7.01.2011

Exploring Countries & Cultures: THE PORTFOLIO BLOG


According to the new calendar on which I've settled for the coming academic term, I'm due to start our new My Father's World (MFW) core, Creation to the Greeks (CtG), next Tuesday. Wow! I'm excited and know I still have plenty of time over the next few days to get a handle on our first week's activities by then - but two things were weighing me down as I stared that start-date in the face: getting my daughters' scrapbooks up-to-date and completing our portfolio blog for Exploring Countries & Cultures (ECC), the MFW core we finished in May.

I love scrapbooking and blogging so I wanted to do both. However, though I was only five months behind in the scrapbooks - not much in the grand scheme of things - and had a bit of a start on the portfolio, I had inertia to overcome. Even one or the other alone felt overwhelming...and together (in addition to the thought of previous years' academic archiving I'd still like to finish), the enormity of all I had to accomplish actually paralyzed me.

Thankfully, though, I was afforded a nice kick in the pants in the form of scrapbooks I do for my Teachers' Tots kids. Since they go home for the summer, I typically make books to give each child on his or her last day in the spring. This year, I had to complete small books for Tegen and Leah and a larger but still manageable book for Anna. And I had deadlines - June 9 for Tegen and June 14 for the girls - because I wasn't sure I'd see any of them during the summer after that.

It still took me a while to get going - my scrapping table lay idle in the living room corner for at least two weeks before I actually pulled out paper and pictures. But once I dug in, my creative juices started flowing and my progress motivated me to keep going.

I finished the little kids' books on time and then started in immediately on Rachel and Abigail's, which I finished this past Sunday night. And I loved watching the girls go through photos from the past year; that makes all the time and effort more than worth it.

I'd done much to overcome my inertia, but the portfolio blog still loomed, and I was disheartened because I'd not kept up with it during the year as I'd hoped I would; in fact, other than an introduction and a post about our first day (back in August, 2010!), I'd written nothing else there all year! How could I hope to complete it before starting our new term? And would it get done at all if I didn't?

I willed myself to jump in despite my uncertainty and plugged along at it during all my free time - which, thankfully, came in abundance this week. And, as I'd experienced with the scrapbooks, progress begat motivation which begat energy to persevere. In fact, I was reminded of just how valuable those concepts are for any big task in life; that is, whenever we need to do something big or hard, we must simply trust the Lord's ability to empower us, jump in despite our doubts, and take one step at a time without over-thinking the whole race...because only by walking steadily forward will we eventually get to the finish line we're seeking.

In fact, I won the portfolio blog race this evening, posting my final pictures and text just a few hours ago! And I'm so exhilarated by my accomplishment that I'm already looking with anticipation at the next big tasks on my to-do list.

But first things first! And so, without further ado, I give you HOLLENBECK HOME LEARNING: 2010-2011, a portfolio of our year with My Father's World: Exploring Countries & Cultures.

Please pop on over if you're an MFW aficionado, are considering MFW and would like one mom's take on it, or simply want a glimpse of the academic term we've just finished. Similarly, you can check out my first portfolio blog (for our 2009-2010 studies) or even the very small start I have on my portfolio for our up-coming year. I'd love to hear your reactions or answer any questions you might have; leave your thoughts here, though, since I've disabled commenting on the portfolios themselves.

What's next? Well, I'm off tonight to Blog2Print, the service that converts blogs into beautiful printed books. Thankfully, I'm not required by my state homeschool law to submit portfolios, but I like to have a hard-copy record of our progress, and I discovered last year that Blog2Print books work wonderfully for that purpose.

After that, I'm excited to get or keep moving on other projects. If I can only set before me the lessons of which I've been reminded the last few weeks, it won't be long before I'll be able to cross off something else on the list!

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

You accomplished much in completing these tasks. I aim to pop over and look at the other blog. We finished CtG a few weeks ago. In our family we take most of the summer off from formal schooling. But already I am getting an urge to look through my 1st and RtR teacher's books and plan.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...