Monday, March 16, 2015

Planning Ahead

My blogging friend (and real-life friend), Michelle, and I have a spring tradition. Sometime in February or March we start talking plans for the coming school year.  We're both planners and thinkers, plus we find inspiration through curriculum talk and trading ideas.

Admittedly, when she brought up the topic last week I had to say, "I haven't thought much about it yet." 

That's not really true.  I've given it plenty of thought, but I feel uninspired and a little scared so my thoughts have not transformed into plans on paper.  I have time-- months worth of time, really.  There are at least two months left before  this school year is complete and the next one doesn't start until August, but it's unusual for me.  Most of the time, I'm excitedly sketching out a plan in advance because there are so many fascinating topics I want to cover and books I want my kids to read.

Why the fear this year?  Next year, I will have 5 kids in school-- ranging from Alaine entering kindergarten all the way up to Gavin in eighth grade.  That's more than a little overwhelming to me.  I already feel a little stretched with four, juggling pre-algebra and phonics on a daily basis.  I want to do this homeschooling thing well, but I constantly question whether I'm giving each child the attention and help they need.  I worry about this every year.  Yes, every year.  I'm a type-A personality times ten!

I also worry about gaps in my kids' education.  Gavin only has five years of school left.  What if he gets to twelfth grade and we realize we forgot something?! I know that is a largely irrational thought.  Learning is a lifetime pursuit.  But, I still have a kid who struggles to spell our last name (let alone the words of a spelling test) and another several who very slowly do their math facts on their fingers.  Gaps in their education is a very real fear.

It comes down to trust-- trust in the Father who is leading us this year and will continue to lead us on our homeschool and life journey.  I know I am not adequate on my own, but He knows what is best for each one of my children.  He will give wisdom and strength, patience and guidance.

have started compiling a few ideas in my head, considering some learning topics that might work for us.  Also I have tentatively started looking up some new products (to us), so I'll be back later this week or next to share a few.

Have you started thinking about your next homeschool year? How many kids will you be teaching? 

Do you have any homeschool fears?  I'd love to pray for you!


  1. I have three in school officially next year (K, 2nd, and 3rd). My biggest issue right now is encouraging them to work hard without pushing them too hard. I also still have beginning readers and sometimes feel at a loss for how to make reading "click" for them so they can move beyond the painfully slow pace and actually enjoy reading.

    1. I know what you mean about reading fluency! Before teaching my kids, I always assumed kids learned to read well in kindergarten or first, but that hasn't been the case for my kids. I'm just now becoming comfortable with that!

  2. Just this week, I was looking at a chart (yes, OCD) that I have in my school planning notebook recording every year that we've homeschooled, what grade each child was in, who was born that year, etc. This is my 24th year as a home educator, and I can honestly say that I STILL have a bit of trepidation that I don't do "enough." Especially when we begin the high school years, which will begin this coming year for the final go-round. Eek!

    That said, when I stop and consider, I remember that I have prayed over every school order that I have placed, over every decision about subjects to cover, over every child's needs from the beginning, and, although I have made mistakes a'plenty, I see His faithfulness (in spite of myself) in all three of my children/students who are now adults and I trust His direction for the one remaining. I think it comes down to our heart's desire for our children and the bigger choices (not curriculum) that we make with intention. And trust.

  3. I will have two in school next year - 4th grade and 2nd grade. And I'll still have a 4-year-old and a 1-year-old to keep busy. I'm not sure if I'm nervous about next year yet, but we are praying about a change. My (now) first grader has been very, very obstinate about schoolwork this year. As in - he will sit ALL day (no exaggeration) over one or two math problems because he refuses to try to figure them out. This has not equaled a pleasant homeschooling experience or home life for any of us this year. And I feel I am doing more damage to my relationship with him than I am good. We are strongly contemplating putting him in a charter school for this coming year. I never really thought I'd be at the point of doing that, but I don't feel like I can take another year like this one. :( ::sigh:: I struggle thinking "I should be able to figure this out" and "I'm a failure if I put him in school." I'm not sure what we'll ultimately decide (we're even considering my husband doing math with him at night), but it is very tough decision.

    1. That is a tough decision! I'll be sure to pray along with you that the Lord leads you to the best choice.


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