I just bought a beautiful new planner.
It is new and shiny. Perfect chevrons stacked in beautiful colors.
None of the pages are bent yet. The cover is pristine. The pages are blank. The call of possibility is ringing in my ears.
But there is another voice muttering in my ears too..
Don’t mess this up! You don’t want to carry a planner around that is all bent and scratched and messed up! Make sure everything you are putting in there is just right.
As I think about this beautiful new planner, it is a metaphor for the beautiful new year ahead.
Planning the Year:
We all crave beauty and order. We want our lessons to stack up like a beautiful stone wall, building knowledge and strong minds in an orderly precise manner.
We tell ourselves that if we put the time into our planning the year will run smoothly and evenly and this beautiful house of learning will grow stone by stone.
Sometimes we run to the research and try to figure out the type of planning style that will work the best for our family. Loop planning, block planning, unschooling, unit studies all of a sudden all of the options are enough to make my head spin.
So we start with the big picture and soon it is clear that 1.) there needs to be more than 24 hours in a day or 2.) somebody needs to figure out that time machine because it is going to be necessary to start this school year two years ago to fit it all in.
Truth BOMB: Your year isn’t going to go 100% to plan.
Life is going to find you in all of its glorious chaos and maybe even its exquisite pain. Your planner is going to fall in the dirt. The pages are going to get bent and ripped. You’re going to fall behind and have to figure out how to get everyone back to some kind of learning again. Your kids are going to have very bad days. The kind of days where focus is impossible and the puppy is just too distracting. Days where everybody is grumpy and bickering and somehow the gloom threatens to overwhelm the sun.
But in the midst of all the messy parts of life beauty is going to shine forth as well. There are going to be cozy read alouds on the couch. A lightbulb is going to go on and change your child’s total learning trajectory for the positive in a single lesson.
There will be the days when your kids are kind to each other and help each other. Life in all its beauty and loveliness is gong to shine forth and from the edges of that torn dirty planner the sparkle is going to shine.
Because that is how life is, beautiful and excruciating, inspiring and tedious and completely wonderful.
And when you are a homeschooler, all of those parts of life are almost their own set of curriculum that is constantly running in the background, the real education that is bursting through our math lessons.
So let’s remember as we get ourselves together that the end goal isn’t wonderful planning or pristine planners, it is doing life with our kids. It is entering into the beauty and the mess. It is adjusting our expectations to the reality of where are kids are in any given moment. That is the beauty of homeschooling. All of this planning we are doing must serve us. We need to embrace the mess and learn and love together.
The joy of summer is that we get to enjoy our pristine planners and all the hope they bring! But let us plan to embrace that dirty tattered no worse for the wear planner too because that is where the imperfect magic of it all is found!
Check back on the blog later this week because I am going to share what each of my kid’s lesson plans look like. And it isn’t just the content that is different! And don’t be a stranger, come on over and join our imperfect Facebook party click here!