Tuesday, November 1, 2011

When Good Planning Goes Bad

When we decided to homeschool, I did a lot of research on planning and organization. I would love to live in an organized house, but I lack the follow-through to really make a success of many organizing projects. I knew my time would be limited, what with teaching a kindergartener and wrangling a toddler at the same time. I decided to devote a week (which turned into two) to plan out the entire year, make library lists, tear apart workbooks, and file all papers into weekly folders. It took hours and hours of work, but at the end of it I felt confident that we were well prepared for our school year.

Well.

The major flaw in the plan was that it didn't allow much wiggle-room for unexpected things. Because history, Bible, copywork and unit studies were all coordinated with holidays and seasons and trips, it wouldn't take much to upset the balance of things. (The math curriculum is pretty forgiving; with 160 lessons spread over 180 days of school, we have quite a bit of flexibility.) I was so careful in my lesson planning. Things would overlap beautifully, creating a perfect opportunity for maximum learning and retention.

Well.

Then we started working on some projects.
Then we got behind on those projects.
Then the kids got sick.
Then I had a two-week headache. (Ouch.)
Then we had family visiting.
Then I got sick.

Which brings us up to date. Because my beautiful, intricately-woven schedule didn't allow for flexibility, I had to make some major changes. I reworked all of our lesson plans for November, and we will be caught up by Thanksgiving. We'll have to double up here and there, but we will still focus on the important things and enjoy ourselves.

Today we learned about the Middle Kingdom of Egypt, were introduced to subtraction, and practiced handwriting. After Wendy takes a much-needed nap, we'll work on reading. We're going to keep plugging along, day by day, and we will make it work!

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