Almost every homeschool family experiences delays or disturbances that put homeschooling on hold or cause plans to seemingly fall apart somewhere along the journey. I want to encourage you that in the great scheme of things, you are never truly behind, but exactly where you are meant to be in your life.
Life — and homeschool — is a journey and not lesson plans, schedules, timetables and deadlines. Sure, there are homeschool goals and graduations, and for those you need a strategy and specific plans, but especially for young children, they will always be learning, growing, developing and maturing, and they will seldom truly fall behind even when homeschooling does not happen.
7 years ago Homeschool—Help! I’m Behind! Jimmie’s counsel is that homeschool is not school at home. She says,
You are the teacher, mom. You can make the decisions about what, when, and how to teach your children. So you can’t truly be behind. Yes, you made a plan. You were diligent to organize your lessons and make goals for the term or the year. But life interrupted. Don’t accept the guilt or panic. Instead, get productive. RE-plan for where you are NOW. Don’t even try to “catch-up.” Just keep working forward.
And in her post she linked to Lani Carey of The HomeSchool Flame‘s post “Getting Behind?” where Lani wisely says,
You are not behind!! Who told you that? You might not have gotten as far in the curriculum book as you would have liked, but so what! Is your child learning? If so, then you are not behind. Behind is when the kids are going backwards, which some of our moms with LD children are struggling with. But even then, you are not on a time-table, so you can keep going over the same material again and again if that’s what the child needs and not worry about “getting finished”.
We need to just enjoy the ride!
Jimmie also linked to my post “How to recover from Disturbed Schooling“
where I recommend to Spot, Skip or Speed when school is disturbed by life’s problems.
- Spot = Stick to one important subject for the whole day and catch up everything; read, discuss, watch videos, do the lapbook and notebook pages, complete a fun hands-on activity.
- Skip = Skip the core subjects (History, Geography, Science) and only do the seat work/ basic discipline subjects or skip all the seat work and only do only core subjects till you have caught up on your schedule.
- Speed = To make all the basic lessons short and sweet put a timer on and stop when the bell goes. Let them orally narrate or do a quick finger puppet narration instead of lengthy written narrations.
So this post was written 7 years ago! And now, as a homeschool veteran mom with 2 homeschool graduates, I absolutely believe now what I shared then.
I have learnt to allow my children much more freedom. I can see the bigger picture and realize that I am no longer the one in control, but the one who comes alongside each child to facilitate their learning experiences. Homeschooling is much more “in the moment” and much more intimate. For each child, there are goals, specific plans and a general outcome, but I no longer fret about finishing things according to someone’s schedule. If there are disruptions, I have learnt to take a moment and figure our way forward again.
If you are distressed and discouraged by “falling behind” may I encourage you to spend some quiet moments with the Lord and pray for His peace and for His strategy. Ask Him to show you what really matters, what is important in His plans for your family and each child’s life right now. With these thoughts, focus on what you can start with and begin fresh from there.
Paul says in Phil. 3:13 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” The Message translation – “I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward-to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.“
So, simply do the very next thing — push onward, forward, upward toward the goal.
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