When we started school at the beginning of August, I had the awesome idea to create themes for each month. The first month was going to be an “all about me” theme. I thought this would be perfect for getting back into the groove of a normal school day for us.
It didn’t work.
I completely underestimated getting back into a routine with the kids. Although we school all year long, in the summer we definitely are much more relaxed with what we are doing. To get back into the normal routine of all the subjects takes a little while.
I also underestimated the challenges that Lucy’s changing nap schedule would give us.
My entire idea of a monthly theme for August went completely out the window.
This weekend I sat down to evaluate how our school year has started off. I think that it has been going really well. We have been easing into it, definitely, which is part of the reason I school all year. That means that we can take our time getting into new subjects, and taking time when we need to in order to regroup.
Our first month has been going really well. The kids have been working diligently for the most part. I realize that it is going to take me a little bit longer to get school done during the day than I originally thought, not because the kids are not concentrating, but because I have two kids in two different grade levels and one little baby who has decided this month to not go down for her normal 9:30 am nap.
With regards to our themes, I definitely put that on the back burner this month. When we started, and I realized how much I had planned to do each day, I realized something needed to go. Projects were it.
However, now that we are more or less into our school groove, I plan to put them back on the schedule.
September’s theme is going to be Apples.
Part of what I love about homeschooling is the ability to change course when I need to. If we don’t like a book, I can put it down and look for something new, if a writing program isn’t working, I can change it. If I have too much in our day, I can cut some of it, or rearrange for it to fit better.
I am not completely giving up on the monthly themes, but if there is a month that seems overflowing, or something else has come up, I am not afraid to put it on the back burner.
Some other homeschool fails I have had this past month:
- Not taking first day of school pictures – we will be doing that today!
- Letting the kids take their school markers up to their rooms, never to be seen again.
- Not having a consistent start time for school – I blame that on the baby who has completely changed her nap schedule every week for the past month.
- Not involving the kids in chores because I just want to get them done as quickly as possible.
This has been my last month. It hasn’t been bad, not by any means, but it hasn’t gone exactly as I had laid it out in my mind.
I’m here to let you know that that is OK! If something isn’t working, all you need to do is change course. This isn’t only for homeschoolers, this is for anybody, and can work for any situation.
If what you are doing, or what you have planned, is not working, all you need to do is change course. Make one small change, make one large change, but do not keep going with the plan simply because it is the plan.
While my first month of homeschooling has been a little different than what I had expected, it has still been amazing. I have seen Emma excel at her reading and become more confident in her math facts. I have seen Jack fly through his first readers, constantly trying to catch up to what his big sister is doing. I have seen the excitement when I put on the timer and challenge them to do as many math facts in 10 minutes as they can. I have enjoyed Jack turning to Yoga when he is having a hard time, to help him sit and concentrate and relieve some stress. And one great thing that I have seen is Jack and Emma taking turns with their old flashcards and trying to “teach” Lucy different shapes and colors while she tries to eat the flash cards.
Overall, it has been an amazing, challenging, inspiring, first month of homeschooling! I can’t wait to see what this month brings!
What do you do when your plan is not working? Do you resist or try to change course?
I love your theme idea. I'm a theme person, too. I think a lot of moms can relate to having great plans in our heads and then life happens. Changing course is great advice.
Thank you for linking up with us on the Hip Homeschool Hop! I chose this article to be one of our featured favorites for next week's Hop (on 9/8). 🙂 It's so nice to read someone's honest, real experiences! So many of us feel like we can only blog about what's going well, but often other homeschoolers need to know that all of us mess up at times. Things don't always go as planned. But, as you pointed out, we can still have a successful school year in spite of the things that go wrong!
I understand. We never seem to be able to get to all the items on our summer bucket list. And I had all these plans to get the boys doing some volunteer work this summer that never panned out. BUT we did some other things that were fun that we hadn't planned on. So I think the bottom line is that it all balances out in the end, and if one thing doesn't work out don't sweat it. Especially with a new baby – you got plenty of reasons to modify as needed!