My PLAN was to start our new year in our homeschool on Monday…and that’s just a couple of days away. Yikes! It seems like I’ve been planning this forever.
I spent dozens of woman hours researching, debated over whether to take the plunge and buy a binding machine (I detest binders), incited my brain cells over how to work with the kids current needs. And dreams.
I’ve printed reams of material. Organized books. Purchase new binders, spiral notebooks, dry-erase markers, pencils, pens, erasers, glue, and so on.
I’ve got my plans. I’ve got my materials. But am I ready?
After 5 years of doing this home education gig, you might think that I would no longer be stymied by the logistics of it all…that’s where you’d be wrong. Every single year is different---it’s all part of the magic of meeting your kids where they’re at and working with multiple individuals at very different levels. It’s a good thing. Yes. But also requires some coordination and, let’s be totally honest, causes a bit of frustration at times.
So I talked to my husband on the phone this afternoon. His perspective on this whole thing is very different---he’s never mired in the kids’ education, so it’s easier for him to see the whole picture from the outside (a place it’s hard for me to get to).
If you don’t have someone like that to bounce your frustrations off of…find someone!
Just talking about it and getting it out of my head, made it so much easier to see that I really had nothing at all to freak out about. We can ease into our new year and I can put some of the responsibility of “getting ready” on the kids---after all, it is their education.
The first week, we’ll be concentrating on the basics. There are some visual aids and things that I need that I haven’t prepared yet. Guess who’s going to be helping?
I also realized that I never finished organizing the kids’ 2012-2013 portfolios, so we will go through their work from last year and they can decide what to keep. This is a good way to review past learning experiences and close out the old year in preparation for the new one.
Finally, I haven’t figured out yet how to organize our days (we have more of a routine than a schedule). I do have an overall framework in mind---but the specifics still seem fuzzy. But I came to realize that this is because there are too many unknowns:
- We’re using some new programs this year and I don’t know exactly how those lessons will go in terms of time, etc.
- I have no idea just how independent my 8th grader is going to be.
- Our history and literature has a general framework, but it will also involve the kids doing independent research/reading, and will have an organic quality to it---I have no idea how that’s going to look in reality.
- I’m going to have a real preschooler who will be doing her own activities, and I don’t really know how well I’ll be able to keep her occupied when I’m not working with her, or how much of my time her activities will require.
I feel like I’m in a pitch black room full of stuff---I know it’s in there, and I stretch my arms out tentatively to locate everything, but I can’t seem to put my hands on what I’m looking for. I hate not knowing stuff…but life is like that, isn’t it?
It’s so much more comfortable to have each day carefully planned out, and yet I’ve never ever had a day go exactly as planned anyway, have you?
The “plan” is to jump in and feel my way around until we know what we are doing, because sometimes you just don’t know how to do something until you are actually doing it.
How about you? Are you ready? Or do you keep a year-round schedule (are you amused by “new year” stuff )?