One of the joys of homeschooling, as I’ve previously mentioned, is the flexibility to change things that don’t work.
I had come up with what I thought was an excellent organization system that allowed me to see what we needed to do for the year and schedule things in a way that would allow us to really get things done.
This system worked great in theory. In reality, it made us miserable on day one, and positively ready to kill by day two. So, two days into our school year, I scrapped the whole thing. Well, not the whole thing. Part of it actually does work – the part that shows me what needs to be taught/learned this year. That actually is helpful.
But the schedule part? Yeah, that bit the dust in a big way. I’ve gone with a more low key, simplified approach now, and we’ll see how that works out. We’re already planning some field trips, both with our homeschooling group and by ourselves. We’re looking into a few unique ways to go about learning some things, and after two days of no progress because we were fighting too hard to make progress, we’re now making progress without putting forth much real effort at all.
Homeschooling is not easy. Anyone who says it is is probably lying to you. But even at its hardest, it’s better than public school. In public school, I would have concluded things aren’t working, but I’d still be stuck going along with it because in public school, I have no say in how things get done. But with homeschooling, I know things aren’t working and I’m able to change it.
And it works for my kids. We had two days of frustration and now we’re getting back in the groove. My kids admit we had a couple of bad days, and now we’ve moved past them. There’s no lingering resentment or irritation. There’s no unwillingness to work because things went badly. They know, as do I, that when things don’t work the way we thought they would, we can change them. So there’s no reason to be angry.
Our new plan is time based rather than work based. What I’d been trying to do was schedule work for a day and we work until it’s done. But that took exponentially longer than I thought it would. So now, we will work on each subject for a specific amount of time. When that time is up, we move on, whether the work is done or not. We’ll continue working on that incomplete work the next day. I’m hoping that this will lead to less frustration for me, and less slacking for the kids. If they know they only have to work on something for, say, 20 minutes, maybe they’ll be more willing to work instead of trying to put it off because they don’t want to do it.
Let’s hope this plan sticks. 🙂