I recently shared our back to school #squadgoals in participation with a blog-hop over at iHomeschool Network. Home-educating parents were encouraged to share their curriculum plans for the year, and I was eager to chime in as well as peruse the kaleidoscope of entries from the many contributors.
This perusal led to the discovery of several wonderful blogs that I promptly followed, including Pam Barnhill’s audio blog which proved to be a motivational Back to School Boot Camp. I binged listened to about a dozen episodes over the holiday weekend (in the car, as I prepared meals and folded laundry, even whilst showering!) and continued to ruminate on them as we forged ahead into our first week of studies.
Far and away, the episode that hit me most squarely was, “Warning: Your Homeschool Plan Isn’t Going to Work“.
Spoiler: “Successful homeschool planning doesn’t begin by searching the internet and making a list of all the things you CAN do, it begins by searching the faces across the breakfast table and making a list of all the things THEY need. A plan based on anything other than that just isn’t going to work.”
Eureka! One week into our new homeschool year and we’ve already had to make some course corrections. Good thing I’m so flexible in nature! (I jest.) This might sound like a cake-walk to most, but to this
bossy type-A, firstborn planner being adaptable is NOT my modus operandi nor natural gifting. God continually uses homeschool to challenge, stretch, and remind me that I am NOT (nor should I be, heaven help us) in the driver’s seat.
In the spirit of encouraging increased autonomy and ownership over her studies we have switched Firstborn to a self-led online math program. I’ll just come right out and admit that her advanced, middle-school mathematics were requiring too much mental bandwidth for this weary mama, and I certainly don’t want to pass on my own disdain for the subject nor hold her back. If she wants to love math, she is free to love math!
Our second adjustment was to our scripture reading plan: Instead of following a traditional Bible-in-a-year outline we are opting instead to read aloud from The Story– a condensed, chronological version of the Bible in novel form. It also contains helpful discussion questions in the back!
It seems we’re hitting the pause button on extra-curriculars this term (aside from 4-H and Awanas, I pray), as well: Our schedules didn’t jive with the private school where the girls have taken electives part-time for the last couple of years, so we sought out other options… but the public school classes require daily participation at two separate schools, and the thought of that amount of pin-balling across the freeway makes me nauseas… so we planned to join a local homeschool cooperative full of enrichment classes one morning a week, but apparently missed the deadline for fall registration as we were consumed with Little Man’s surgery and recovery.
I’m determined to accept the situation without succumbing to a grown-up temper tantrum; after all, we have a few guests planning to visit yet this fall and are also keeping commitments light for the sake of several loved-ones back in Oregon struggling with poor health. Perhaps this is right where God wants us.