I don't want to homeschool plan yet

I’m just not ready to start planning our homeschool for next year

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I don’t want to plan homeschool for next year. This will be my 11th year of homeschooling (well, 12th or 13th if you include the precocious early years with my oldest). Every other year, do you know where I’d be by now? By the beginning of May I would already have curriculum chosen for each child in each subject. I would have created a book list, and begun searching my local homeschool bookstore for used copies. I would be well on my way to creating our big-picture homeschool plan for the next school year.

Not this year.

Part of it is maybe a bit of burnout. This was a challenging year for me even before the current stay-at-home situation began. Now, we’ve exchanged our days driving from one child’s thing to another for mass coordinating of Zoom calls in various rooms.

It was also my first year officially homeschooling (in some capacity) 5 children from preschool to precalculus. Jumping from letter recognition to polar equations and back has made my brain tired.

I also don’t feel like homeschool planning right now because planning just feels so futile in our current circumstances. After all, look where planning got me this past year. In person classes I had chosen specifically because they were NOT online options have turned into online options after all. Facing all the unknowns of next year definitely is draining me of any desire to start planning.

If there’s one thing the past few months have clearly demonstrated to us it is that our plans are a bit of an illusion.

If our security is in how wonderful, well-thought-out, and organized our homeschool plan is? If our identity has been found in our own ability to craft an ideal homeschool course of study for our students?

Well, those idols have been revealed to be absolutely helpless to save us.

Of course, they were always helpless, even when we had color-coordinate charts and well-rounded lists and carefully-thought-out lesson plans. Nothing has changed, really, except our own point of view.

But where does that leave me when it comes to planning for next year? August will get here whether I feel like it or not. I’ll have a kindergartner, 3rd grader, 5th grader, 8th grader, and 10th grader. I don’t have the luxury of just avoiding this whole thing indefinitely.

But you know what? I do have time.

Just because I’ve always had it all figured out by now in the past doesn’t mean I have to have it all figured out now.

I’m not behind. I’m not doing anything wrong.

Neither are you.

Whether you’ve already laid out next year’s course of study or whether you just can’t even start thinking about it yet, it’s ok.

We have time.

We can take a few moments to give our brain and emotions some space.

We can brain dump and get the crazy out of our head and onto paper (or a screen).

We can acknowledge that it’s hard and weird.

We can even take a few days to watch dumb tv and emote over Voxer to our friends and go on long walks in the spring sunshine.

And in a few days (or weeks. or months) we can come back to the charts and the calendars.

We can start with the big picture and think of our goals and priorities.

We can take simple steps to set up next school year for success, even knowing that it may all look very different than we think it will.

If you’re feeling burned out, or discouraged, or overwhelmed, or unmotivated: you are not alone!

There are many of us right there in the trenches of this homeschool thing with you.

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Mama, if it were possible, I’d send you a giant mug of hot coffee (the mythical white stag of motherhood), a pound of dark chocolate, and tickets to see Hamilton. (but only if I get to come with you, k?) ✨You are doing an incredible job during this difficult time!✨ Consider this a virtual hug and a great, big high-five. I see you loving on your kids, persevering during incredible challenges, and reaching out in compassion to family and friends. You’re doing an awesome job. ⁣⁣❤️🎉❤️ ⁣⁣ Yes, if you’re like me, you’ve also probably messed up several times over the past few weeks. Hey, for that matter, maybe several times this morning alone. (Maybe that’s just me?) ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ But you know what? Our kids don’t need perfect Mamas. (Which is a good thing, because I’ve only been a perfect parent in my imagination.)⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ One of the guests I interviewed on a recent Homeschool Conversations episode expressed it so well: “Our children need to see us walk gracefully far more than they need to see us walk perfectly.” (Dr. George Grant)⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ I often tell my children than Mommy needs Jesus just like they do. The gift I want to give my children is not the illusion that Mom has it all together. Rather, I want them to know that our God is full of love and grace and a “strength made perfect in weakness.” And if there’s ever been a season that provides an opportunity for grace to shine through weakness? It’s this one.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Your “difficult” and mine? Our specific circumstances likely look very different. It’s a pretty wackadoodle time for everyone in some way right now, though, right?! I don’t know the nuances of your struggles. But I do know that there is Grace far bigger than our biggest difficulty: “When all around my soul gives way / He then is all my hope and stay.”⁣⁣ ❤️ ⁣⁣ So hugs and high fives to all you wonderful homeschooling Mamas, doing this difficult, impossible, beautiful thing alongside me. I’m thankful for you!⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ✨You’ll notice there are a lot of tagged faces in the image! Each of these special ladies is posting this same image, but with their own unique message. Make sure you head to each of their profiles to read all the encouragement!⁣✨

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More than that, there is One who never leaves or forsakes us whether we’re having a great time or are in the depths of despair.

Psalm 139 keeps coming to my mind this spring:

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

Let’s rest in that unshakable hope!

I not ready to start planning our homeschool for next year. What about you?


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10 thoughts on “I’m just not ready to start planning our homeschool for next year”

  1. Heather Russell

    Wow!! You realllllly nailed it with this blog! I am feeling All The Feels of this. Burnout but also a sense of calm that everything will come together. I have been spending more time with our Lord lately. And allowing a lot more grace for myself and our kiddos ❤️
    Thank you for being so real and encouraging all of us to feel “normal”.

  2. ❤️ This is good. This year is definitely different. I don’t even think I’ve fully processed all of my feelings about it but yes. Next year will come and all will be well. We will do what needs to be done even if it looks different than any other year.

  3. Check out Gather Round Homeschool. Unit study based,your entire family learns together! It has been a blessing for us and has allowed me to breathe.

  4. Thank you for your honesty! So here’s my honesty. I sat in the bathroom crying and praying that the Lord would let me know it’s okay if everything isn’t going to plan. It’s okay if we end early and it’s okay if next year isn’t already laid out. Like he always does he reminded me that even the best laid plans can’t even compare to His plans. Thank you for this post because it’s just more confirmation from the Lord that it’s going to be okay!

    1. Oh, Sarah, thank you for sharing this! Yes. God is so faithful to remind us that our hope is in Him, not in our own plans. He cannot deny Himself. ❤

  5. MaryBeth Myers

    Dear Amy, I get it! Thank you for always being so open & honest. I’ve enjoyed our first year of homeschooling & am thankful we chose to do it year round. I’m thankful I found a Christian workbook curriculum to break us in, BUT am SO excited to formulate a curriculum that we can ALL work together for next yr! I’ve planned, revised & decided to scrap what I planned & start fresh! Somedays I’m on fire & other days questioning if I should revamp my ideas. I know me & I’ll be ready ahead of schedule, but somedays I think there’s NOT enough caffeine in my coffee! Virtual hugs, MaryBeth Myers

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