Do you feel that if you’re not following lesson plans to the letter that you’ve failed as a Homeschool Mama? I’ve only officially homeschooled (not counting the preschool days) for seven years. I’m a perfectionist and following the Teacher’s Manual (TM) to the letter gives me comfort and warm fuzzies. So when I can’t stay on track, I panic and feel sick in my head. Thankfully I have a great hubby who prevents me from throwing out the baby with the bath water.
I’ve received a flurry of e-mails and messages from other concerned homeschool mamas because they’re behind. Most are due to legitimate reasons, such as illness, family emergencies, moving, etc. Some admit that it’s December, and they haven’t even started their year! One told me that they didn’t start until January and wondered if she should enroll her children in school.
So, here’s a confession of mine:
A couple of years ago, we were only in Week 3 of Creation to Greeks in December! Yep! Math and Language Arts were right on schedule, but we were incredibly behind, based on the teacher’s manual.
BUT, I had a little discovery.
I’m a fan of My Father’s World curriculum. We’ve used it for years and think it’s a great mix of worksheets, notebooking, and living books while combining Charlotte Mason ideals with Classical Education.
I had a revelation!
While we were on schedule for Math and Language Arts, we weren’t completing history and science according to the schedule. Instead, we were enjoying lots of reading and discussion time with my husband in the evenings, and I realized that the children were learning. Sometimes we simply read the Bible and enjoyed the books from Book Basket, while other times we had discussions in the van on our way to speech or OT.
Many moms have figured this out way before I did, but learning seems to have more depth when it happens organically. By weaving and incorporating topics into our discussions throughout our day, my children retained more knowledge vs. trying to confine our school day to a block of time in which my aim is to check off boxes.
Instead of worrying about completing the material by mid-April or the end of May, why stop there? Learning happens year round and isn’t limited to the confines of a teacher’s manual or a calendar.
If a TM is making you feel behind or if you’re getting a late start to your school year, just start where you are and GO!
Mother and teach your little ones, and inspire them to love learning.
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