If you read Well Planned Day: Yes, It’s Possible! Part 1, you saw the first four tips that have helped me match paper planning to the realities of life. Read on to see how my years of homeschooling have taught me to move from the big picture of scheduling to the next step of daily planning.
More Tips for Success
The first few tips I shared were about making sure your schedule truly matches your life right now. But, what happens when you get into the day-to-day routine?
5. Finding Your Rhythm
Earlier, I mentioned making a copy of the Teacher Schedule Worksheet. As you work through the first week or so of schooling, you will begin finding what works and what doesn’t. You may go through multiple revisions, but eventually, you will establish a routine that will allow you and your children to flourish.
Speaking of routines, I should also mention that though there are popular books on keeping stern schedules. For your own health, as well as the health of your family, it’s much better to find a rhythm that works than a strict schedule that screams failure with every tick of the clock!
6. Plan Ahead or Record As You Go
With a rhythm in place, it’s time to plan! Each mom plans differently. Some moms like to plan a full year ahead while others find more comfort in planning one day at a time. I typically suggest that a week of planning (in pencil!) allows for “life” to interfere without throwing of a year’s worth of plans.
When life throws you a curve ball and planning, let alone homeschooling, is the last thing you are thinking of, be encouraged! Your children will not grow up uneducated. Get through as much school as you can and record what you complete each day. This can help you both retain normalcy and identify whether or not you are getting the job done.
Your planner should be a tool that encourages you as you see the success of all that you have accomplished with your kids, as well as an accountability partner when poor choices prevent you from achieving your priorities.
7. Have You Had a Break Today?
We are mothers who have dedicated ourselves to additional hours each day and the responsibility of our children’s education. This is no small task and requires that we stay “fit” for the job. Taking time for yourself each day needs to become just as important as teaching math. It only takes twenty minutes to read a few chapters of a book (avoid those romance novels, challenge your mind!), read the latest issue of Family Magazine, take a walk, or sit with a warm beverage and rest.
8. Tomorrow is Always Fresh
As a mother of three girls, we watched Anne of Green Gables more times that I can count, and one phrase that I remember vividly is, “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes.” You can count on times when school just doesn’t go well and you question whether you should even be homeschooling. This is when you pull out your trusty Anne of Green Gables quote.
Being a mother is not for the faint of heart; it requires strong self talk. Lying in bed early in the morning after one of “those” days requires that we speak to ourselves sternly and remind ourselves that today is a new day and we need to try again!
It’s interesting how we typically choose to “start over” on Monday. But whether it’s Wednesday or Friday, tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes. Try again! You’ll be glad you did.
9. Enjoy the Journey
Over the years, I have learned a great deal about priorities. Yes, math is very important, and these kids need to know how to read. However, the most important part of homeschooling is not that we have all our assignments checked off or that we took as many field trips as possible, but that, at the end of it all, we have earned our children’s respect and love through our dedication to developing a relationship with them and nurturing them to love learning.
Kids grow into adults way too fast. Remember to enjoy the journey of homeschooling, as it’s only a small part of the bigger relationship you are building.
10. Remember the Sovereignty of God
The sovereignty of God is the biblical teaching that all things are under God’s rule and control and that nothing happens without his direction or permission. Although this is number ten on the list, it’s the one item that must be remembered at every stage of schooling and life! When setting goals and making plans, remember that God has his own set of plans that he has intended for his glory.
Evaluating success is not based on completing every page in your science book, having a child compete in a national competition, or graduating a child to an ivy league college. Success is not determined by having our child follow in the faith or staying married for fifty years. Success, according to God’s standards, is bringing glory to our Lord every step along this road called life.