28 June 2008

To Plan or Not to Plan

…that is the question.

The last few years, I've spent most of my summer heavy in planning mode. I set up spreadsheets. I plan out each week of school. I plan out each day of each week. In every subject and discipline. For each child. I create worksheets for reading assignments and copywork and grammar.

Then school starts, and the whole thing goes down the drain within the first couple of weeks. Eventually, I'm so discouraged at my perceived lack of progress that I don't even bother to open the spreadsheet. It sits forlorn and lonely on my dock, guiltily ignored. Then we get to the end of the school year and I feel like we've gotten very little done. (Then, once I get over the homeschooling-mom-end-of-year doldrums, I realize we haven't done that badly.)

This year, because of a discussion on ClassEd and a phone chat with Michele, one of the ClassEd moms, I'm letting go of the planning. I'm still setting out rough guidelines and basic goals, but I'm not going to try to plan our year in such great detail.

With this decision, summer has taken on a different hue. Instead of the olive green of drudgery, it's the bright and shimmery pink of promise (I don't know if drudgery is olive green or promise is pink, but I don't like the former and love the latter, so it works for me ;-D). My prep work this summer will entail reading the books the kids will be reading, listening to and taking notes on the Gileskirk lectures, and laying out general goals and guidelines, immersing myself in the material instead of in the plan. Oh, frabjous joy! Calloo, callay!!!



  1. Your summer planning plans sounds a lot like mine--big strokes of preparing myself. I'll have to work out some sort of schedule and plan some assignments but I've found that I do better doing the big stroke work ahead of time and the nitty gritty assignments, etc. when we're in the middle of it all. Not perfect, but it works best for us, so far. Like you, I'm enjoying the summer reading books that will prepare me to dive in afresh this fall.

  2. I'm glad I'm in such good company, Melissa!