Monday, August 29, 2011

Homeschool Sickness - My Advice

What is it about homeschooling that attracts "getting sick"? I am so glad I don't long term plan my year or even a month. Why bother? Something in life is "going to happen" and it will go flying... oh, blowing in the wind.... or out the window... whichever exit is closest.

First week of school and yes, I am in bed ... sore body, drainage, ears about to burst.... OK, I know this doesn't just happen to me... as a veteran homeschool mom I am not fighting it. Let me explain why.

I have good news:

I only planned day one! Amazingly "it" was completed, therefore I didn't have to trash (or erase) hours of lesson plans to be all prepared and try to somehow catch up (whisper - which never happens), but at least you reason you will feel good if someone looks in those planning books (whisper - no one ever will.... ) but they sure do look like you are getting a lot of school done.

Don't despair if you filled out a few weeks of plans. That is the whole point of a lesson planner.... someone else (like hubby or mother-in-law) can glance and see that at least you look like you know what you should be doing... (Secret - do you really think school teachers do what is "on" their lesson plan if they are not being "observed".)

Here is my advice to anyone new at homeschooling - a day plan is enough. Every day you can be successful, and the bonus is you will not waste time planning stuff that will never be followed... or feeling guilty for not being on schedule.

Here is a clue to make it simple: most curriculum is already broken into daily lessons so when you have school do the next lesson. (whisper: And a little thing most don't tell you - you don't have to do everything in a book or follow the lesson exactly as it is written)

And if you aren't following Curriculum but reading "real books," simply read until either your eyes glaze over or your children's eyes do or you have arrived at a great suspenseful spot. Cliffhangers are the best to bring interested children back to listen.

So homeschool sickness, take it in stride... I have come to conclude that homeschool families are going to be attacked in anyway Satan thinks he can break us down... basically, don't feel guilty that you are not doing a good job, or that you are not keep up with "the plan," or that you are a failure (whisper-all of that is the voice of your enemy). If you or one of your children  are really feeling ill, you need a day or two to rest.

Redeem the situation for good: Take the time to enjoy the Bible, a devotional and don't forget to eat grits/oatmeal/ice cream (whatever!) without doing a few other things at the same time and don't worry about planning dinner. No one in your family is going to starve by eating cereal or sandwiches for a few days. (In another post I will tell you what to stock in your refrigeration when you homeschool... to be prepared for "life happens" days.)

You never know how God is going to use "this interruption" for your good and for your family's good as He continues to conform you to the likeness of Jesus. (My blessing today: My 16 year old son told me to text him today if I needed anything... so cell phones do come in handy - *smile*)

And for a final note of wisdom: my spiritual father reminded me a few days ago .... to in any situation "bow to God and obey." With a "yes, Lord" life response, you will be teaching your children more than many lesson plans will teach them!

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