Planning for a different year

Perhaps you already have your upcoming school year completely planned.  If so, this post is not for you.  But if you’re still assembling materials—or have all the materials in place but are wondering how you’re going to make it through it all—talk with me for a minute, here.


When we started our home-school journey nine years ago, I saw us as Classical Educators.  After a year, I realized the kind of mom-as-teacher-intense life that was going to require, and I didn’t think it was a good fit for us.  Over the next three or four years, we transitioned into a Charlotte Mason-style education.  For us, that means using whole, living books whenever possible, and using copy work, dictation, and narration as the core of our writing curriculum.  We also found Singapore math, which has been the backbone of our math experience.

I’m not planning any major changes in any of that (except for Jonah’s math).  But I’m looking at a completely different home situation this year.  For six months (please God, only five?) we will be guests in my parents’ home.  There are many blessings to being there, but it means that our messes have an impact on more than just us.  We have people waiting on us for meals—or if not, I had better say so earlier rather than later.  We will not have a yard where the girls can just “go play” when they need to let off steam.  We are sharing space and time with people who have expectations that may be different from ours in terms of noise and mess.  All of this has had me frozen in paralysis as I have tried to plan our daily routine.  On top of that, I’m adding on a new kindergartener (yea!) and will have to work around a community college class.


So I’ve gone back to the drawing board.  I went back and read Julie’s (at Bravewriter) wise words about taking your own needs into account as you plan.  I revisited Kendra’s ideas on routine instead of scheduleDonna Young’s resources are helpful to me both for giving a five year-old things to explore, as well as organizing a middle schooler.  And Elizabeth’s meditation on the importance of early childhood learning has been a good reminder.

Where are you in your planning?  Are you working from a place of confidence in what has worked before, or needing to find something new?


5 thoughts on “Planning for a different year

  1. Thanks for this one Annie. This is the first year that I am actually *planning* what we will be doing this year. We are still going for unschooling, but I need more routine for me to FEEL like we are on the right track. I especially appreciated the first link about taking your own needs into account.

  2. Oh bless your heart, Annie! I cannot even imagine homeschooling in someone else’s house! Wow! I am transitioning into CM this year and must admit to be a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing. I am most likely trying to make it work too much, too fast! We did almost all living books last year and loved it! I am trying to find our way in this new venture. This is our 7th year of homeschooling and I always kid with my husband and say by the time the boys are in college I will have this down to a science 😉 I hope your year is a great one! When are you beginning?

  3. This is the first time I will be working from a set curriculum and I’m starting to bug out a bit. Especially since that curriculum was ordered weeks ago, but just shipped yesterday and I was hoping to start on Monday. That’s obviously not going to happen and I’m just going to have to deal with it. Sigh.

    • There must be some reason you aren’t supposed to start Monday. But I appreciate your frustration!
      You could still start but begin with a really good book and some messy painting. =) Blessings, Annie

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