Welcome!! Thank you for joining in as we kick off Day 1 of the “10 Days of Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Homeschooling!”
Today we begin with friend, first year homeschooler, and guest-poster Jeni from Peace and Carrots! Thank, you, Jeni!
How to Over-plan, Over-schedule,
and Drive Yourself Crazy
When we started on our homeschooling journey roughly one year ago, I was eager and enthusiastic. I read books, blogs, articles, and anything else I could get my hands on, filling my mind with all kinds of options and approaches for what homeschooling would look like for our family. Knowing that one of my weakest areas is organization, I spent a lot of time researching different methods for organizing and planning schoolwork and supplies to make things run as smoothly as possible.
I decided to plan out our whole year in advance. (I can hear you veteran homeschoolers laughing.) I spent countless hours, weeks, even, writing up detailed daily lesson plans. I made lists of supplies, broken down by week. I made lists of books to put on hold at the library, scheduled for two weeks before we would need them -and of course I had to verify that the library did, in fact, have those titles. Then, after all of the plans were complete, I spent a few days “ripping.” I disassembled ALL of our workbooks and consumable materials, and filed them into neatly-labeled folders. When I was finished, it was truly a thing of beauty. Daily lesson plans for the entire year! Tidy files, labeled by week, ready to use! Lists! Supplies! Organization! The underused OCD part of myself was absolutely thrilled.
Then a few things happened. We “officially” started homeschooling, and I realized it was awfully difficult to get through all of my wonderful plans with my then-4 year old kindergartener. Her attention span wasn’t very long, and she was easily distracted. Throw in a 2 year old little brother, who wants to be involved in absolutely everything, and it’s no wonder the kindergartener had a hard time focusing. Some of our curriculum was a poor fit, and we dropped it. Then we got sick. Then we took some unscheduled time off.
By the time a month had passed, my beautiful plans, so carefully created and tended, were worthless. Those files of workbook pages were jumbled as we progressed in different areas at different rates. In short, it was an awful mess. I tried a few times to buckle down and get us back on track – after all, I couldn’t let all of my work go to waste! I finally realized that this particular method of planning and organizing was just not effective for us. I overplanned. I overscheduled. And I was driving us all crazy.
Here are a few things I learned:
1. Planning and organization is good. It’s what keeps a homeschool running smoothly.
2. Flexibility is essential, especially when dealing with young children, and especially with other even younger children in the home.
3. If I’ve given something an honest try and it still doesn’t work, it’s time to switch to something else.
4. Routine is good and healthy. Rigorous scheduling is not.
I’m looking forward to planning our schoolwork for next year. I’ll probably use some of the elements from this year, but I’ll definitely allow for more flexibility – after all, that’s one of the key things that has drawn me to homeschooling! I will plan out our lessons a few weeks at a time, so that we don’t have the stress of “getting behind.” Above all, I’ll commit our homeschool (and home life in general) to prayer and to God, and strive to do my best to lead my children to Him in all things.
Jeni Allen is a homeschooling mom of two, living the dream in middle Tennessee. She enjoys reading, knitting, gardening, and napping. Oh, and chocolate. Can’t forget the chocolate. She blogs (occasionally) at Peace & Carrots.
Image Credit: Image by Mashe, Purchased From Fotolia
“The 10 Days” Series is organized by iHomeschool Network, a collaboration of outstanding homeschool bloggers who connect with each other and with family-friendly companies in mutually beneficial projects. Visit them on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
To find ALL the blogs participating in this run of “The 10 Days” Series, click the image below, a collage of photos for all 28 ladies participating. You’ll be blessed with tips on how to handle bad days, cultivating curiosity, teaching with Legos, and much, much more. Many thanks to iHomeschool Network for organizing this fun blog hop!