Tuesday, September 9, 2008

BFS #101 {Plop, plop; Fizz, fizz; Oh what a relief it is!}

Assignment: This would be a good week to tell about your worst struggles with a lifestyle of homeschooling.  Tell about something you’ve struggled with and how God’s mercies gave us the strength to get past it.  Also, share any curriculum/homeschool methods that have been a relief to you, i.e., a particular Teacher’s Manual or Homeschooling method that’s been easier for your family.  Talk about how you felt when the burden was lifted and Oh, What a Relief it is!


My biggest ongoing struggle continues to be managing my time.  I am a procrastinator by nature, so even though I LOVE to do lesson planning, I tend to leave the details and the grading to almost the last minute.  And when I do that, I wind up more stressed and rushed than I need to be, and sometimes I'm late.  Also I tend to be too lax in getting the kids redirected to their schoolwork or chores, or I have to expect them to wait a few extra minutes while I get something or finish doing something else.  Even as I wrote this, I needed to take a break to go tell the kids that their lunch break was over and get back to their math books.  At first I was going to "do it in a minute" but then I stopped myself because I realized that if I didn't get up and do it THAT moment, I would have completely forgotten about it within 23 seconds.  So I am learning to get things done as soon as I think of them and not wait, assuming I'll remember to do it or feel like doing it later  - if I even think of it again later.  I write lists and timetables and check things off, not because I feel obligated to stick to the list, but because I lose track of time without it.  I often give the kids permission to remind me when it's time for Science class if they're ready before me, and things like that.  (And that is really annoying, let me tell you! They are the worst nags! LOL) 

One of the things I love best about homeschooling, is that it can be relaxed and it doesn't have to be driven by somebody else's timetable, calendar, or routine.  We can take our family vacation at any time during the school year.  We can take Labour Day off school, or not, just as we choose.  Same with Thanksgiving or New Years Day, or any other holiday.  The flip side of that coin is what comes back to haunt me sometimes.  Yes, I can take three weeks for family vacation at the end of November and beginning of December.  But, then I need to be disciplined to work hard (and get the kids to work hard) BEFORE vacation so that we can go guilt-free.  And I need to be organized enough to get back to the books when we get home from vacation, so that it isn't Christmas break before we know it, and we still didn't get everything done.  I can make my school days and my school calendar work for me, but I still need the discipline and follow-through on my plans, or we wind up not being able to take the break we wanted to in the summer. 

What has helped the most is having a daily schedule and posting it, so that the kids can help keep me accountable.  Managing my time has been a challenge for me since I was a teenager, and will probably be my personal challenge until I'm a little old lady struggling to finish the knitting project before the great-grandchild arrives!  But I am learning to be tougher on myself using timers and deadlines, and I have hope that I will get better at it!  I often talk about the Homeschool Tracker and how that has helped me, and it certainly has kept me closer to my goals in assignment due dates and keeping grading up to date as well.  My goal is to have all the assignments for first semester entered in the Tracker by the end of the week, so that I can print out the assignment lists and SEE those due dates! And know that I have some responsibility to make sure things get done on time, just as the kids do.

This school year is still pretty fresh, but already I have stumbled several times in my organizing and planning - sometimes because I was lazy or slipshod, and sometimes due to things that were entirely out of my control (like someone being sick, or an appointment being rescheduled).  As I wrote this assignment, I settled on the following Scripture as my encouragement that I can do better.  It's a favorite verse of mine anyway, and certainly fits!

I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13) 

And now, instead of sharing a picture, I'm going to put my money where my mouth is, and stick to my schedule.  I told the kids I would be out in five minutes to do their spelling class, and my five minutes is UP!! 

For more assignments like this, or to participate, go to Blogger Friend School and get more info!


djbartch said...

I could have written this, it sounds so much like me. I even used the same scripture in my assignment this week. I am the worst procrastinator! Thanks for sharing ways that you're trying to work through it!

Sheri said...

and I do the same thing as you. Good post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts....:-)

Emily23 said...

to know that even you can put things off. I have to write things down too mostly when I have to go to town otherwise I forget things. And YES kids can be the worst nags. Caleb has been good at telling me he's done with something then sit and wait for me. He's even been known to TIME me to see how long it takes me.....lol

Anonymous said...

Sounds like we are too much alike with too many things school related so I will be praying for you.



proverbsmomof3 said...

I try so hard to stick to the schedule, but find myself paddling along side of you trying to catch up also. Thanks for sharing. I am encouraged by your resolve to stick to it.

Anonymous said...

I also struggle with time issues and just recently started a check list type thing to help me remember to get things done. Thanks for sharing your story.


BFS Teacher

thelordismyshepherd said...

I saw that verse in a few posts this week as a favorite! It is a wonderful verse! You sound a lot like me too! I don't know how many times I say "in a minute". :)

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