I see you over there, you know who you are, making that list of things you simply must accomplish during “school time” tomorrow. Remember, the Bible tells us in James 4:13-14 that we should not say tomorrow we will do such and such, or go here or there because we do not know what tomorrow will hold. I know, this is hard for us “planner by nature” homeschool moms! I must share with you though, my own experience.
I used to make “plans”, every single year I would make months and months worth of lesson plans in advance. On this day, we will do this and this. On that day, we will do that and that. Then, those days would come and I would have my handy dandy little lesson plans that allotted certain amounts of time for each “subject” we would cover, and suddenly someone or something would throw a wrench in my plan! Here I had this list of things, this set of lesson plans, that I felt I simply must do or I would fail that day! I would literally find myself panicked, wondering how on Earth I would ever catch up and manage to complete the plans for the day. As panic set in with its racing thoughts, distraught nerves, tears of frustration would begin to fall. Every single time I tried so desperately to recover, we fell further and further behind on the day, the more panicked I felt and the less I was able to concentrate on enjoying this time, and on teaching. I spent so many days in hot tears, not enjoying the gift of homeschooling God had given me! So many days were spent worried and anxious, I felt I was somehow failing miserably, simply because I didn’t complete the plans that I had made for myself! After the plans were made, it was almost as if they took on a life of their own, as if they were somehow imposed upon me by some higher authority who would be judging me by the amount of follow through!
Looking back, I am not sure how I allowed myself to get into such a hot, frustrated, panic stricken state. It’s so silly really! If it had been something else, something I felt less judged about, I don’t think I would have worried at all! How many times did I say “Oh tomorrow I will go to the grocery store to get such and such” and ended up totally forgetting it and not caring at all! Why did these lesson plans bring about such emotion? The answer is, to me these plans represented my ability to educate my child. Oh let me tell you, I am a list maker! I am a plan maker! I can plan about plans about making plans to make plans! I suppose I thought these plans I made were my “insurance” that my children would be wonderfully educated, little did I realize that even the best laid plans go awry and its in the running amuck that the real learning occurs.
When the chicken hits the fan and the feathers go flying, that is when the real learning occurs!
You may think this sounds crazy, but its true! Your children learn more from seeing your reaction to the craziness of life than they ever will from the worksheet you printed at 2 am and planned to do today. They see either someone who has the grace to endure hardship or difficulties, or they see the hot mess mommy becomes when someone spills juice on their coloring sheet! They see our priorities, they learn what is important by watching our reactions. Sure, school is important but what is more important? Are our plans more important than the spontaneous learning that occurs when a child’s eye wanders to the window, sees the baby squirrel outside and asks about where they live? Of course they arent! So let’s make ourselves a plan.
Instead of mapping out your day, let your day lead the way! Try not making plans, instead wait until the end of the day and then write down all of the learning/educational activities you enjoyed with your children. Stop being a slave to your plans! Today, I am a much more relaxed homeschooler than I was in those first days. I shudder to think what life must have been like for the kids, I know already how terrible it was for me! If only I had paid a little more attention when reading the book of James and realized those scriptures were personal and meant to touch every area of my life, including my homeschool.