I love our summer break from school. I know people who rave about their year-round schedule, but for me, summer is a time to regroup. I spend many of summer's days thinking about what I want to accomplish in the next year, what needs to stay the same, and how we can do things differently. I enjoy choosing new curriculum. I scour the internet for deals and make library lists. I dream during the summer.
But I also worry during the summer. My mind whirls in all direction and I lay awake at night thinking.
I get scared. I wonder if I am too easy on my kids. Do I let them skip over the hard things in an effort to make it easier on me?
Then I fear that I'm too hard on them and don't show enough patience, that I'm not a good teacher. I worry that, as they get older, school will take so much of our time that, to do it well, I'll neglect other areas of our lives.
Homeschooling is not for the faint of heart. Helping a son with pre-algebra while teaching another son to read is hard. It's a fact. What if I focus on one child and neglect another?
And how,with out days so stuffed to the seams with living now, will we possibly have time to add school back into our day in the fall?
Trying to get my thoughts together, I started writing out a daily schedule for our fall term. I penciled in notes of how to cover each subject. Instead of doing every subject every day all year long, I'm rotating music, science, typing, and health through the days of the week: music on Monday, typing on Friday, etc. Other subjects I'm planning in chunks. We'll spend all of August through October focusing on architecture for our art credit and then begin history for the year in November.
While putting my thoughts on paper and having a feel for how things will fit together next year does work to calm my brain, it also stirs up new questions. Will this plan work? What if it doesn't? What happens if we miss a few days of school? Can I be flexible and let my kids enjoy learning or will I drag them down with my rigidity?
Then one morning last week during my morning devotions I opened my Bible to Psalm 20 and read :
May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you... Now this I know: The Lord gives victory to his anointed. He answers him from his heavenly sanctuary with the victorious power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
I immediately felt my load lighten. This worry, this anxiety... it's unnecessary. Horses or chariots might not be my downfall, but to me it can read "Some trust in schedules..." or "Some trust in curriculum..." or "Some trust in planning everything out to the very minute..."
But we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
Yes, it's a good idea to make a plan and it is wise to consider the options and be intentional to accomplish noble goals, but it's ultimately not in my hands, nor should it be.
Admittedly, I still harbor some anxiety about the coming months. It's hard not to feel uncertain about the unknown, but I know I can abandon my worry and sleep in peace because I'm trusting Him to lead our days.