For some reason, I’ve been really nostalgic lately. The photo albums sitting on the shelf call my name any time I get a minute to sit down and breathe. I pick them up and start flipping through, and before I know it, I’m transported to earlier years that included chubby hands, sticky faces, and lots of kisses. Those baby years were so precious.
Of course, my kids have grown, and my pictures and memories from every stage of their lives have a special place in my heart. The top drawer of my filing cabinet that sits in my office contains my most treasured possessions, a bulging folder labeled Keepsakes. That folder holds sweet handprints in all sizes, little construction paper cards that read, “I love you, Mama,” and more hand-drawn pictures of flowers than my heart can stand.
Something about this past year has made me pretty retrospective. Maybe this last year of quarantines and uncertainty have made me realize the truly precious things in life.
I have been thinking a lot lately about how different this 2020-2021 school year has been for us. Even as homeschoolers, our whole routine has shifted. It’s fun to think about how we, as a family, have adapted to the changes, how we’ve come together and supported each other through it all, and how we are so much more appreciative of the little things we’ve missed out on this past year.
Since this is a year we will want to remember in times to come, here are ideas to help you document this unprecedented school year.
1. Make Your Own Homeschool Yearbook
Your child has lived through a historic year, so it deserves special preservation. Help them make their own history book using the Sonlight Memory Book. The Memory Book is a great way to preserve those special memories, and it requires little to no work on your part as you can purchase it as a PDF or print resource and have your child work through it at their own pace.
I honestly don’t think that homeschoolers miss out on much; however, I do sometimes wish that we had yearbooks.
In a way, the Sonlight Memory Book can serve as your homeschool yearbook. I love how the back of the book includes a couple of pages for me to write my memories, and by adding another page or two, siblings or other kids from co-op or church could also sign their Memory Book. The Memory Book has space for your children to document their favorite historical character from the year, their favorite things, any field trips you were able to do, and my personal pick, the favorite books page.
2. Create a Time Capsule
Yes, make a time capsule. Why don’t we do these anymore? I think they are so fun, and what a great project to document this year! Don’t worry. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Simply purchase (or reuse) a plastic tote and let your child decorate the outside. Inside, consider including anything that played a role in this historic year. Here are a few ideas.
- A mask
- A recipe book containing all your favorite “pandemic” recipes
- A reminder of how you passed the time together: board games, card games, a favorite book you read as a family
- Your Sonlight Memory Book
- A few photos that capture how your family handled the pandemic
- A newspaper article detailing important milestones throughout the year
- A picture of your first post-pandemic hugs with grandparents/extended family
The possibilities are limitless! The idea is simply to create something that captures the essence of the year. Let your kids make some suggestions too! This is a great family project. And don’t worry…you don’t necessarily have to bury it. While it would be cool to bury the time capsule, storing it in the attic would also work!
PHOTOS OF THE SONLIGHT MEMORY BOOK
3. Write an End-of-the-year Poem
Poems have a way of conveying thoughts and emotions just about better than anything else. The imagery in a poem can really captivate an audience. That’s what makes poetry a wonderful medium to use to document your child’s year. You might consider challenging everyone in the family to create a poem about this last year and include it in a family book alongside photos of your year. Or, write a family poem about the year. Type it up, frame it, and display it in your home to always remember this very unusual year.
4. Create a Video Diary
For those families who aren’t camera shy, try creating a video diary to document the year. You can be as simple or as extravagant as you want with this idea. Record while you interview your child, asking them questions about their year. You might use the Sonlight Memory Book as a jumping-off point for questions. Then, switch it up. Give your child the camera, and ask them to come up with a few questions to ask you. I promise, you will thoroughly enjoy having this permanent record of your child for years to come.
Creating memories, especially after a year like this, can really help us close the chapter on an anxious year. A lot of healing can come from creating memories together. It’s a good thing to walk your child through emotions about this past year, pointing out all the good, as well as all the uncertain times that you got through together. It’s healing and faith-building to see how God sustains us through tough times.
MORE WAYS TO DOCUMENT YOUR SCHOOL YEAR
Sonlight is a complete, literature-based, Christian homeschool curriculum with every subject for students from Preschool through high school. Our curriculum uses a variety of materials to deliver an engaging and complete education that extends beyond textbooks and memorization: literary fiction and nonfiction, biographies, illustrations, and hands-on experiments. These resources come with thorough lesson plans and notes, so that you can enjoy successful homeschooling. Customers who buy from Sonlight enjoy a liberal arts education that produces critical thinkers who are ambassadors for Christ with a heart for the world. Visit us online and request a FREE catalog today!
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