Okay, I admit it…I’ve been addicted to planning since I first started homeschooling 10 years ago. I’ve planned and planned until there’s nothing else left to plan. Then I would find something else to plan.
Unfortunately, when it comes to homeschooling, I’ve learned that plans were meant to be broken. The beauty in broken plans is that I get to start all over with something fresh and not planned- which is oftentimes exactly what I need. (Especially for those of us who tend to veer on the Type-A personality spectrum).
It’s okay to have a plan, but the truth of the matter is, we really shouldn’t stress over it. I have a general idea of what my kids are doing for school this year. I have course outlines for my high schooler’s classes and I have a general idea of what we’d like to accomplish for my 4th grader. But, the difference between this year and previous years, is that I didn’t spend hours planning my school year before the year began.
I’d rather plan as life happens.
Planning during the school year- as life is happening- proves to be the best method of planning for me. It gives me lots of wiggle room to grow and expand with my kids as their interests change.
So, instead of having a planner filled out with activities for each theme or unit study weeks and months in advance, I keep a list of running ideas instead. I remind myself every so often to take a look at my ideas list if I’m running out of juice. This way, I can free myself to enjoy learning activities that my kids want to explore without feeling conflicted about fitting into the curriculum we’re using.
If they want to learn about it, I’m free to explore it with them. We can shift things around in our
homeschool schedule (*oops- I meant homeschool routine) in order to focus on subjects they’re currently interested in.
Overplanning makes me feel unproductive.
Despite the fact that being in proactive planning mode makes me feel like I’m achieving a lot at the moment, I’ve come to the conclusion over the summer that having just the right planner and all my planning pages, highlighters and pens ready to tackle my homeschool year, I don’t always feel productive with this time I’ve set aside.
What generally happens after I’ve taken the time to plan for an entire school year, or even one semester? We find out a curriculum choice we made no longer works for us, that’s what! And then I’m back to square one: a brand new plan.
I’d rather be more lucid about my planning goals from here on out than to over-plan our school days and just end up frustrated.
I love freedom!
After reading this post, you may not even believe me anymore when I say I’m an avid planner. Especially when I say I love my freedom- my reasoning for wanting to kick some of my overplanning tendencies to the curb.
Yes, I’m still a planner and will always be. I love lists and checkboxes, goal sheets and a place to record the details of our homeschooling.
But I’ve learned that planning can go too far. And sometimes- with a personality like mine-I have to reel it back in a bit so that I don’t over-plan my life.
Instead, I want to allow for more flexibility and freedom in our homeschooling. I want to not have to tell my kids “Sorry, we’re scheduled to read chapter 3 of To Kill a Mockingbird” when one of the kids shows an interest in the anatomy of a leaf. It’s all common sense it seems, yet super planners like me have to keep myself in check- at all times.