Wait for the right season.

Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom

Seasons come and seasons go. I don’t know what the weather’s like in your neck of the woods, but we’re smack in the midst of a freak New England snowstorm. Snow–in October!

Am I the only one who finds the change of seasons uncomfortable? Summer, which we’d grown to wear so perfectly, no longer fits. There’s work involved with the change–piles of clothes to remove from drawers and purchases to make in new sizes.

It’s impossible to ignore what happens outdoors, yet somehow we’re not always as tuned in to the seasons that come and go in the midst of our homeschooling and parenting.

We wish we could find that magic schedule, that one routine, that we could use from now until the kids graduate. Wouldn’t that make life easier?

Easier? Maybe.

Boring? Definitely.

In spite of all our best-laid efforts and plans, sometimes we try on something that isn’t the right “size.” I remember when I first read A Charlotte Mason Companion by Karen Andreola. She mentioned writing a poem or message to her children each morning–they read it on a chalkboard before starting their day. It helped develop their reading ability in an informal, fun way.

What a great idea! At the time, my little ones were 5, 4, and 3. That night I wrote Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on a dry erase board, and hung it in the dining room to read before breakfast.

The next morning, eager kids raced down the stairs to breakfast, saw the board and said, “What’s this?”

I could already envision the special educational moment that was coming. But instead, in a display of typical preschool eagerness, one of the boys reached up with his hand and erased the whole message.

Turns out they were more interested in how dry erase boards work than in reading.

Discouragement came knocking–my subconscious failure mom program kicked in, convincing me that the kids would probably never learn to read, and all because I was such a horrible teacher.

But no, that wasn’t true at all.

It just wasn’t the right season.

Now, three years later, guess what? My 8-, 7-, and 6-year-olds race down the stairs each morning. They gather in front of our easel, which sports our visual schedule on the back, and excitedly read out the message I’ve put there. My oldest two are both confident, passionate readers. My youngest is on his way.

It all worked out perfectly.

Look at your kids–watch for their cues. Wait for the right season.

It makes life, and homeschooling, so much easier.

Do you have a story about waiting for the right season in your homeschool?

About Jamie Martin

Jamie is a mama to three cute kids born on three different continents. She is the co-founder and editor of Simple Homeschool, where she writes about mindful parenting, intentional education, and the joy found in a pile of books. Jamie is also the author of a handful of titles, including her newest release, Give Your Child the World.


  1. Great post; what a good reminder! One of the huge benefits of homeschooling is being able to follow a different schedule, and follow your kids lead in what they are ready to learn and what they are interested in. This doesn’t mean not giving them challenges – but it does mean starting from where they are at. The added benefit is that it makes homeschooling more fun for both kids and mom!
    sandra’s latest post: Pumpkin Theme Ideas

  2. The first day of our first year of homeschooling, about two months ago to be exact, I flipped open First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind and actually expected my 6 and 4 year old to perfectly repeat the definition of a noun. I didn’t try to make it fun or entertaining; I just said, “Repeat after me.” Well, the 6 y/o did having some ‘school’ experience but my 4 y/o couldn’t understand what I wanted from her. The conversation went something like,
    ME: “A noun…” HER: “noun”
    ME: “NO, A noun” Her: “noun” and that went on for about half an hour.

    I’m so disappointed with myself when I think of it now and I want to apologize to her sweet little face over and over for expecting perfection from her on HER first day of learning. Needless to say I quickly realized my mistake and the second day we turned it into a song, she’s always singing to herself, and she had it memorized by the end of the second week. That experience is my constant reminder to be patient and let them learn on their terms not my own.
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  3. Oh Jamie–that story is priceless. Thanks for sharing. This is something I’m havin to remind myself a lot of lately.
    Hillary’s latest post: Losing My Mother’s Mother

  4. love this reminder. so often i get so excited about some new thing i have come up with and the kids are like, ERASE! lol. even on the dry erase board i just bought! i am learning, albeit slowly, evidently i am stubborn, to be more flexible and have more trust in the fact it will come when it is time…

    i loved the snowstorm, i am in CO though and it was a refreshing beautiful two days! now it is sunny and 60 again!

    http://www.theevolvinghomemaker.com‘s latest post: Mindful About Teaching Mindfulness

  5. Great advice–and I love the idea of writing a little surprise message for the kids in the morning!
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  6. On seasons-where I live there not exactly timely according to most of the nation, so I usually welcome the change. While we do experience a bit of fall and spring, the changes are generally subtle, with the extremes of summer and winter defining the year. So, I look forward to this time of year when nights are cool and days are warm. Then we jump into cold (at least what’s cold around here) and put up with it until spring when we get to have cool nights and warm days again before moving on to hot days and warm nights.

    As for the right schooling season, I’ve experienced it and wish I could say it was because I could foresee the future and knew it would play out this way. My son is just recently 6 and hasn’t been interested in traditional learning, but I still tried working with him on letters and numbers. Not consistently and usually from guilt over not doing more, but then one day he just decided he could remember them all and he got it w/o much help from me. I think he’s going to be that way-and that as parents my husband and I need to expose him to lots of things and when it’s his right time he’ll get it.
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  7. This is exactly why we started officially homeschooling at age 3 instead of age 5 like I had “planned”. I was very surprised when 1, my toddlers asked to “do school with mommy” and 2. were disappointed that our first little lesson didn’t include the letters! While we haven’t been doing much, the girls are loving learning and I am so happy they are starting out with such joy!

  8. I just finished the beginning of a potential blog post that is related to the importance of the right season, at least related in my mind:-). This is a timely reminder for me, because I tend to be very forward-looking and impatient, especially around this time of year as I anticipate the holidays and the coming New Year. I love when new things spring up!
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  9. Such a good reminder! I so often try something new and when it doesn’t click immediately, I either try to push it when I shouldn’t or I ditch it completely.
    sarah’s latest post: Things I am loving in October

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