My friend Faith (that shall be her internet name) and I took the challenge this year to plan our homeschool year in advance. What we did not want for ourselves or our children is a mother who is burnt out and tired before November. We spent days planning and outlining what we wanted to do for the school year. We prayerfully made daily and monthly schedules to share with each other. It was wonderful and energizing but most importantly flaw revealing.
First where were we on the schedule? What are we going to learn this year? When are we taking care of ourselves? What are our goals? I am not speaking of the vague "going to get in shape" goal. We are looking for scheduled self care time and learning opportunities outside of home education. What new skill will you have at the end of the year?
I challenge you look over your photos from last school year. How many times are you actually in the picture? How many events are there where it is just you and your friends? Homeschool conference only counts as a half a point. :-) If you are in the photos only with your children and less than 20% of the time maybe it is time to schedule so "me" time.
Secondly there was way too much outside activities going on and not enough education time. I know sounds really strange coming from the women who was freaking out earlier this year about her only child not being around other children, but it is true there was very little time for quality schooling on the schedule.
Take a look at the schedule before adjustments. All the green areas are home education blocks. If you look at my curriculum plan for 2010 they don't seem to match up right?
How in the world was I going to do all of that learning with less than 8 hours a week with a real life child with emotions, meltdowns, good days and bad days? Plus we all know how much learning actually happens after you leave the house for the day, none. Because you are tired (If you have ever driven on the beltway in DC you understand this.), the kid is drained and oh that little aliment called "Do I have to?" kicks in after lunch.
Finally we realized that we had planned out days excluding our husbands. Where is Dad in the schedule? What is he doing? How can we include him in our day?
So as we gear up for another year I am looking at the whole home while planning not just the school. It may mean school starts a little bit later this year but it will mean a more focused year.