Thursday, August 4, 2011

Overambitious, Plan, Quit: The ABC's of Homeschooling Where I Play Catch Up and Encourage You to Quit.




I am a few weeks behind in my ABC's of Homeschooling challenge, so I thought I'd just throw O, P, and Q together today and get caught up.  Yeah, I know. I cheat. Don't tell my kids.


O: Overambitious

There is so much great stuff out there for homeschoolers that we can't possibly do it all, no matter how much we may try. My typical M.O. is to schedule way too many things for the year and then feel like a failure when we can't accomplish it all. I'm trying to take my own advice this coming year and schedule realistically, but I've had to stop my self numerous times when I wanted to add in this book or that curriculum. We'll have review items added in to our regularly scheduled program and I need to be sure I am not overambitious or else I will soon become that other "O" word- overwhelmed.

Make your choices and then enjoy them without looking over your shoulder at everything else and wondering if it's better.



P: Plan

There are various ways to plan out your year and we've tried and enjoyed many.  Who says you have to do every subject every day?  You're home educating! You can be flexible, you can be creative, you can make it fit your plans for the year! 

We've had years where we chose different unit studies throughout the year, focusing on history one time, science the next. We've also tried (and loved!) block scheduling. With block scheduling you focus on a different subject each month, dig in deep, and then move on. September may be history, then October would be fine arts. November could be writing and literature. You get the idea.  This is one of my favorite ways to plan but it's not a good fit this year. This year we're going to try varying which subject we study on which day. I haven't actually planned this out yet but it's on the To Do list for this month.



Q: Quit

That's right. I'm telling you to quit. Quit comparing yourself to everyone else for starters. That's a big one for me. I have a friend who lives and breathes The Well Trained Mind. I skimmed through the book and quickly put it back before the men in white coats showed up to take me away. I can easily convince myself to give up homeschooling when I compare myself to my friend.  But that's not the kind of quitting I think we should do. 

We should also feel free to quit something when it's not working.  Oh, I know we payed good money for that program or three of our closest friends rave about it or it worked perfectly for child number one.  Forget all that and if you've given it your best and you know it's not a fit for your family or for this particular student- quit. Try something new.  It's okay, it happens. That's why we can be thankful we're blessed with so many resources out there. put the book down, shelve the curriculum, sign off the web page.  It's okay to admit it's not working. It's okay to quit.
Quitting is not always a bad word. We definitely need to quit comparing ourselves, we need to quit when something just isn't working, and we when we end up being overambitious and overwhelmed, we need to let some things go. 

So you, yeah you looking at your friend's plans and wondering if you should add in a few more math programs on top of the three you already have going?  QUIT IT.

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