Not Getting It All Done

Sir John Gilbert's 1849 painting: The Plays of...

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No matter what curriculum I use,

or how well I plan,

or how carefully we keep to our schedule,

when I look back over my planners, I notice that some of our extra subjects fell to the wayside or were not thoroughly or regularly covered.

Not the IMPORTANT stuff.  (Remember, I wrote about how to recover from disruptions?)

It’s those little extras.  The full program.

It is not a secret confession.  I’ve admitted once before that we never did formal phys ed … for a whole year!

But, when you intentionally schedule the minor subjects and electives …

much more can be done.

What do we do this year that we sometimes did not cover in previous years?

Memorizing Scriptures

Poetry

Hymn Studies

Famous Artists and Composer Studies

Nature Studies

Time line and Book of Centuries

Sewing and Needlework

What do I still want to do more regularly?

Public Speaking and Debating

Typing and Keyboard Skills

Physical Ed (yes… well … no.  This is still not happening…)

or Charlotte Mason’s recommended Swedish Drill (which I downloaded and tried …a good idea, but not great …yet?)

Brain Gym and Thinking/ Logic Skills

Field Trips (if only …)

Shakespeare (I keep meaning to add this.)

Here’s what I’m telling myself:

  1. Pray and ask the Lord to show me what He wants me to teach and do.
  2. You’re NOT supposed to do it all.  It’s IMPOSSIBLE.  period.
  3. Seasons, Nadene, homeschooling is all about seasons.  Ages and stages decide everything.
  4. Focus and add just 1 extra subject this week/month/or term.
  5. Don’t compare yourself with other moms/blogs/friends/ curriculum packages (yes, even Ambleside online.)
  6. Focus on realistic goals.
  7. Your children are young.  There is plenty of time.  Years ahead to still try to cover other stuff.
  8. Enjoy what works for you and the kids. Let them grow up loving art/or classic music/or poetry/ or whatever.  Build on what makes your family buzz.
  9. In the end, does it really matter?  Isn’t homeschooling cultivating a lifetime of learning?  A young child will not miss Shakespeare, but a high schooler can read and really enjoy his works.  And any adult can read his plays with great enthusiasm.
  10. Find others who can help teach this for you.  Another homeschool family may flow in areas you cannot.  Drink from their fountain of ability and gifting.

I wrote this post without anxiety or fear.  I wrote it because I reviewed my previous term’s plans and updated my records and plans for the new term.  I noticed that some subjects needed to be properly scheduled or we would not do them.

And I share this post to encourage some of you who may feel uncertain or discouraged.  You may also be asking yourself, “Are you doing enough?“.

Homeschooling is a rich and wonderful journey.  Just like an overseas trip, you will never ‘see’ it all.  As long as you all build memories that will last forever, it does not matter if you didn’t get the full package.

Blessings,

21 thoughts on “Not Getting It All Done

  1. Nadene,

    I always enjoy your honesty and candor. It’s so true that we just can’t cover it all. Two of my four children are in college and I see so many things that I would love to have covered with them. I’ll try to do better with my other two : )

    I love your idea of asking the Lord what He wants me to teach and do. Of course, my fear is that His plan will differ from mine😛 I believe that I will pray first that I will follow His plan before asking what it is : )

    As always, thank you for sharing with us. You are a blessing.
    Dana in Maryland

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  2. Yes, Nadene. That’s so true! There are so many more things that we could do but there is only so much time in one day. I always feel that if I’ve covered my bases like English and Math, the rest we can make up at another time. It’s also so true that every family is different. I used to look at other homeschooling Moms and feel quite inferior to their schedules. We all have different interests. My kids yawn continually when I teach them history of art yet come alive with science experiment. I purposely don’t concentrate on what other Moms do in their day because ours is so different. I also used to worry about our very casual sports schedule. We do ‘sport’ twice a week but it’s always quite casual. The kids ride their bicycles for about half an hour on the road and then we hit a golf ball, play hockey, soccer or rugby. My children love obstacle courses which involve climbing trees, jumping over beacons and running around the windy dryer. We even had a hula hoop session which they loved – they were so creative and found many different ways to move around with a hula hoop.
    The best thing is to do what works for you with God’s direction.

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  3. This was so encouraging. I’m about to start my 21st year of homeschooling but my son (the last of my children) is only starting 4th grade. I have 9 years to get to it all. My older children are self educating them selves now. Some are studying the things we never got around to and some are continuing with things we began at home. Mostly, they’re doing a mixture of both beginning and continuing. Homeschooling gave them the time and encouragement to do what interested them.
    Sandy in FL

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  4. Thank you so much for the encouragement! I have felt the same way over the past several years. I love the things you are telling yourself…I’m going to say some of those same things to myself.

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  5. Love your 10 things you are saying to yourself. I have been doing similar evaluations. I have lamented the lack of PE, and not just for my daughter. My exercise routine was completely waylaid when I made this decision to homeschool. The clothes are getting tight! We didn’t get to everything either, and I’m looking at next year and knowing we won’t get to everything next year either – but your focus on Seasons! That is so true! Thanks again for very timely encouragement and practical perspective!

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  6. Nadene ~

    I always come away from reading your posts feeling very peaceful and less anxious about our homeschool journey, so thank you for that. I love what you say about adding a new subject per week/term, etc… I think we will start slow this year and add things until we get into a good rhythm – one that is dictated by my children.

    Thanks for your always wise advice!

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  7. Thank you! I was just reviewing my plans for the year and feeling a bit discouraged that every year I accomplish only half of what I had originally planned. Your reminder is perfectly timed. It really is impossible to cover everything.

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  8. Thank you for the peace you give in your posts. Along with that, your practical tips on how to incorporate some of the things that get pushed aside are so helpful. We push PE aside often, especially during our hot summer months. We get out in the fall and spring, but usually not the other days. Our kids are young, but I want to start typing and haven’t been able to yet. I think I’ll try Dance Mat typing online, though I have to check it out still.

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  9. Thank you so much for this post of encouragement. I often ask myself, Am I doing enough? This year I’m adding two formal subjects and it’s easy for the anxious feelings to crowd my thoughts. I’ll remember what you wrote and pray for guidance. You’re right – in the end, if our children learn to love learning, we’ve succeeded!

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  10. How impossible it is to cover everything when there is SO much to cover!!! On one hand, that is why I’m drawn more to unschooling and learning what REALLY interests us because as I am learning alongside my children I’m discovering that I really remembered nothing so how do I expect my children to do the same? (I was a straight A student who passed tests w/flying colors then immediately forgot after the test.) But yet I believe in gently introducing a myriad of ideas and genres and periods of history as CM believed. So I try to balance the two methods but that obviously means some things will have to be given up. How do you decide? Obviously pray but even that seems vague. I know my ideas and the general day-to-day life that keeps on going gets in the way of me hearing His voice. You know what I mean? Is it Him or my own agenda I’m hearing? Some days I’m not sure.

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    • @Amy, thanks for your comments! I pray very specific requests, and the Lord graciously leads me. I am confident that not even the mundane stuff is too insignificant for His guidance and grace. Blessings as you press in to Him🙂
      @Carrie, you’re so right! But when we focus on the new subjects, we sometimes become anxious. I try ease into things.
      @Julie, hope your kids enjoy the changes in seasons at school!
      @Misty, thanks! You always encourage me too!
      @Rebecca, sshh … I think everyone has the same problem? Blessings for the new year’s plans!
      @Mary, I trust that slow and gentle wins the race …
      @Saraspondence, I can so identify with your own exercise lamentations! How to fit it all in?
      @ Martha, bless you!
      @Charlotte Mason in the City, I appreciate your confirmation. Blessing as you keep pressing in.
      @Sandra, wow! 21 years! We all love testimonies from veterans whose children have taken wings and fly! What encouragement. Thanks for sharing.
      @Dawn, thank you and blessings🙂
      @Kathleen, your family seems to have a full, exciting and wonderful life! Enjoy the journey!
      @Dana, with 2 children already in college, I’m sure you have so much more confidence in trusting that what you have given your children is more than enough! Bless you for your comments.

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  11. Thanks for this honest reflective post……i’ve been feeling like it’s so hard to get to everything I’d love to expose my children to, but just never get around to! It’s so important to remember that they’re still so young and they don’t need to know everything!🙂

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  12. I love the closing paragraph comparing the homeschooling journey to an overseas trip. You are right, we can’t possibly see it all. Our family is always working on a balance of planning so that we get as much in as we can, and being relaxed enough to enjoy and appreciate what we do accomplish.
    Happy New School Year!

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  13. I soooo needed to read this. Perfect timing with the start of the “school year” fast approaching. Thank you for encouraging those of us blessed enough to have found your blog😉

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  14. Pingback: Shakespeare and Audio Books | Practical Pages

  15. Pingback: How to Fit in Creative Hands-on Ideas | Practical Pages

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