Here is my monthly report on projects, goals, and the lessons I’m learning along the way.
My 2020 Goals
100% / Double the number of members of The Religion Teacher (December 2017 to present) (+8%)
423,428/1,000,000 words for kids (A part of my #1millionwordsforkids goal) (+12,538 words)
573/600 Resources (Videos/Worksheets) for Members of The Religion Teacher (+21 resources)
66/75 Books read (+7 books)
33/73 Books of the Bible read from beginning to end (+1 books read)
118/100 30-minute workouts (+14 workouts)
How I Spent My Time in November 2020
- 15:04 – The Religion Teacher Email & Customer Service
- 11:21 – Formation5 Daily Email Newsletter
- 8:05 – Morning Preview
- 7:56 – Daily Review
- 6:03 – Writing The Day the Floor Fought Back
- 5:51 – Weekly Review
- 4:33 – The Religion Teacher’s Bible Biography Worksheets (Member Resources)
- 4:17 – Formative Fiction Newsletter
- 4:03 – The Religion Teacher YouTube Videos
- 2:51 – The Religion Teacher’s Preschool Worksheets
Total Time: 95:28 Hours
November 2020 Highlights & Lessons Learned
The first full month of Formation5 daily emails are complete. On November 1, 2020 I sent the first family formation email. I have sent a new email to families every day and have emails ready through the end of the year.
A few lessons from the project so far:
- These emails have greatly benefited my family’s spiritual life. I get a lot out of writing the emails and my kids have learned a lot in listening to them. My wife is the first reader and she offers amazing feedback as well as insights as we talk about each lesson with our kids.
- A daily email gets a higher open rate than a weekly email. At least, this is the case so far. It might change as time goes on and the list grows. A daily email is a lot of work, but I think it has become a part of the subscribers’ daily routine and thus the open rates are higher than average.
- Adults want to learn. In the survey of subscribers, I was excited to see how many people said they signed up for themselves. They wanted to learn about their Catholic faith. Sharing it came second. I love that. Learn first, then teach.
Formative Fiction Reflection Questions
Rather than writing new fiction to send in my weekly Friday newsletter, I created reflection questions for some books and poems I read in November.
The mission of the newsletter is to share stories that teach important life lessons. Sometimes the questions we ask about what we read are just as important as the reading itself.
I sent reflection questions for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Leaf by Niggle, Kate DiCamillo’s The Tale of Despereaux, and and Advent Poem by G. K. Chesterton.
I have enjoyed reading the stories and creating the questions. I’ve had some good responses from subscribers about the stories, too. I will send my own fiction again, but this was an interesting experiment to try while I focused on other projects.
The Day the Floor Fought Back
I am constantly drawn towards storytelling that teaches a lesson. So many writers (and readers!) frown upon didactic writing, but I’m a teacher. I can’t get it out of my system. Plus, seeking an author’s symbolic lessons within stories has always been my favorite part about reading fiction.
Why a story about floors?
As a father I find myself constantly scolding my kids for not cleaning up after themselves. The floors are often a mess and cleaning up for them has become overwhelming. I guess it isn’t a surprise that I found myself starting and then writing straight through to the end a story about cleaning the house.
The Day the Floor Fought Back is a little book about tidying up. The main character wakes up to find himself under attack. The floors are finally fighting back. He must clean the house or risk losing his family forever.
It was a fun little story to write. We will see if it works.