In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9
Homeschooling humbles me.
I'm inconsistent. I'm a perfectionist. I'm selfish. I'm distracted when I need to focus. I'm focused when I need to be distracted. I have poor time-management skills. And, boy, am I impatient!
For me, the hardest part about homeschooling is having the constant reminders of how inadequate I am. I have to come face-to-face with my failures every single day. I always feel like I miss opportunities. At the close of each day, I'm usually thinking
I should have done this, or
I shouldn't have done that.
But regardless of how humbling this thing is, I still absolutely love homeschooling our children. It keeps me focused on Who provides my strength, Who provides the inspiration, Whom my children REALLY belong to after all.
The fact is, I only have a few short years with my children and then... I won't have the messes, I won't have the struggles, I won't have to hear about how much they don't want to do their math or writing assignments today, I won't have to listen to petty arguments over who gets to play with which monster truck, I won't have the interruptions that take me away from what I want to do.
And I won't have the blessings.
I won't have the sounds of silliness and laughter. I won't have the reasons that I so enjoy visiting museums and parks. I won't have the beauty and awe of discovering the world with these boys growing into young men.
That thought makes me want to seize every moment I can to pursue our love of life and passion for learning together. With them now.
If you haven't figured it out already, I am a serious over-planner. I aim really high with everything I do. If I actually achieve everything I set out to do, then I know I didn't aim high enough. And so, for those who actually read this blog, please keep my planning posts and long lists-of-links in perspective. Many of these things are NOT what we have done. It is what I wish to do. And my wishes are way higher than our real-life accomplishments.
So, let's combine that with my crazy love of ideas. And books. And curriculum. Does it come as any surprise that we didn't actually do everything we planned to do? And is that really failure, anyway?
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficent for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
I share this bit of honesty about myself to encourage others. Because this overplanning thing is one of my weaknesses (along with impatience and all my other not-so-great character qualities). And I think it's awesome how God has prevailed over our learning -and our home - this year. My children have continued to blossom in the midst of interruptions and setbacks and curriculum changes. It has been a glorious year of discovery for us - not because of what I've done, but because of what He has done in our lives.
The following links will take you to the overzealous, utopian plans I had for this year:
- Narrowing it Down: What We're Actually Doing: (BWAHAHAHAHA!!!! Let me regain my composure here... The title of this post is absolutely hilarious! What was I thinking?!?) Although we did many of the things on this list, we certainly didn't finish all that we started - and we didn't even START a couple of those projects.
- Our Reading List for Cycle 3: We read only a small selection of these books. (I keep banking on the fact that we'll be back through Cycle 3's American History studies three more times before it's all said and done.)
- Classical Conversations at Home, Re-Visited. We had a lot of changes to our school schedule this year. What worked last year DID NOT work this year. Especially when we had chainsaws reverberating through our home from dusk to dawn. I used about 10 different planners before sort of giving up on the planner mentality. We reverted to checklists and stacks of papers, and it has worked tremendously better than anything else I've tried to use. That's not to say I don't have a list of what we're aiming for each week as we finish up this school year, but it's not written on the pretty CC planner I was planning to use. [Update: I now use a checklist-style planner that helps me kill two birds with one stone. I love my planner. Finally.]
- Mid-year we regrouped, and I made plans for the spring semester (And then I changed those plans about a week later when I fell flat on my face in a pit of despair...)
THE REALITY IS, we...