Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Planner by AnnaVancePaperCo

I've always been a bit enamored with highly organized teachers and mothers. Have you ever been in a challenge group on Fitbit with a bunch of teachers? You probably don't win. They take a billion steps a day. They seem to squeeze in so much productivity in the same amount of hours I have that it leaves me questioning what in the world I could do differently.
I think this will be one of the biggest hurdles for me: planning. The chaos of it all. I enjoy a plan just fine. When my kids were younger, I lived off of a set schedule. It gave me life to actually have a naptime to plan around. But as time brought more children with more needs and different schedules, I tried to be the girl who was up for anything. I'm a go-with-the-flow person by nature and so this is where I find myself now. Plans make me nervous because I'm a seasoned mom who knows that one can create a magnificent plan in their head, but the kids will almost always shatter that expectation with poop, fighting, sickness, or grumpiness every single time. On the other hand, I'm still that psychology major whose mind wanders back to the basics of goal setting and planning and I know that without one in place, I'll struggle more than I would otherwise.
Another problem I foresee is the chaos of a messy home. I'm calm when my house is clean. When the tasks are done-the cleaning, laundry, keeping the little people fed- I'm in my element. I can be the intentional mother that I want to be. I can make a new mess on the floor of toys, paint masterpieces, or materials because I'm the fun mom. Yet if those messes are in every room of the house, my heart beats fast and I'm on edge. I begin to feel trapped. All the stuff. Every time this happens, I go on a purge and donate half of our things to the local thrift store. I should be doing that now actually.
The point is, I know I need a plan of balancing home and school so that's what I've been working on the past few weeks. It has been fun to thoughtfully shop for lesson plans, ideas, and books that will aid in teaching my family this year. Part of the reason I want to homeschool is to decrease the rush of our lives that comes with being a part of a community. Our society has ushered us off to the next best thing and I don't know that I like it all that much. Part of my plan will be to slow down and enjoy being with my family. Children learn at different paces; we know that. I'll remind myself of that as I attempt to create an environment where learning is fun and intrinsically motivating.
Last night I sat down with my new planner and began to jot down what's most important to us in our homeschool right now. I loosely began creating a schedule that we will put into place as our classroom spaces and materials come together in mid August. The only way I'm not completely overwhelmed is because I'm remembering that old verse in Proverbs, "In your heart you may plan your course, but the Lord orders your steps" (see 16:9) I move forward in this undertaking with a large dose of humility noticing that the only way this works is if I'm walking in God's will for our lives. There's great comfort in that!

WHAT is she doing?!

Sunday, July 15, 2018
The first blog post on a new blog. Man, there's all this pressure to make myself sound intriguing or endearing just enough to make you come back for more. The Internet is full of people who will be able to do that better than I can and so I am going to skip all that and just be real. I have no idea what I'm doing here.
I've always imagined homeschooling moms (or any teacher for that matter!) as among the most patient, thoughtful, creative, and inspiring mothers I know. To lump myself into a category of purposeful people like that seems crazy to me because the last few years I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off. There have been many times I have wondered how people manage to brush all their kids teeth twice daily, much less guide the minds of tiny pupils to introduce them to a rich culture of art, music, geography, history, and literature every day. But I felt God leading me to follow Him on a new journey (that's a story for another day) and here we are. I don't know if this is just a season of our lives or a permanent change in the way we educate. Our eggs may change baskets again next year. I don't know. But I'm grateful God has given me this year with my kids at home and I'm excited to keep teaching them.
I dusted off my keyboard for this space because I want to create an inspiring, attractive log of our year here. I know if I write through the struggles, the blessings, and all that we are learning, I will be able to see how far we have come at the end of the school year. I don't plan to simply stage a bunch of photos of a picture perfect, unattainable homeschooling day. I plan to truly document what we're doing and learning throughout our time this year. Over the next few weeks, I will be solidifying our educational plan. I envision this blog as a sharing of ideas, documentation of our school year, and a journal of sorts for a new adventure for us. This record keeping is mostly for me, though. I look forward to gathering my thoughts and words here weekly! See you around.