change to honor that.
Name What Matters Most to YOU
We’re not here to tell you what matters most in your homeschool. This episode is an invitation for you to name what matters most yourself.
Here’s how we suggest you start:
Take just a second and imagine that it’s the end of the school year. You’re trying to wrap up loose ends and you’ve gone out to coffee with a friend and she asks you, “What are you most glad you did this school year?”
Your gut reaction to that question, whatever just popped into your mind. . .
. . . that’s what matters in your homeschool this spring.
You’re not going to be able to get to everything you want to, but just knowing that you got to this thing – you’ll know you’ve done something really important because it’s the first thing that came to mind for you when you were reflecting back on your year.
And you’ll have ended your school year with a win.
The Three Step Process
After we figure out what matters, we take that thing that matters through a set of 3 Lazy Genius steps. Once you see how powerful this three-step process is, you’ll be hooked!
Step 1: Decide Once
Basically this principle means that you’ll make a decision one time to avoid decision fatigue.
Decision fatigue is real, and intense and deciding once simplifies things so much.
Step 2: Start Small
This keeps us from falling into that rut of we can’t do it all so we’re just not going to do anything. Basically we come up with a tiny habit – a small way to implement this thing that matters.
Step 3: Ask the Magic Question
The magic question is, “What can I do now to make this easier later?“
We want to make it easy to do that thing that matters, so that we actually do it.
Name What Matters in Action
The RAR Team will show you how each of us used this process to get clear on what matters most in our own homeschools this spring:
Kortney Garrison, RAR Community Director
This is going to sound corny but my goal for the spring is to read aloud more! We read aloud a fair amount but on a busy day, that’s the thing that’s going to get shoved out of the schedule.
1.) DECIDE ONCE:
I decided once to make sure that there’s time in our day for picture books that go along with our history class.
2.) START SMALL:
I’m starting small by using book lists already made and coordinated to our curriculum that I found on BiblioCommons, a networking tool that connects libraries all over the country. (Shoutout to Dory Ogden at the Indianapolis Public Library, thank you so much for your lists – they’re saving my bacon!)
3.) ASK THE MAGIC QUESTION:
I’ve added a task to my weekly docket to remind myself to put books on hold and I give myself a check mark every time we read aloud so that I can remember what’s going right.
Kara Anderson, RAR Managing Editor
This feels big right now because my first child is graduating. The first thing that hit me – that gut thing because there’s so many things racing through my brain – is I want to make some memories and celebrate the last 14 years of us learning together. “
1.) DECIDE ONCE:
I’m deciding once to focus on making those memories and those are going to include an overnight field trip that my son has been wanting to take and a graduation party in May.
2.) START SMALL:
I’m starting small by just starting a page in my bullet journal about this. Not making a million notes yet, just starting the page so it’s not overwhelming, like we talked about.
3.) ASK THE MAGIC QUESTION:
And what can I do to make this easier on myself? I found an affordable place to book a graduation party because I was so overwhelmed with the thought of having to get ready to have a bunch of people come into my home.
Sarah Mackenzie, RAR Creator, Podcast Host and Boss Lady
My thing that matters this spring is history with my eight year old twins and my 10-year-old.
Usually in the elementary years, I just let my kids get history from whatever read-alouds we’re sharing but my 10-year-old is a history lover.
This spring I’m bumping history up the priority list because I know come June, I will be very happy with myself if I made time to do some good history with them.
1.) DECIDE ONCE:
Deciding once looked like not agonizing over which curriculum to use.
I decided once that our structure is going to be read-alouds and a field trip. I might get some craft books or something from the library and have them laying around, because the kids are welcome to do those in their free time.
2.) START SMALL:
My start small is that I got the Simply Charlotte Mason book Stories of America and I decided that would just be our spine. We’re just reading a chapter each school day.
And then in the evenings we’re listening to audio books while we do a puzzle, which is actually already a habit we’ve got in place. I’m just tagging this onto that habit. We’re going to listen through the American Girl audiobook series (they’re really well done, and my boys love them too).
3.) ASK THE MAGIC QUESTION:
I went ahead and just loaded all of the American Girl audiobooks on my phone so it’s ready to listen. And I opened a Notes app on my phone and I put them in chronological order in a list.
Your Turn to Name What Matters! (and a free printable)
Now it’s your turn.
Just get quiet for 10 minutes or so and answer these questions.
You might come up with a ton of answers right away – there’s sort of no end to the number of things that homeschool moms actually have to be responsible for.
Just choose the one that feels the most pressing, interesting, or exciting.
This is not a commitment for life.
It’s your priority for this season. Next season, you’ll get to ask the question again and choose something else.
Then, once you’ve got that thing that matters, follow up by applying the three Lazy Genius principles: Decide Once, Start Small, Ask the Magic Question.
Write It Down
Writing down your answers actually makes a big difference.
If you take the time just to write out your answers, it gives you a little bit of clarity. And a lot of times when we pin our thoughts to the page, they stop being so big and overwhelming and they’re contained.
They’re just a little bit more easily manageable.
This Spring at RAR Premium
RAR Premium is our online community. It’s where we help your kids fall in love with books and we help you fall in love with homeschooling.
We do that through:
- Family book clubs
- WOW: Writers on Writing workshops
- Monthly Circle with Sarah trainings
- Mama Book Club that helps us fall back in love with our own reading lives
Circle with Sarah
In March and April, we’re going to be talking about opening and closing ceremonies – another good idea from The Lazy Genius Way.
We’ll look specifically at how we can use opening and closing ceremonies in our homeschools.
Then in May, Sarah’s going to present Furnishing the Mind, a simple, low pressure approach to memory work.
Sarah will share how she selects beautiful passages of scripture and poetry, folk songs and bits of Shakespeare to memorize and her super easy way to do it.
WOW: Writers on Writing
RAR WOW: Writers on Writing workshops are our writing workshops for kids taught by published authors.
This spring, we’re learning from Laura Purdie Salas about equation poems. It’s math meets poetry in a really fun and delightful workshop for kids ages 6 to 15.
We really think it’s one of those poetry forms that’s going to stick with kids. One they’ll continue to use for fun!
Family Book Clubs
Each season in RAR Premium we offer book clubs for a novel and three picture books.
Our family book clubs are for all ages from preschoolers to teens and Premium members get a family book club guide that walks you through a feast of ideas:
- discussion prompts for kids of all ages
- meals or snacks related to the book
- drawing lessons
- art lessons
- poetry and more!
It’s really a feast of ideas that you can use based around the book, depending on your kids’ ages and interest levels.
Our Family Book Club Novel – The Hobbit
Our novel for this spring is The Hobbit. Yes, I did just hear you all in a collective gasp. Why is Sarah Mackenzie reading The Hobbit? Because if you’ve been around Read-Aloud Revival for long, you may know that Sarah has not been a long-time Tolkien fan.
But Community Manager Kortney Garrison talked her into giving The Hobbit another shot and Sarah is loving the Andy Serkis Recorded Books audio book version.
We recommend previewing this version (we include a short audio clip in the family book club guide because Gollum’s voice is a little scary.)
Sarah is actually reading this version with her kids, and yes – she and her whole crew are loving it.
John Ronald’s Dragons
Along with The Hobbit, we’re reading a picture book biography called John Ronald’s Dragons: The Story of J.R.R. Tolkien.
It’s illustrated by RAR favorite Eliza Wheeler and packed with gorgeous illustrations and things to find.
We think it’s an extra rich experience reading the biography along with The Hobbit.
(There’s another piece of it this that we’re going to get to in our Mama Book Club section below!)
A Powerhouse Duo!
Our April and May Family Book Clubs are fabulous too because we’ve got a powerhouse duo coming. In April we’re reading A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin.
And in May, we’re reading A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams.
These books are written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet and they are both coming to RAR Premium to meet your kids and answer their questions.
Melissa Sweet, who we like to think of as the queen of collage art, is actually going to come back a second time to RAR Premium to teach our kids how to collage in a livestream workshop!
Mama Book Club
Finally, in our Mama Book Club for spring, we’re reading Steeped in Stories: Timeless Children’s Novels to Refresh Our Tired Souls by Mitali Perkins.
There’s even a whole chapter in there about Mitali’s experience reading The Hobbit.
It’s all very full circle this season at RAR.
Join Us This Spring!
If you are an RAR Premium member, you can log into your dashboard now and grab our spring printable calendar.
The Hobbit Family Book Club guide is there now, and then also the WOW workshop with Laura Purdie Salas is coming up in about a week.
(And remember, replays for everything we do in RAR Premium are always available if for any reason you cannot come live to an event.)
If you are not an RAR Premium member but you want to have a fantastic win this spring, then maybe think about joining us – maybe this is your thing that matters this spring!
You can get Premium for a single month or a quarter or a year and we have a 30-day money back guarantee so you can give it a spin and see if it’s a good fit without any risk.
Books mentioned in the show
Links mentioned in the show
- RAR #199: The Books That Won and a Few That Should Have (2022 Youth Media Awards)
- Jonathan Rogers
- Simply Charlotte Mason: Stories of America
- RAR Premium
You might also like…
More free resources and booklists
Get the best episodes and reources
from the Read-Aloud Revival