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 schedule. Donna 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?