18 May 2011

Jumping on the Newest Bandwagon

In defiance of my habit of making everything more difficult than it needs to be in the name of excellence and (dare I say it) perfection, I am realizing that I spend way too much time planning our school year. Slowly, ever so slowly, I am coming to realize that it could be keeping us from actually doing, and it’s detrimental to an excellent education. I’ve come to realize also that I would much rather give my children access to an excellent education than to my “excellent” plans.

Keeping grounded and focused on what works in our family takes determination. There are a lot of resources out there. Since home schoolers have become a marketing demographic in and of themselves, the available resources are highly overwhelming.

I’m not advocating tossing the baby out with the bath water, but I do know this: Every new and amazing thing I’ve tried - thinking that it would solve all of our problems - has turned out to be a massive disappointment. Perhaps a little balance would be beneficial?

Our lives are lived the way they are because of the cumulative effects of years of habits and choices. Expecting a new product or a new method to undo years of ruts is unrealistic and unfair. Change comes in the daily grind. Either I choose to expect my children daily to do neat, thorough, excellent work; or I choose to let it slip “just this once,” and it unwittingly becomes a habit. All the curriculum in the world cannot accomplish what a lifetime of good habits will accrue.

The simple truth of the matter is this: planning only goes so far. If something isn’t working, it isn’t working. Chalk it up to experience and move on.

Conversely, “if it ain’t broke; don’t fix it!”

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