Seasonal Homeschooling

We’ve just finished a ton of stuff at our house- Tutoring Center (TC offers academic classes with assigned homework, tests and grades), our co-op day (enrichment activities and tons of fun), our on-line classes (more academic classes with assigned homework), bi-weekly ballroom dancing, a huge history tome as our spring read aloud, 3 different drama programs, TeenPact events, Challenge and a host of awesome field trips, including a day at a One Room Schoolhouse, target shooting and rock climbing. It’s such a good feeling to finish well!

This year was vastly different than two years ago. Two years ago we were coming down off of a year that included getting burned out of our house, two family deaths, moving three times, inventorying everything we’d owned, re-purchasing and gathering everything we needed, and re-building a house. My kids learned survival skills. The math stuffing, however, fell out of a couple of their heads when the house burned, and the Latin program was smoked beyond redemption. As a result, some of the kids fell “behind” in some subjects. We’d had so much intensity about so many things that year that something had to give. Rather than lose our sanity, we let go of our well laid plans and took one tentative step at a time.

Not to say that we are not intentional about schooling. We have a vision, a mission, and yearly goals. We choose curriculum based on our educational pedagogy. We do weekly and yearly wrap-ups. We follow an academic course of study. In other words, we envision what we want to get done any given year and work intentionally towards accomplishing that.

But sometimes life knocks the bajeebeez out of you; a fire, a death, a difficult pregnancy, a difficult subject . . . And I’m here to tell you that sometimes homeschooling is about surviving the season. Academics are important (you’re talking to a girl who collects degrees for fun), but sometimes you need to step back from academics and just breathe deeply.

The cool thing is that if you homeschool for a while, it works itself out. This year we got a TON of stuff, academic and otherwise, done. I’m talking a LOT. Not only that, but this year my younger son remembered that math was fun, my older son rediscovered how much he loved Latin, and my nine-year-old took OFF in reading. This year both of our older daughters graduated with degrees in hand (one from Cosmetology school – she’ll be starting an R.N. program in the fall – and one with a B.S. degree – WOOT!) This year . . . well, this year we experienced a lot of fun as we studied and celebrated accomplishments wholeheartedly.

We didn’t let two years ago define our success or failure as homeschoolers, just like we won’t let this year define our success or failure as homeschoolers. We’ve homeschooled long enough (21 years!) to know that life ebbs and flows and with it our ability to get homeschooling done well or just simply done.

Take heart, if this year didn’t go as planned, there’s a new season of homeschooling just ahead!

Lisa is passionate about education, writing and literature, Christianity, the Hebrew roots of the Christian faith, and creating extraordinary beauty from the ordinary all around us. She is the beloved wife of her stalwart spouse, homeschooling Momma to a passel of people and grateful child of the Living God. She blogs at Golden Grasses.

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