The difference between a homeschool plan and homeschool planning ~
Written by Shawna Wingert of Different by Design Learning
My oldest son has always been fascinated with history.
It began with Ancient Egypt when he was four and last week, he excitedly ordered a book on World War Two info-graphics.
I love it because I love history too, and because I learn so much from his interest.
Last week, he came in, book in hand, looking a little perplexed and read the following quote to me.
“In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
We talked through the difference between the two and what Eisenhower was expressing in this statement, then he left the room satisfied.
I however, could not stop thinking about it, especially as it relates to the homeschool planning I am doing right now in preparation for the new school year.
Every year, I spend a good portion of the summer considering different curriculum options for my boys. I make list after list for each of them. I worry about spending too much money and then I spend more money. I start the school year with a detailed list of daily and weekly activities and a basket full of books.
After a decade of homeschooling, I can tell you that it lasts for about a day and half.
What looks good on paper and in my own mind, never translates perfectly to my real life learners.
For years, it caused me great distress and guilt that we just couldn’t seem to stick to the plan. Don’t get me wrong, my boys learned. In spite of me sometimes, they learned.
But the homeschool plan itself often felt like a goal that we needed to achieve, rather than a tool we used.
Because of my perceived failure, one year, I decided not to plan much at all. We would just go into the year and see what happened.
That too, lasted about a day and half and ended with me canceling school for another week so I could scramble and come up with a plan.
The homeschool plan never worked exactly but, it turns out, I needed the homeschool planning process itself.
The Eisenhower quote is perfect summary of why.
Things never go according to plan, in battle and in life. It’s the act of planning itself that prepares us to win.
The Difference between a Homeschool Plan and Homeschool Planning
Maybe, like me, you are now getting ready for the next school year and crafting your plan.
Please, let me encourage you – the plan is not the goal, nor is your execution of it an assessment of your ability as a homeschool mom.
It is in your planning that you are preparing yourself for whatever this school year may bring.
Your curriculum selection matters. Your daily schedule matters. Your outside classes, field trips and co-ops matter. Of course they do! But not a single element of your plan will go exactly as expected.
It doesn’t mean you are failing. It means you are living a full life.
Thank goodness you did a little planning in advance!
Would you like to take a peek at how I make decisions as part of my homeschool planning?
A big part of planning, for me, is really thinking through how a curriculum will work in our actual, day to day lives.
I ask a series of questions every year to help me in my homeschool planning. You can grab a free printable list of these questions HERE.
How do you approach homeschool planning?
What’s Your Homeschool Mom Personality? Take Jamie’s quiz now and receive a free personality report to help you organize your homeschool based on what your personality type needs most!
Oh the timing of this is perfect! I’ve spent so much time (and money!) planning our homeschool year – it’s our fourth year in but my first with two school-age kids. I couldn’t agree more that the act of planning is invaluable but that the plans themselves are only ever a guess. Thank you for this!
“The act of planning is invaluable, the plans themselves are only ever a guess” Yes!!! Perfectly said, Laura. Thank you for sharing.
Shawna Wingert’s latest post: The Most Important Thing I Do To Get Ready For A New Homeschool Year
Hey! Who publishes the math books featured in the top pic? Also, thanks for this very good reminder that life does not go as planned! 🙂