Here’s the thing about homeschooling well (and, really, living well): it’s important to make plans, because it’s helpful to visualize where you’d like to go and what you’d like to become. I like to start each new bit of time – each new school year, each quarter, each week – with at least a framework of general plans, so I can better decide how to spend my time each day.
If the kids have a goal like learning to play an instrument or earning a new belt in karate, mastering long division or speaking a new language, I can help them understand that goals like that are best met with regular doses of practice, and having plans for things like that helps me remember to remind them to practice.
If the kids have bucket-list type dreams from picking cherries off the tree to going on a family vacation to Washington, DC, penciling those things into our plans helps us make sure we don’t put them off. The same is true for classes, concerts, library events, and other opportunities: having them written in our plans makes us more likely to do these fun things.
Each season in our life brings a different rhythm too: depending on the number of people in our days (are we watching Munchkin this month?), the number of outside opportunities (are we out all the time, or home all day?), and our particular needs (are we dealing with emotional and behavioral struggles, or are academics at the forefront?), we will structure our days and weeks in different ways, and it’s helpful to think about that ahead of time.
There are lots of great reasons to have a plan in place for your homeschooling life. There are also lots of important reasons to let those plans go. Here’s one:
This is our new Jackabee puppy! The kids decided he deserves a blog-name, too, so let me introduce Boggle!
A friend of ours from the local homeschooling community has a Jack Russell who had a litter of 5 Jackabee pups (their father is a Beagle), and we had the opportunity to bring one home. We’ve wanted a dog for several years but now was the first time that the stars aligned for us to meet the right puppy when we had time, space, and finances that allowed us to have a big bundle of fur in our family.
Boggle is only 8 weeks old and needs lots of love and attention right now. That means that the plans I had laid out for July, which often included being gone from home for most of the day to attend library programs and spend hours at the pool, have been set aside so we can spend that time with our puppy instead. Not a one of us – not even Mama, who was the one who wrote out all those plans in the first place – minds shaking up our lives for this great new experience. Plans are just the ideas we had for our lives before this day, and if this day brings something new, we grab it.
It’s important to plan, but it’s also important to be open to all the unplanned joys that life can bring!