i stare vacantly at my glowing computer screen scrolling through pages and pages of children’s books on amazon. brilliantly illustrated picture books fly up the screen. pause. click. add to cart. meatier, yet still beautiful, chapter books whiz by. pause. another click. add to cart. as if we need more books, honestly (shakes head at self). the belly of my amazon cart bulges, as if its about to give birth to its book baby at any given moment; it’s then that
the book police lover strolls into the room and asks what i’m doing. i reply simply that he would rather not know.
seriously lover, walk away.
in classic me-style, it’s three weeks into our school year, and i’m ready to throw out the curriculum and start from scratch. i’m hunting and pecking through teaching methods and homeschool methods and learning styles in a lame attempt to find a new way of doing things (cue amazon prime). a way that feels more “us”…
i shouldn’t be surprised. i’ve done this every year since we started homeschooling. what i should be surprised about is the how – how i continually reach this point. surprised that i have yet to learn from my mistakes. surprised that i keep stumbling over the same block i do every year.
some might call it, “comparison.” another, “fitting in.” and yet another, “conforming to preconceived notions.”
like most of you, i attended public school growing up. i have a well formed idea in my head of what school “should” look like. how it “should” be done. structured. organized. meticulous. running like a well oiled machine. let’s not even mention the fact that our world constantly barrages us with silly connotations about how having organized homes and organized lives and schedules will make our happiness meter shoot through the roof.
despite my very, very good intentions of how i’d like our homeschool to look (hint : it’s NOT like the school i described above). i still manage to stumble into this trap every. single. year. i watch podcasts on fail proof ways to plan your school year, read blogs about how to get organized, consume books on how to create structure, and relentlessly quiz fellow homeschoolers about their methods and strategies for homeschool bliss.
and then i plan. and i organize. and i make a schedule.
and i feel all good about it.
and everything works great…for a little while.
and herein lies the problem.
i literally can last 2-3 weeks on a schedule until the monotony of the rhythm nearly kills me. i get bored (what must my kids feel like?!) i begin to delineate from the schedule (gasp). i skip days (double gasp).
and then? i get stressed out. because now, i’m off the schedule i worked so diligently to create. the items we “had” to get done, sit…undone. in the happy land of type A personalities, i’m a failure.
and friends? do you want to know something? do you want to know my strategy when all this fails?
i wing it.
i go against every podcast ever created on homeschool planning (or any kind of planning for that matter). i do the opposite of every piece of blog advice i’d ever read on how to “do school.”
i have a homeschool revolution.
and friends? i kid you not.
these are our best days.
the days where i wing it. where i listen to my heart (aka God) and let it (Him) lead us; the days where learning happens sometimes without anyone knowing its even happening at all; the days where i let my personality (unstructured, random, spontaneous, creative) take over and shove structure, organization and schedule to the side – those are the best days.
i don’t want you falling into this same nasty trap, don’t want you trying to fit yourself into a mold that you just don’t fit into. so whatever it is you’re doing, be it homeschool, or running a business, or WHATEVER, ignore the way everyone else is doing it, and do it the way YOU do it best.
not the way sally down the street does it because her checklist just “saves her sanity.”
not the way darla in new jersey does it because having everything in its perfect place makes things run like a clock for her (so therefore, it MUST have the same affect for you).
and not the way mary’s routine just keeps her and her kids at peace and on the same page.
don’t do it like any of them.
do it like YOU.
God made you the way you are so you can flourish that way.
maybe you do flourish with a schedule and a checklist. get it girl.
or maybe you are more like me and prefer to roll with the punches. gimme some skin.
or maybe you’re something altogether different and completely wonderful and beautiful. raise the roof friend.
whatever you are. however you flourish.
embrace it. roll with it. own it.
you and your kids will be so much more joyful because of it.
that’s a promise.