During the months of December and June, I hear it more than any other months of the year. The phrases that makes me want to politely say, "Please do not believe what I did for so long."
"I cannot take off from our regular school plans for enjoying Christmas activities because we will get behind"
"I cannot take off (for holiday breaks or summer) because we need to catch up."
I want to kindly ask, "Behind who?" OR "Catch up to who?"
I want to gently say "Homeschooling is not a race." You will not get behind nor do you have to live with guilt that you feel the need to catch up.
I can relate to these comments because I said the same things. I always felt like I was in a race. A race to the end of the school year. I wanted to finish the school year with a sense of accomplishment. I wanted to close the books knowing that we are well ahead of my original plans. I wanted my children to be making extraordinary progress that would be meticulously recorded in my gradebook.
But guess what? It NEVER happened after 15 years of homeschooling. Many times I had to repeat lessons that took much longer than I had planned. The curriculum did not get finished, and I applied the wonderful tip of using bookmarks. The grades were not as high as I expected. My beautiful book of lesson plans soon would have arrows scribbled throughout it. My list of annual goals had to be copied and pasted into the following year's goals. Life's unplanned
You can read this post to see what I've learned after 20 years of teaching and my current views on planning. In addition to that post, please be aware that curriculum companies provide more work than is needed. I never finished the complete curriculum when I taught in a classroom or at home. If your race is with your curriculum, learn to pick and choose what to use, and please do not attempt to cover it all or your race will be ongoing and you will be exhausted. Even races require pit stops to refuel. :o)
Why did I live with this mindset for so long? Now I can clearly see the enemy will do anything to rob my joy of homeschooling and parenting. He wanted me to live in bondage and feel guilty and like I was never doing enough to have me miss the real joy of just being home with my children.
I LOVE homeschooling and want others who have been led to do it to love it, too. My hope is for others to clearly see the enemy's traps to avoid the lies I believed for too long. I want home educators to look beyond the lesson plans, curriculum, and grades to see the abundant blessings. My desire is for parents to enjoy the journey rather than focus on the destination.
When you begin to embrace the journey- TRULY embrace the journey- the joy of homeschooling will be absolutely A.MA.ZING. You will begin to see the much larger picture and God's work in your homeschool day more than you ever have before.
I created this video for YOU. I hope it inspires you to take time during the holidays to catch your breath and enjoy homeschooling in a new, refreshing way (and to learn the value of bookmarks like I did.☺) Let me know what you think of it.
Enjoy the journey!
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.