January is usually the time that homeschool mothers reflect on what worked or didn’t work in their homeschool program thus far. It’s also the time they freak out, for lack of a better expression. If there is a homeschool mother who feels like they are ahead of schedule and doing even better than they planned this time of year, I’ve never met her. In my experience their feeling of failure is mostly the result of an overzealous schedule or overly ambitious lesson planning. I’ve certainly seen this a lot in our homeschool co-op in recent weeks and I count myself among the guilty.
My days have passed, my plans are shattered, and so are the desires of my heart.
Building a house, moving, raising a toddler and homeschooling are a challenging combination in and of themselves, to say the least. I can honestly say that the Lord has certainly used this period of upheaval to grow me and stretch me. The good news is, that I feel as if I’m coming out of the fog, stronger and wiser. This period of growth that once challenged my home and homeschooling efforts is now a blessing to it and I am finally reaping the benefits. I say this not to boast, but to serve as an encourager if anyone reading this is currently feeling lost, challenged, overwhelmed, or behind in their precious planning.
Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.
What’s working….and what is not.
In reflecting on what hasn’t worked this year, I’m proud to say that the majority of the curriculum I’ve chosen for this year is working—-but my scheduling wasn’t. As a result we aren’t using everything I planned to use. Frankly, it wasn’t realistic and I am so eclectic in my homeschooling style I couldn’t force myself to lower our resource list. Now I’ve had to pull back a bit, but that is okay. It’s better to have more options than not enough.
Our learning environment set up in our former home was not working—-but it’s working amazingly in our new one. A little organization and space goes a long way! All of us finally have functional work areas and storage systems that are working. It is making such a difference in the way we begin and end our school time. I cannot wait to post pictures about it and talk about it more because its really impacted the quality of our learning and greatly reduced stress.
Writing out a complete lesson plan (for each day of our school year) in advance at the beginning of the year was not working…at all. Having a checklist of goals (scope & sequence) and planning our lessons the night before is working.
Starting and stopping at a scheduled time was not working. Following an order of events without linking it to an exact time, is working…and we are actually getting more done.
My friend Amy wrote a great post on her blog, entitled, Letting go of my style for His on this same topic. See, we aren’t alone in our struggles & revelations!