Planning to NOT fail

Last year was a bit of a doozy in our little homeschool and it's only in the past couple of weeks that I've figured out what went wrong.

I was trying to juggle the demands of family, homeschooling, activities outside the home, volunteer roles and a growing home business and so I assumed that there was simply too much for me to do on my own. This lead to exhaustion and a definite lack of hope - how could I get through everything that needed to be done?

Towards Christmas and in the holidays afterwards it started to dawn on me. Each day would start with that overwhelmed feeling, knowing I would be chasing my tail until I fell into bed that night. You would think after 12 years of doing this, I would have systems in place, but life is ever changing as people grow and every year is different to the last. I started thinking - does it have to be this way? What positive changes could I make to avoid another year in this state?

Well, a few years ago, I decided that I hated planning. I felt that if I spent the best part of my day educating the children, why should I spend my precious evenings planning for the next day? So I did away with all planning and I think that is where things started to go wrong, though at the time I felt I was freeing myself of a great burden. I think also over this time period, the kids, whether consciously or sub consciously, began to lost confidence in me. And I definitely began to lose confidence in me!

But now I was ready to give planning another try - not in the way that I used to. At the start of this year, I bought a planner from Homeschooling Downunder and printed out the pages I felt would be relevant. I bought colour coded folders and boxes for each child. 

I sat down, mostly amongst the noise and interruptions that come with having your children with you 24/7 and I spent hours writing lists and schedules. I didn't like doing it. I would much rather have been weaving! But now, as our homeschool year has begun, I am already seeing the fruits of having a solid plan.

The kids have learned how to find their own schedules in my planning folder so they know what is expected of them. This worked perfectly yesterday morning when I had to sit in a medical waiting room for 2 hours. Under the supervision of their older brother, my 2 middle children worked independently, while I had the youngest child with me doing our current read aloud.

There is a new jobs roster too - ensuring that everyone pitches in to help because it is written down and followed. I've scheduled morning tea teams, which I'm hoping will lead to lunch teams and eventually dinner teams - lessening the time that I need to spend in the kitchen each day and teaching the children to work together responsibly in food preparation and clean up. 

I do a quick 10 minute prep each night to ensure I have materials ready for any experiments or activities the next day. I'm finding that the children thrive on this organised schedule and they even admit that the day goes more smoothly when they get up early and are at the table ready to go. I've also decided against some activities outside the home this year - our home is our hub and should be treated with love and respect!

Is it perfect? No way, nothing ever is! I still have very full days, I still have to deal with poor attitudes sometimes, I still don't love planning! But, there does seem to be more time in the afternoons for me to focus on my weaving and business and the children are much happier with a set routine. So, for now, this is how we roll.

I wish you all the very best in your homeschool this year, may it bring you many blessings and much joy!


Vicky said...

Hi Kelly, Planning works best for our family, too. Because I prefer planning to record-keeping, I make plans that double up as records and it frees me from future paperwork. Another thing that''s made our days much more peaceful has been audiobooks. We have them for all different subjects and we listen to them while we're doing hobbies or writing together. Congratulations on the success of your business! I imagine that you must have a very creative home. God bless, Vicky

Simone said...

Kel, you do an amazing job. You both are raising wonderful children and you always appear very calm and happy. I'm pleased you're already feeling good about your start to the school year. Well done and may God bless all of you this year. I pray your business will flourish too. Yes, you certainly are a very creative family ☺️❤️ xx

Susan Baker said...

Kelly, these are great ideas. Homeschooling moms around the world are always looking for encouragement and time saving ideas. I homeschooled my three until they graduated and began college, so I know exactly what you are going through! May the Lord encourage you and multiply your efforts. What you are doing is so important!!

Kelly Casanova said...

Lovely to hear from you Vicky, all the best with your homeschooling year!

Kelly Casanova said...

Thank you for the kind words Simone, God bless you and your family this year.

Kelly Casanova said...

Thank you for your words on encouragement Susan, God bless you!

Luke said...

Wow. You've got more ambition than any seven people I know. (And, I know some incredibly ambitious folks!)

This is a bit off-topic here but I wonder if you'd have time to take a look at some pictures of an old floor loom that I found and perhaps share your opinion about whether the thing is salvageable? I know nothing about looms except for the information you posted on YouTube. But, I'd sure hate to see this thing demolished along with the building it's in. Thanks for any education:-)

Kelly Casanova said...

Thank you Luke :)
Sure, I'd be happy to take a look at the pictures, are you on Facebook - you could message me on my fan page?

Make do and make a start

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