We began this past school year in early August. I printed off calendar pages and marked in our school days to 180. I planned for our breaks around holidays and family visits. By all calculations, we would be finished in early to mid-May.
Now it’s mid-May, and I’m looking again at the number of school days we have left – more than a few. I’m also looking at the amount of work we still need to finish – also quite a bit. So what happened? To paraphrase John Steinbeck, the best-laid plans of this homeschool mom often go awry.
Each year, I plan out our school days, and each year, life always alters those plans. This year we had some health issues, family issues, and financial issues to deal with, all of which didn’t work into my scheduled days. So, once again, we’ll be schooling into the summer in order to be ready for the next school year in the fall.
But that’s one of the advantages of homeschooling. Life brings challenges to everyone, but when you’re homeschooling, you have the time to step back from the studies and work them out. If you’re child has a behavioral problem, you can cut back on the math assignments and deal with it. If a struggling friend needs someone to talk with, you can delay the history lesson for a day. If a family member is facing a health crisis and needs extra help, you can pack up the kids and the schoolbooks and lend a hand.
I know I’m easily distracted by minor things that come up, and I need to be diligent in helping the children get their schoolwork done. But as a homeschooler, I can also feel the freedom to take care of bigger problems when I need to, knowing that there’s always the summer to catch up. I just have to convince my children that year-round schooling isn’t so bad.