Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Planning for Predictable Homeschool Cycles

So every year I kind of go through this ritual of planning, charting, organizing, pondering, trying to search out every possibility to find the perfect schedule and lesson planning that will work for our family.

I become a little more realistic each year in regards to what I can do in one day and what the kids can do in one day.

Have I ever mentioned I hate predictable patterns? I mean, I hate that I predictably year after year start with gung-ho excitement with hourly subject schedules, decorated "bulletin boards," and a stocked "Treasure Box."

Then predictably sometime around Thanksgiving, I get down to the bare necessities of homeschool settling into a routine that quickly accomplishes the needed math, reading, and grammar lessons for the day while the "fun" stuff fades a bit. The "bulletin board" has changed but doesn't look nearly as attended to and the kids could care less about cashing in points for the dwindling treasures.

Come mid-February, I predictably find myself cramming to catch up before the end of the year, regrouping a bit making adjustment to the bulletin board and reward system and wanting to get outside as soon as warm weather arrives again.

Summer comes and I throw all schedules aside and move into much desired chaos (weird, I know). No worries, I find I can't function for long without some direction and we settle into a hurried summer of getting out the door as quick as we can since all school year we are confined more to our school at the kitchen table.

Now, by the end of summer we are all exhausted and ready to slow down, lazy around, and plan for our future (well maybe that part is just me). So that is where we are right now.

I am REALLY enjoying the last few days of sitting with coffee, reading my Bible, checking email, and doing the first set of chores in my pj's (sorry Flylady). The kids are REALLY enjoying sleeping until they want, breezing through their chores, and following me around the house or messing around on the computer while I dive into some serious decluttering.

And this, my friends, is a perfect transition for us to begin this year's Homeschool Cycle.

Of course, I tweak and plan and tweak some more, trying to somehow avoid the dreaded cycle. I must say, I succeed a little more each year. Perhaps that comes with putting less demands on myself and the kids. I guess with a few years under my belt I am starting to have a "knowing" about what will work and what will not. Letting the expectations down REALLY is good for reducing stress AND having a good school year. But I'm prepared just in case!

How about ya'll? Do you have a Predictable Homeschool Cycle? Please tell me I'm not alone!

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