Homeschool Planning – Why we all just need to take a DEEP breath.

So, Spring is in the air and many of us are eager to start planning for next homeschool year.  Or maybe you’re better than me and already have the plans in place.

But, I mean, honestly– I’ve never understood why planning season starts in April – it’s just plain stressful for most Moms.  Come on!  I don’t know about you, but I’m still only half-way through my ‘plans’ from the third revision of my original plans from LAST Spring!  *snicker*

No, really.  True story.
Trust me, I’m no expert on having it all together come Spring. (Or ever, for that matter~!) I usually revamp our homeschool at least 2-3 times every single year, so, I’ve learned that stressing over Spring planning is actually quite futile in many ways.  Which leads me to the point of this post –
Want to know a secret I’ve learned?  The reason why you (yes you, dear friend) need to take a DEEP breath right now?

Whatever you plan for your homeschool year will probably change anyways.

Breathe in, breathe out.  And realize that even if you spend hundreds of hours researching and putting together the most SPECTACULAR homeschool plan for the 2016/2017 school year – it probably won’t work out the way you plan it.  That’s not pessimism or discouragement, it’s reality.
Please, trust me on this – after 7 years of homeschooling, never once have my ‘plans’ worked the way I envisioned them.  Ever.

Some years we have come close.  Others we have started an expensive curriculum after hours and hours of planning, only to drop it all a a month later for more reasons than I can list here.  Other times I have completely pledged my heart and soul to a ‘method’ and thought I had all the right books, all the right schedules, everything just so – and 2 weeks in to the plans we were in turmoil… no one was learning, every one was miserable, and it was back to the drawing board again.

Humbled again and again, yep, that’s me.  Because my plans are only my plans and I serve a God who is SO MUCH BIGGER than what I can pencil into a notebook planner.

But guess what?  Despite all my blunders and re-vamps, and re-dos…  we’ve still learned a ton, had productive, memorable years of homeschool, and enjoyed our time together, growing spiritually, emotionally, and academically.  Yep – that’s called grace, friends!   Alls well that ends well – but all doesn’t always end the way we begin.  *wink*

Now that I have enough planning seasons under my homeschool belt to know that most things I plan for a year in advance will never actually happen – it’s freeing.  *chuckle*

Honestly, it is.

Because the pressure is off a bit and I can just take a deep breath and relax.  I tend to be a bit stubborn at times, so, really I should have figured this out the first 5 times I changed plans several times a year or completely deviated from the original plan.  (Yeah, the original plan that I stressed over for 2 months and spent hundreds of dollars on…)

When it comes to homeschool planning, we all just need to take a DEEP breath and realize that plans change and we need to keep our expectations realistic.

It’s not that we shouldn’t plan.  I am a huge believer in planning and am currently working through Pam’s Plan Your Year stuff and loving it!  (See my review right here!)  But I’m also pretty sure Pam would agree that even though its called, Plan your YEAR, there is very likely to be revisions, changes, upgrades, all kinds of things that happen to that planned out YEAR… and that’s okay.  It’s not only okay, it’s probably a really healthy, really good thing.

Being willing to change, to tweak, to follow interests, to revise a plan is a HUGE asset as a homeschooler.  We are constantly assessing the plans, the curriculum, the books, the progress, the children’s response to what we are doing in the home.  And through these assessments, often changes are needed and welcomed by all.  It’s not a bad thing to shift gears – it can be a very positive thing.

So, the moral of the story is this – don’t stress about planning.  

Because no matter how perfect you think your plan might be – it will probably change.  You could be CONVINCED you have the perfect plan in place only to have it change in 2 week’s time. Please, trust me on this one.

For us, I’ve started to put loose plans in place for the year with lots of room for flexibility.  I’ve also started to do more specific planning only one term at a time.  This means I plan more ‘detailed’ things to work on (books to read, skills to master, etc.) about every 2-3 months instead of thinking I can tackle it all 12 months in advance.  (We ‘school’ year-round.)

I plan little by little.

I get a vision and some good goals in place to help guide us.

I choose a couple of the essential resources and books we want to use and just keep adding to it as we go or as needed.

I don’t go to the curriculum fair and spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars thinking I will have ‘everything we need’, because it is certain that I won’t.  Or what I thought we needed will change completely.

Dearest sister, hear me out – If you sit down and think you can get your homeschool plans completely and perfectly figured out for what you will accomplish every month for the next 8-12 months – you will drive yourself crazy.  Ask me how I know.

Put together a plan, sure.  But leave room for flexibility and for God to move and direct your family and your homeschool.  

And most importantly – take time to pray and reflect before you do any planning at all.

And that is just what I’ll be chatting about in the next post on Homeschool Planning in a couple days…  *hugs*

Take a DEEP breath, it’s going to be okay.  No plan is every perfect and it is in our imperfection that God’s grace meets us and makes everything as it should be…  He has never let me down yet.  *smile*

Coming next:

The Importance of Prayer and Reflection for Homeschool Planning


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