I am a planner. I love homeschool planners, lists, outlines, organizing things, file folders, three ring binders — the whole nine yards. I would much rather shop at an office supply store than any clothing store.
I have been known to spend much of our summer break planning and preparing for the next school year. I take next year’s curriculum (already bought and studied) and break it down by semester, month, weeks, and then days. And I think, “If we can do this much every day, we will have these books finished by the last week of April.”
I should know better, I really should. We have been homeschooling for 10 years, and I have yet to experience a school year that went according to my plan. But I do it anyway. I find joy in the planning.
However, I have learned to let go of writing my plans in pen. I now write everything in pencil — easily erased, easily changed. Although I may still break things down into semesters and months, I rarely write my lessons plans more than a week or two in advance: Because I know life is going to interrupt my carefully laid plans and I will just have to erase and change things.
I am discovering that my kids don’t learn on a schedule. Somedays we fly through our work, and the boys catch and understand every concept we cover. Other days, it’s like one of them left his brain on Mars, or more likely, outside with his football. I am learning to take advantage of those times when they are really connecting with their lessons.
Some days we get more done than I may have planned, whereas other days we are lucky to get through the bare minimum. There are some days that we do “school” in the van, on the go, and on those days, the boys need to work on things that are easily transported, such as workbooks and audiobooks. We also have a homeschool co-op one day a week, so on those days Joel doesn’t do his regular Saxon math lesson but fills in with Life of Fred.
The bottom line is that I still plan, but I plan with flexibility built in. I write out my lesson plan one week at a time. And I always plan in pencil!
What’s your homeschool planning strategy — do you plan a year ahead, a month ahead, a week ahead, or something else? Do you write your plans in pen or pencil? Do you leave room for changes in your plans? What are you learning to let go of this year? Join us this month at NextGen Homeschool as we discuss Ten Things to Let Go of This Year, and join the conversation! Find the series here.