Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Homeschooling Essentials - Flexibility

Yesterday I talked about the importance of planning.  Of course, there is nothing more frustrating then spending hours planning something only to find out in practice that it didn't go at all as you planned!  Homeschooling happens in the midst of real life and therefore we have to expect that the unexpected will happen!

My mother got very ill last year.  She was hospitalized with congestive heart failure and it took her several weeks to recover enough just to get back to doing her daily tasks.  After that she suffered a mini stroke.  Believe me, taking her to the hospital and for testing were not in my "plans."  I improvised as best I could.  I took a back pack full of school activities and did them at the hospital with Gess.  When mom had an exploratory surgery, we did lessons in the waiting room.


Even packing all those books around with us, I didn't get everything done I wanted to do that week.  Sometimes that is OK.  Having put two boys through public school I can assure you they never completed a text book either.  There were days they watched movies and days they played more.  No where, not even in a brick and mortar school does everything go as planned.

Sometimes we don't get through our lessons because Gess isn't grasping the material as quickly as I planned.  That is OK too.  The best part of homeschooling is that you can stay on a topic until your child masters it.  It is better staying for awhile on something even though you didn't "plan" to take that long than it is to move on and have your child struggle because they completely missed the concept. 

Flexibility is important in life, not just school.  I heard one Christian author say our biggest source of doubt, fear and failure are due to 2 things.  Unrealistic expectations and misplaced dependency.  When we expect school to always be perfect, we are going to be disappointed.  When we rely on our planning and our own personal power to teach, we are going to be let down.  Place your reliance on God and allow that things don't always go as planned.

There is one trick that I have used to help me personally "feel better" when I can't get everything in during school due to being pulled away by other important needs like my mom's health.  I have decided that paying for an online curriculum is a great back up to have.  If Gess can go and do a few lessons in language arts and math then at least I know she got some core work done for the day.  Even if it wasn't planned!

Tomorrow I will share about the importance of classroom setup.  In the meantime be sure to check out these other  5 Days of Homeschooling Essentials blogs.

Heather @ Thrift Schooling

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4 comments:

TC Harris said...

Such a great post, having flexibility in our homeschooling journey is essential to our sanity and honestly, once you have a little bit of it, you find that your journey can be so much more enriched by the things that you make room for.

Laurie Messer said...

This was a very encouraging post! I love what you said, "Place your reliance on God and allow that things don't always go as planned." I need to print this and hang it up in our homeschool room. Sharing this as part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog share task. :)

Meg Falciani said...

I agree- it's so hard to watch your lesson plan fall by the wayside. I've had to learn how to be more flexible around appointments - sometimes it's something as simple as a traffic jam on the way home from weekly PT appointments that throws us and I just have had to learn to roll with it.

Tess said...

Flexibility is essential! Great topic. We've had to learn to be so flexible with my daughter's special needs and then my husband's heart attack last summer. Great reminder.

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