Ah, summer! Long days, kids running through sprinklers. It’s time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life again – vacations, getting out, camping, fishing and… curriculum planning.
Wait, what? But if you’re a homeschooler, you already know this. Every summer, planning curriculum takes up a lot of room in your head. The question is only this: when should I do this – before the family vacation or after?
I attended a business conference lately where the speaker said there was one thing – one very important thing – that kept people out of trouble when they were first starting a business.
That one thing was this: allowing themselves to be beginners.
The One Thing in Curriculum Planning
Ever heard the phrase “begin with the end in mind?” It’s a good phrase and a good idea in general, but where do you place the end? Are we thinking college? Are we thinking end of the year? Or end of the quarter? Where is the end?
I’d rather think of curriculum planning as driving across a dark highway with my headlights on. I can’t see the destination – I have an idea of it, though – but I can make the journey by seeing a few feet ahead of me.
In other words, I allow myself to be a beginner.
I don’t have it all figured out.
Why This Shouldn’t Worry You
I mentioned in 8 Curriculum Blunders Homeschooling Moms Make that this is the same impulse that drives them to purchase a boxed curriculum. Someone else has already done the research, they say, why try to reinvent the wheel?
Now, please, I’m not against all boxed curricula – there are some really good ones out there – Sonlight, for example, always gives me curriculum envy when I see it. What I’m trying to get at here is that if you’re the kind of homeschooler who blames herself because she isn’t organized enough to create a whole year’s curriculum and schedule, please don’t let that stop you from homeschooling!
It’s okay to be a beginner.
It’s perfectly fine to go slow, to figure it out as you go along.
Think of it the way you would about a read aloud your children particularly love. A chapter a day goes a long way. (Oh hey, that rhymed. Just call me Dr. Seuss!) And you can finish the entire book before you know it. Homeschooling is a little bit like that. There’s no reason your curriculum planning has to be any different!
You don’t have to see the end of the road. Just far enough ahead to know you’re making progress.
Allow yourself to be a beginner.