Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Old Year, New Year

We are coming up on the end of the school year.  At least, it feels that way.  However, if you look at a few of our school books, you might think it's only November.  (Okay, that's an exaggeration, but we are a bit behind where I would like to be.)  I suppose that's normal.  I am homeschooling my children after all - and it's not always in textbooks that I find lessons for my children to learn.  

It's spring and beautiful and I want to do something other than stay inside!  I want to go to the park.  I want to have picnic lunches on a mountain and read about the artists we are studying.  I want to go geocaching.  I want to go camping and teach my daughters to build a fire and have my son show me how to build a shelter with sticks and leaves.  And, sometimes, the schoolbooks are left behind.

So, April is here and time to catch up.  It's time for me to peruse the textbooks and decide what we need to get through and what we can live without.  While I school year-round, there comes a time when I say, " Enough is enough," and I put the old books away.

The only thing that gets me through the stress of the springtime catch-up and the end of another school year is planning for the next year.  I order books.  I excitedly open the boxes when they are delivered.  I proudly show my kids their new books - to which the older kids groan and run away and the younger kids look through the books with me and ask when they can get started.  I plan for the following year.

I plan for the following year meticulously.  I know what I want to teach and when.  I build in holidays and field trips.  I include movies and experiments and projects.  I draft my own music and artist studies.  I create Excel spreadsheets and calendars.  I have my plans spiral bound at the local office supply store.  And by early October of that new school year, my plans are shot because life and fun and adventure happened!  I still have my plan, but it's only a dream by Christmas.

Every time I plan, I always say that next year will be different.  It never is, but I still plan, and we still get behind.  Why?  It is because I homeschool and homeschooling isn't always about the textbooks!