How often does one of your homeschool days go as perfectly as you planned it?
If you are like many homeschool moms, you are spitting out your water and hysterically laughing at the very idea.
Experienced homeschool moms have learned that homeschooling does not always equate to leading a perfect life. Although it is very tempting to adopt those Pinterest-perfect images of smiling faces where everyone smoothly transitions from one completed subject to the next, that pipe dream quickly goes up in smoke after a few weeks, days, or even hours of homeschooling.
You may wonder what is wrong with you and your homeschool. Why is it such a struggle to stick with your homeschool plans? You worked so dang hard and spent countless hours pouring over curriculum, deciding on what page ranges needed to be covered and when.
What can you add to these examples of homeschool planning struggles? I feel like I could write a book (more like an epic novel!) about my not-so-good experiences with homeschool planning. Lofty dreams and ideals of all my boys completing all their work on time and with no problems.
Until those dreams were crushed. By real life with five active boys who are perfectly normal with a slightly normal mom;)
I have discovered one secret to homeschool planning. This secret has helped me continue to homeschool because I almost threw in the towel before I even really got started.
More importantly, my secret has helped me to actually enjoy our homeschool. No, I’m not kidding. Yes, I’m being totally serious!
My Secret for Successful Homeschool Planning
My secret is just one word. Flexibility.
Oh, this one word holds such power! Such influence over your thoughts and feelings!
When you learn the power of flexibility in your homeschool planning, you can experience a freedom and joy that’s a special gift. It’s like a present to you and your kids.
Let’s take a closer look at the definition of flexibility, shall we?
Flexibility: (adjective) 1. capable of being bent, usually without breaking; 2. susceptible of modification or adaptation, adaptable; 3. willing or disposed to yield, pliable (definition courtesy of dictionary.com)
What a fantastic concept, especially when applied to homeschooling! I particularly enjoy the second part: susceptible of modification or adaptation, adaptable.
Just think how much more enjoyable homeschooling can be when you are able to loosen up and ditch rigidity!
How Flexible Are You in Your Homeschool Planning?
You may think you are relaxed and understanding. But, how do you truly respond to these situations?:
- Do your muscles tighten at the thought of getting behind in your read-aloud?
- Can you feel your cheeks flush when your child struggles with mastering a math concept?
- Do you tell yourself things like, “We have to stay on track or we’ll get so behind and there will be gaps and my kids will never learn everything that they have to!”?
Trust me, you are not alone! Homeschooling comes with many blessings but also with many pressures. As a homeschool mom, you feel like you have to stay on top of it all. You struggle with providing your kids with everything they academically need while trying to make sure that everyone has a good time, eats three square meals, and regularly changes their underwear.
As a homeschool mom, you feel like you have to stay on top of it all. You struggle with providing your kids with everything they academically need while trying to make sure that everyone has a good time, eats three square meals, and regularly changes their underwear.
So, you turn to homeschool planning resources. These magic beans can surely help you appropriately plan your homeschool and get it all done, right?
Yes and no.
One of the secrets to effective homeschooling is in how you approach your homeschool planning. (Oh, and using well-thought out resources! I have an excellent homeschool planning resource that I will be sharing next week, so stay tuned.)
Why You Need to Be Flexible In Your Homeschool Planning
When you learn how to roll with the punches in your homeschool, you can experience benefits like:
- less stress
- less anger
- less overwhelm
- less self-doubt
- more satisfaction
- improved sense of accomplishment
- overall increase in well-being
These benefits spill over into your homeschool and positively affect your kids, too.
Remember: homeschooling mirrors real life. It’s not perfect. Little bumps in the road can transform into mountains.
One kid gets sick. It spreads like wildfire. Your homeschool plans get upturned.
Or maybe your son is struggling with learning how to read. Your well-planned lessons (and activities to coordinate all subjects around those reading lessons) are crumpled beside those torn tissues you both used in frustration.
Guess what? That’s real life, baby! Life does not happen according to an instruction manual.
By learning to practice flexibility in your homeschool planning, you are an awesome role model for your kids. You’re forging a path of using adaptive and creative skills to overcome any of those nasty little annoyances life can throw your way.
One more important reminder: just because you planned something out does not mean you have to do it just that way. You have my permission to switch things up. Recite poems standing on a chair outside on your lawn. Practice math drills while bouncing on a trampoline. Use puppets to memorize the periodic table.
I’ll ask you one of my favorite questions: Why are YOU homeschooling? I bet one of your reasons is freedom from having someone telling you and your kids what to do. Don’t become your own worst nightmare and start imposing unrealistic demands upon your homeschool.
And don’t worry if you have fallen into that trap. It’s understandable and common. And totally reversible!
You want what is best for your kids. Homeschooling is not a one-size-fits-all approach. You are allowed to be flexible.
Use your homeschool plans to prepare and guide, not to dictate and depress.
You have the power to exercise flexibility in your homeschool. You are enough. Stay tuned for tips and resources about how you can tap that power and transform your thinking to create homeschool peace of mind.
Until then, bend it like Beckham. Or Gumby. Maybe more like a Slinky?
Make sure to check out these awesome tips and ideas on how you can rock your homeschool planning!
Curriculum Planning: It really is all about YOU. by Jen at Practical, By Default
Planning Shmanning: How a Rebel Learned to Plan by Jackie at You Really Can Homeschool!