Well, that didn’t exactly go as planned!

And I really dislike when things don’t go as planned. I like plans. I like when they pan out.

When I planned our Summer schedule and our start date for the new school year several months ago, I had no idea how busy this week was going to be!!

Because of the busyness of the previous weekend with church activities, and the busyness of the previous week, we weren’t ready to begin school on Monday. At all. Not even. We really needed that day to prepare, so we took it. (When you need to do that–DO IT.)

I was determined we would begin on Tuesday regardless, and we did. But Tuesday was off kilter because my husband left his wallet at home and our school pictures portrait session was moved from Thursday afternoon to Tuesday afternoon. So between starting late after decorating for our (kind of lame) First Day of School Party, and running to town with my husband’s wallet, getting the kids ready for pictures, going to the session (and dealing with my son’s meltdown in the middle of the portrait session)– we didn’t get very much school done. In fact, Tuesday was very, very rough.

And we never made it to the library, either. 

About a week or so ago, I discovered that the annual Fort Worth Symphony orchestra performance at our local high school was scheduled for Wednesday morning, and the first Homeschool Skate Day at a nearby skating rink was scheduled for Friday — and there was no doubt we’d be attending both. Added to the fact that my oldest had a violin lesson Wednesday afternoon, I went grocery shopping Wednesday afternoon after that, and we babysat a 2 year old on Friday as well–our week was very busy indeed.

Also: My son’s language arts books didn’t arrive until mid-week. My oldest daughter’s new math book is still MIA somewhere in the USPS (fortunately she still has a few lessons in her old book to finish.) And my second daughter’s math book was MIA in the minivan for the first half of the week as well!


There has to be a positive side, right?

The good things: We did school every day from Tuesday – Friday. We got Bible, Math, and Language Arts done every day and my daughter practiced violin almost every day. Our first field trip of the year is in the books, as well as our first homeschool get together, and school pics are DONE (and grandmas will be able to order whatever they want online.) See? Gotta look for the good things. 

In fact, there was one REALLY good thing.

Remember my delayed reader, my son, who suddenly put the brakes on learning to read, not because he couldn’t, but because he didn’t want to? Remember how we backed off, persisting with consistent, low-key, low-intensity, reading lessons until he was ready to embrace it–and then he finally took off like a race horse?! Last year his reading ability skyrocketed, and he’s doing great! But language arts is still not his favorite subject. And he still doesn’t like writing – he’d rather do all of his lessons orally if he could. But here’s the good thing: he’s taking on a more challenging Language Arts program this year…and he’s embracing it! I am asking him to write more, to work more on grammar, spelling and penmanship. Yes, I’m still giving him some opportunities to dictate while I write, but it’s not just that I’m turning more of that over to him–his Language Arts study will be more challenging and more involved all across the board. And he’s rising to the challenge. And I am so happy!

Even though there were some good things, I’m hoping our second week goes more smoothly. We do have a guitar lesson, a violin lesson, and the commencement of the Fall community choir season this week. And I’m determined that we WILL make it to the library! 

Sometimes (quite often,) this is just how it goes. It’s not perfect, it’s not as planned, it’s a little messy. (Or a LOT messy.) You forge ahead, you do what you can, you keep going. Before we begin this week, we will need to get our chores done and a good school room tidy – I can’t think well in a cluttered space. But then we dive in.

I know this: I know that starting the new year is always a little slower and rougher and not quite as planned. And I know that if we keep at it, get done what we can get done, try to do a little better the next day, things will improve.

Homeschooling is like violin, or so many other things in life: when you practice, you get better; you don’t get better without practicing better. 


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Hey, y’all! I’m Amber and I wear many hats. I drink a ton of coffee and I’m constantly sweeping crumbs off the floor. After 18 years of homeschooling, I’m getting close to graduating my third child and now we are starting over at preschool with our fourth, Lil Miss Mouse. She keeps us young and she’s the main reason for my excessive coffee consumption. Drink up!