Preparing and Pondering...the Coming School Year

This is our last *plain jane* day of summer break. The holiday weekend begins when Billy gets home tonight, and our new school year starts Tuesday, complete with new schedules, new books, and new school supplies. I don't know when any of us have been so excited about starting a new school year!

And yet I'm already feeling stressed. My end-of-summer-planning-for-the-new-year has not gone as planned. I'm just a wee bit panicky about not even being able to get the plan planned! A little voice inside is saying, "How in the world are you going to be able to stay on track with school if you can't even stay on track with planning school??"

At our end-of-summer playdate/lunch yesterday, in between dealing with a pint-sized play-place bully (*not* one of ours!), a friend and I spent quite a while discussing our concerns, convictions, and commitments for the coming school year. One of the things we talked about was our growing realization that it is so easy to get focused on "getting school done" that we overlook the things we are teaching our children in the way we get school done. That conversation stayed on my mind the rest of the day yesterday as I thought about the goals God has given us for educating and training our children...and the changes I need to make in our school year this year to move back into line with those goals. As I told my friend yesterday...we have been terribly derailed in our schooling the last few years due to circumstances that have been largely beyond our control...but I have also allowed those circumstances to become an excuse for slacking in areas that could have been much better controlled.

We already have things looming on the horizon this year that could...may...will be huge interruptions to our year. I'm really convicted that if I am faithful and disciplined to do what I can do to "keep on keeping on", then God will enable us to meet His goals for our schooling even as we have to adjust in various areas.

I've been reminded again over the past couple of days of one of those things that I know, but which always seems to get lost in the shuffle of just trying to "get it done"...that the most important factor in our school year is not the curriculum we use, the organization of our school room, or even the lesson planning that I do...it is the daily preparation of my heart and the minute-by-minute dependence on God for the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that will enable me to be the wife, mom, teacher, and person God wants me to be, so that I can nurture and train my children as He would have me to.

It is imperative this year that we stay on track and get everything done in a timely manner; however, it is just as imperative that I don't get so caught up in "staying on schedule" that I become rigid and impatient, and miss opportunities for life lessons that God allows through what I usually see as "interruptions". It is also imperative that my priorities are my relationship with God, my relationship with my husband, my relationship with my children, and their relationships with God and with others...not just getting "schoolwork" done. Learning has to flow through and out of all of that...schoolwork cannot be allowed to bypass it.

This morning as I was pondering all these thoughts, I read a couple of blog posts that really encouraged me and challenged me in this area, one by my friend Julie, and another that she linked to by Ann Voskamp. I love this quote from Ann Voskamp...

"I need to pattern my lessons plans after the Planner of these little people."
What a great reminder that this is all about His plan, not my plans!

I'm so thankful for a husband who is committed to homeschooling, despite the sacrifices it requires. I'm thankful for friends who encourage and challenge (and listen to me vent!). Most of all, I'm thankful to God for allowing us this privilege, and for sending much-needed reminders of the responsibility and blessing involved.

And now I'm off to "press on" in planning...


Life at the Lake said...

Thanks for the link to Ann's post - it's a keeper for sure. I will be praying for your school year, especially for no major interruptions this year. I know how hard it is to get back on track once you have had a year or two that had major interruptions. We're still working to get there ; )

theresa said...

Ohmygoodness! I could have written this post! LOL!! I am so linking to you in my next "What She Said ..." post! :o)