Sunday, November 15, 2009

I am Not the Homeschool Mom I Was

No secret, I am a detail kinda the max. ;) But that has been changing - slowly, but it's changing. And that's a good thing. For me. In this season of life. It is so easy for me to lose the proverbial forest for those doggone trees. Sticking with that analogy, I am so busy making sure that my journey through the forest is "just right" that I tend to not see the beauty that is all around me. I am constantly checking the map so that I sometimes forget to enjoy the hike.

Well God is thankfully doing a work in me but old habits die hard. I like formulas (okay I love formulas) but He is constantly reminding me that life is about relationships. Relationships involve people. And people are not formulas. Life is more like a dance and I am trying to embrace that metaphor. Sometimes you dance fast and sometimes slow. At times you lead; at times you follow. The dance can even get messy at times when things are just not in sync. And if you've ever watched Dancing With the Stars you've seen that the dance can be fun...or wild...or romantic...or even silly. In formulas there is no room for messy, or fast and slow, or fun or wild or romantic or silly. There is just black and white - one right answer and a bunch of wrong ones.

How has this affected me in my homeschool endeavors? Well, first off I didn't make one of these this year. Now I am not saying that I will never again make a "Year at a Glance", but for me in this season of therapy it just wasn't a priority. I know myself well enough to know that when I get something down on paper like that, it just stresses me out to the max if I get a few days off here and there. Didn't I tell you that I am a little freaky about minutiae? :) Right now our priority is to get therapy done each day. Academics are still important but they are not center stage. Honestly I am looking very forward to a time when academics will be preeminent and I hope that time comes sooner rather than later. Still I am committed to completing the full course of this therapy, and so there is not a place for hyper-detailed plans this year.

I do have a plan about what I want to accomplish though. I know how many math lessons we need to complete each week and when we get behind what we need to do to catch up. The same with history, Spanish, spelling, reading and handwriting. But it's all in my head and not on paper. When it comes to school this year I don't have one single checklist...and the most exciting thing is I am okay with that. :)

Our story is therapy but it would be the same if we had a new baby in the house, were dealing with a major illness, if we had just moved across country or any other myriad of life changes that can derail the best laid plans for a productive homeschool year (as I define productive anyway!).

Another thing I've learned is that a simple lesson done is better than perfect lesson plans that never leave the paper (or become reality way later than need be) because I don't have all the details worked out: I haven't tracked down that exact book or researched this one aspect just enough. Right now some of you think I am kidding but sadly this has rung true more than once in our school. Others of you so completely get it, don't you?! Just admit it. You're as nutty as me, aren't ya? :)

The last thing I've learned is that I need to keep looking ahead and stop incessantly and unnecessarily looking back. And I'll blog more on that next time.



Butterfly said...

Aaaahhh... Boy do I ever get it! My type A, check the box personality has really been given a reality check this year! It is His plan! Amen?! I sent you an email Jennefer, hoping you got it! :-)

Jennefer said...


I emailed you back. Looking forward to chatting more! Blessings.


Karin Katherine said...

Wow. I resemble this post.

So glad to have "found" your blog and now you are on my blog reader. What would homeschool moms do without blogs?

mom24 said...

I so understand! So glad that you could step off the paper and into your head and be okay with that. I think that, when I look closely, it's the details that caused so much stress in our house this year that we had to put Jason in school. But, having put all my planning into his curriculum, I have been left with little planning for my 1st grader.
And strangely enough....I'm ok with that too!

It's good that you are working on the important things first this year and I hope that therapy proves more than benefitial for Thatcher!

Amber said...

Thank you for the needed validation. I homeschool my 3 and 5 year old. My son is a joy to teach and a gifted learner who devours information and enjoys a challenge. He is always eager for more and I was making big plans for this year.

Then last November I was diagnosed with Graves disease and had my thyroid removed. last March my daughter was diagnosed with kidney cancer and has faced surgery, radiation, and chemo. We are just finishing treatment and coming up for air. We stay home all the time because of shielding her from germs while she recovers, so school shouldn't be a problem right? The combination of all of it, combined with my own recovery and struggle with regulating blood levels has complicated everything.

Thank you for sharpening my focus and giving me 'permission' to breathe. I know I'm too hard on myself at times, but I feel bad for my son who longs for more from me. Life is so messy for those organized type As out there :) I just keep praying for God's guidance in my steps and his strength in my actions.

Amber :)

Corrie said...

I love what you said about life circumstances that derail our plans. I've been learning to not listen to the voices of guilt that try to get me down when I don't "stay on track." Can't wait to read more in your posts on looking ahead. I am so grateful for God's grace and patience with this sometimes slow learner!

Tricia said...

My girls are both in 8th grade, technically. This lesson you are learning is a good one. Even on the years that we didn't do school on schedule, the girls still learned. And because of life circumstances, for my oldest, I have developed 4 different sets of curriculum so far this year. If I hadn't learned to be flexible in the last 6 years, I think this one would have done me in! I haven't read enough to know what you are facing, just to know that you are facing something. I will keep reading. May God bless you and yours abundantly.